The opening pages of Code 6 are not misleading as much as they are mis-directional. James Grippando purposely creates a complex storyline. On the surface, Code 6 presents a tale of family dynamics. Yet, so much more is going on behind the scenes. Intrigue, appeasement, espionage and sex trafficking are all intertwined. And the story works. Furthermore, not only is Code 6 a story worth reading, but the book should also be read.
Protagonist and Heroine
Kate Gamble is both an aspiring playwright and a third-year law student. Not an easy task. Then, a rough day at the theatre changes to one of devastation as she learns of her alcoholic mother’s suicide. Furthermore, the note left behind makes no sense, “I did it for Kate” provides only questions and no answers.
There is no romance in Code 6. Instead, Ms. Gamble is portrayed as an independent woman willing to stand up for herself. But she also understands there are battles to fight and skirmishes to lose. Through it all she stays focused.
Grippando fleshes out the story with a full cast of characters. Each storyline depicts good versus evil. And the characters fall in line. Broadway director Irving Bass and his assistant Sean provide the backdrop for the book. Although this storyline is far from the action, the parallels provide plenty of nuance.
Elizabeth Gamble’s suicide occurs close to the start of the book. So, her character is all through the eyes of others. The author does an excellent job. The reader knows and understands her before the conclusion of the novel.
Christian Gamble is the CEO of Buck Technologies, a tech company built around Big Data. The Chairman of the Board is Jeremy Peel. The whiz kid coder is “Baby” Patrick Battle. Kate Gamble babysat for him when both were even younger than in the story. These three employees are key players in the kidnapping and espionage storyline that commands most of Code 6.
Multiple Storylines and Themes
The underlying theme of Code Six is good versus evil. Each thread of the novel shares this idea. Big Data plays into this.
Action scenes revolve around Patrick Battle (appropriately named) and his kidnapping while on a corporate retreat in South America. This storyline revolves around espionage and sex trafficking. Not all the ‘good guys’ survive.
Secondary to the good/evil theme is “What mothers will do for their children” (p.316). Sacrifice can come in many forms and on either side of the good versus evil decision.
Perhaps slow to start, Code 6 packs a punch as it races towards a conclusion. Big Data is everywhere. But it is nothing new. Ms. Gamble’s ‘play’ discusses the role IBM played in the Holocaust. This part of the novel has basis in fact. An important detail that the reader should reflect upon and research if the information was previously unknown. (Click here for one source.)
James Grippando highlights other concerns as well. Corporate greed, espionage and sex trafficking often go hand in hand. Fortunately for the reader, the author counters these sins with heroism and true patriotism. Reality is not so kind.