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RedDevil 4 Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the near future, about 40 years from now, pretty much everybody is walking around with a neural implant inside their head, linking them to virtually everyone else. This isn’t an especially new idea—plenty of other writers are telling stories about cultures based on similar technology—but Leuthardt, an expert in the science of neuroprosthetics, puts a fresh spin on the idea by tying it to a mystery story. A series of murders has the police stumped; detective Edwin Krantz, a guy who would feel more at home in a less-technological era, works his way through the clues and evidence until he reaches Dr. Hagan Maerici, an artificial-intelligence researcher whose early work might have a connection with today’s epidemic of murders. While the writing is a bit raw—the author is a veteran scientist but a rookie novelist, and it shows a little—the story is quite intriguing and smartly constructed, and boasts a cast of memorable characters (Krantz being the standout). --David Pitt


“Provocative and scary, there's an utter realism that leaps from every page. You'll find yourself not only savoring a peek into the psyche, but one into the future as well.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Jefferson Key 

“Here is a thriller that is as cutting-edge as the keenest scalpel, written by a young neurosurgeon and expert on brain-computer interfaces. The action is fast and furious, even as the novel grapples with some of the deepest and most disturbing questions in medicine, computing, and the nature of consciousness.”
—Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Impact

“A terrifying journey into the promise and peril of artificial intelligence. You'll never look at a computer chip the same way again.”
—J.E. Fishman, bestselling author of The Dark Pool

"Leuthardt puts his expertise as a neurosurgeon to good use in his impressive debut."
—Publishers Weekly

"Leuthardt describes a world that others have imagined wherein humans have chosen to 'upgrade' by adding computer interfaces to their brains . . . but he adds his own spin with neuroscience and computing details. . . . Fans of the intersection between hard science and wetware should relish this tale."
—Library Journal


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765332566
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765332561
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric Leuthardt was born in Boston in May of 1973. After a few year stint in Stuttgart Germany as a toddler, Leuthardt spent his youth in the Midwestern city of Cincinnati. After many years of taking apart every electrical appliance in the house, catching snakes and crawdads in the nearby creeks, and doing his best to endure the Catholic grade school system, he finally found his calling in a laboratory at the University of Cincinnati. There he spent his summers and most of his free time working on how electric and magnetic fields influence the growth of neurons. He would also frequent the operating rooms early in the morning to watch some of the neurosurgeons remove brain tumors. After a time, while working under a microscope, one of the surgeons working in the lab told him he should think about neurosurgery.

The idea took hold (in a big way). Leuthardt went on to Saint Louis University to enroll in a premedical track where he earned degrees in Biology and Theology and then subsequently matriculated to the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. After having earned his medical degree, he was accepted into the prestigious neurosurgery program at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Jewish Medical Hospital. During his training he also took time off to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship in biomedical engineering where he and his mentor developed one of the fundamental platforms used for brain-computer interfacing - technologies that enable people to control machines with their thoughts alone.

Since that time, his research has focused on neuroprosthetic devices that link to the brain to restore function to patients with motor disabilities. His work in the field has yielded him numerous accolades as a scientist, a neurosurgeon, and an inventor. In 2004, for his work "A Brain-Computer Interface Using Electrocorticographic Signals in Humans" he was awarded the James O'Leary Prize for Outstanding Neuroscience Research at Washington University in St Louis. In 2007, the Academy of Science in St Louis awarded him the Innovator Award for his research and translation efforts. He was given one of the highest acknowledgments in his field by being presented with the Annual Award of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery in Berlin, Germany. On a national level, he was named one of the Top Young Innovators by MIT's magazine Technology Review. The magazine names individuals under the age of 35 each year whose work in technology has global impact. In addition to numerous peer reviewed publications, Leuthardt has over a 1000 issued or pending patents on file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has founded several companies. Leuthardt is currently an associate professor with the Departments of Neurological Surgery, Neurobiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the Director of the Center for Innovation in Neuroscience and Technology, an institute that is creating advanced next generation medical technologies.

When not juggling his frenetic schedule, Leuthardt spends his time at home in University City. He and his wife, Melissa, enjoy chasing after their daughter Ellie Claire and doing their best to keep their two border collies, Rawly and Slider, out of the trash can.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Red Devil 4: Dr. Eric Leuhardt

Think about it: A few electrodes implanted in your brain and you're connected wirelessly not merely to a computer system, but to the Internet, to your car, to your home--to other people. Thoughts become actions as you literally move through information as if it were a physical environment. But what about the dark side? Could your brain be hacked? Could a class of neuron-stimulating computer codes become the heroin or meth of tomorrow? And what about people who opt out of "real life," choosing instead to spend their days in a computer-generated virtual reality?

