Rick Dakan’s novel, Geek Mafia, tells the exciting tale of Paul Reynolds, a recently unemployed comic book artist/videogame designer who befriends a wild crew of techie con men and women living in Silicon Valley. His relationship with the crew (and its attractive head con woman, Chloe) blossoms as they help Paul to get back at his former co-workers, and while doing so, give him a glimpse of how thrilling life can be when it is lived “completely off the grid.” Throughout the novel, Paul vies for the acceptance and approval of both Chloe and her crew. It all comes to a head when he devises a con of his own and presents it to the crew with the promise that if his plan does not work out, he will share the money they helped him scheme out of his former co-workers with all of them.
During the weeks Paul spends cavorting with Chloe and her crew, he finds himself falling in love with not only Chloe, but with the wild life that she and her crew lead. They party hard, and work equally as hard, sustaining themselves by ripping off those they believe deserve it, or simply find to be easy targets. But as Paul attempts to put his own plan into motion with the crew, he also comes to see the dangerous side of living in their nonconformist world. He also learns of secrets and deceit between friends and crew members.
Geek Mafia is an engaging tale about those who choose to live their lives rejecting mainstream society while existing parallel to it. Living under the radar and renouncing all the societal norms and obligations that govern our daily existence is an idea many people find sexy, and many of us have fantasized about it. The book does not delve deeply into the real implications that would accompany the lifestyle lived by the book’s characters, but reality checks would make the book much less fun to read.