Monday, April 18, 2011

Mark Russinovich

Mark Russinovich works at Microsoft in the Windows Azure product team as a Technical Fellow, Microsoft’s senior-most technical position. He earned a Ph.D. in computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and he joined Microsoft when it acquired Winternals Software, which he co-founded in 1996. He is also author of the popular Sysinternals Windows administration and diagnostic tools. He is coauthor of the Microsoft Press Windows Internals book series, a contributing editor for TechNet Magazine, and a senior contributing editor for Windows IT Pro Magazine.

His new novel is Zero Day.

Recently I asked Russinovich what he was reading. His reply:
One of the great blurbs my agent secured for Zero Day is by Nelson DeMille. I’d of course seen his books on the bestseller lists and on the display racks at the book store, but had never read one. When I told my friends about the blurb, many said that DeMille was among their favorite authors. The genres I spend most of my time in are thrillers, non-fiction and science fiction, but I decided that getting acquainted with the works of someone that so generously provided a blurb and that has such a great reputation with my reading friends would probably pay off.

I went to Amazon and found one of his early books, The Gold Coast, which begins a highly-rated series that focuses on the story of a mafia boss. The book starts with the boss moving into an old-money county near New York City that’s filled with abandoned and decaying mansions from the 1920’s. I’m about half way through and find it to be a thoughtful social commentary full of vivid descriptions and witty character interactions. The plot evolves so gradually and naturally that its structure is virtually hidden, moving you inexorably forward toward a conflict between the two main characters like rip-tide you don’t realize is there. I’m impressed with the easy way he has the characters reflect off each other to draw out their personalities. I can see why he’s such a favorite and know that I’m witness to a master at work. I know that this is just the first DeMille book for me of many.
Read an excerpt from Zero Day, and learn more about the book and author at the Zero Day website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Zero Day.

--Marshal Zeringue