All of these questions will be answered in the course of the novel titled RedDevil 4, a fast-paced, fascinating (and terrifying!) techno-medical thriller that follows prominent neuroscientist Hagan Maerici as he's brought in to help solve a series of murders where the suspects, it seems, have had their brains hacked with malevolent computer code--a precursor to the real battle that lies ahead.

Dr. Hagan Maerici is focusing his work on creating and an artificial intelligence named Omid. Omid follows his every command and can do just about anything we can with the help, guidance and technology provided by this man. The year is 2053 and most people young, old but not the very elderly called technophobes are connected to the world through implants in the brain allowing them believe it or not to connect with other people, make phone calls, access information, keep track of their staffs, drive their cars with a single command and obtain information in seconds. Entering his car he is able to access his wife if he needs her, which he would prefer not to, phone his office and get his daily schedule and updates on his patients and speak and connect with Omid.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen R. Schaefer on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this one. A real page turner. I read it on a vacation, and so fortunately I didn't have to put it down to go to work! There's a little Dan Brown in it, but definitely with an edge especially in the beginning, and I also really liked the backdrop of brain science written by someone who is obviously an expert. If you like futurist readings like Michio Kaku as I do, this would be a good one in the fiction category. I highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The year is 2053. In St. Louis, Missouri, a neurosurgeon and scientist, Dr. Hagan Maerici, is trying to design "neuromorphic artificial intelligence." If he succeeds, his creation will have the ability to think abstractly and independently. The doctor is so obsessed with his project that he neglects his wife, Anna, who is fed up with her husband's lengthy absences. Thirty years earlier, neuroprosthetics forever changed how people interact. Now, ninety percent of the human population communicates and obtains information without cell phones or computers, thanks to the implantation of electronic devices in people's brains. In this brave new world, man's control over his destiny appears limitless.

However, Eric Leuthardt, in his dystopian thriller, "Reddevil 4," reveals the other side of the equation. What happens when we unwittingly unleash destructive forces that we cannot contain? The author raises this frightening question with the help of his varied and colorful cast of characters, including an evangelist whose arrogance and weakness lead him astray; a smug and venal drug dealer; and a billionaire whose vast wealth cannot buy him the love of his tormented, disfigured, and isolated son. A series of brutal murders brings Maerici together with a pair of detectives, a veteran cop named Edwin Krantz, and his younger partner, Tara Dezner, a tough and tenacious former Navy Seal.

We are horrified when Dr. Maerici, Krantz, and Dezner confront a powerful and seemingly invulnerable adversary. This is a violent and gruesome story that is loaded with scientific and medical jargon as well as passages of dark humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE on March 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
REDDEVIL 4 was an engaging science fiction thriller. It is 2053 and cell phones are obsolete. Everyone has a neuroprosthetic implant that connects people and allows them to access all manner of data. But that doesn't stop crime. Edwin Krantz and his partner Tara Dezner are called in on a case where multi-billionaire Dr. Marcus Devron has apparently killed his maid of 40 years in a particularly gruesome manner. Since Dr. Devron is also in medical distress, he is taken to the hospital.

Dr. Hagan Maerici is a neurosurgeon who is doing research for Dr. Devron. He is trying to make a self-aware artificial intelligence. His research is so compelling that he is withdrawing from everyone including his wife. When Dr. Devron arrives, Dr. Maerici and his team examine him and finds some anomalies. Before he can figure out what has happened, two more cases are found. A florist has killed his partner of many years and a drug lord has killed his lawyer. All of them have in common that they were very wealthy and were all patients of Dr. Maerici. They also have in common that one part of their brain has disassociated with the rest of their brain.

Maerici, Krantz and Dezner need to work quickly to find out what has gone wrong with these three and to stop the problem from becoming an epidemic.

Despite the dense science in this one, the characters were well-rounded and sympathetic. Dr. Maerici is especially well-drawn as we see him torn between his failing marriage and his near success with creating an independent artificial intelligence. We see him getting pressure from his boss to produce results and we see him guiding his group of residents and medical students.

Krantz and Dezner were also well-developed.
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