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Social Engineer

(Brody Taylor Thrillers #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  423 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Whose side is he on? The drug company curing dementia or the animal rights activists protesting outside?

Brody Taylor loves hacking humans. After all, people are the weakest link in all computer systems. If he's hired to break into your network, he will find and exploit the weak point. You.

The problem with always manipulating people is that even those closest to you don't t
Kindle Edition, 88 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Brookmans Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Veronica ⭐️
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, short-story
If you are from the era before social media and the WWW you may become a little less trusting and a little more paranoid after reading this novella.

Brody Taylor plays on people’s willingness to help and their belief that most people are honest and sincere to get the information he needs to infiltrate a company. It’s a sad and dangerous world we now inhabit.

Cleverly plotted and all very plausible, Brody Taylor is a white hat hacker and goes through step by step how he hacked into a company’s comp
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
*** Note: I received review copy of this book from author, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Social Engineer, novella of Brody Taylor Thrillers series, is the introduction of main character of the series Brody Taylor and his work. What he does for living, how he carry out his work and justification of his job why it is white hat not black hat with thrilling clever plot and love story. Blurb itself tells what’s in the story.

Brody, shrewd intelligent social engineer and pentester earned by mani
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
Mistook this 86 page "story" for the first complete novel in the series. This reminded me of a trial effort by Ian Sutherland to try his hand at writing and see where it would lead. Glad he decided to, or was encouraged enough to, take on a full length novel.

Totally unnecessary to read this one to get the history and background needed; but, I'm still appreciate it.
Mike Robbins
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Social Engineer is a novella, not a full-length book, but it’s long enough to get your teeth into. It’s the story of Brody Taylor, a so-called “white hat” hacker, who works as a consultant checking security systems for companies. Brody runs a check on HTL, a drug company that is getting close to a cure for Alzheimer’s – something many people would love to steal. Brody does his stuff and finds the company a lot more vulnerable than it thinks – but not always in the ways it would have expected.

Shirley Ford
Feb 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I was flicking through a list of books to pay for and download I probably wouldn’t have chosen this book, but because I had been offered a free copy I read it and I am so glad I did, it was a really good story, had me hooked right from the beginning. The story is about Brody Taylor, a social engineer – or white hacker – a specialist in his field, employed by companies to check whether their systems are safe from ‘black’ hackers. Brody points out all the ways in which hackers can infiltrate th ...more
Denise Lancaster
Entertaining and well-written.
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very short piece, so establishing the character of Brody and expounding on his line of work as well as his love life in so few pages, while keeping everything interesting enough to pique readers' interest and prompt them to give the books in the series a read was no small task; however, Ian Sutherland did quite well in accomplishing all of those goals.

Brody is an intriguing character: he's remarkably clever, though he and the truth are not always well-acquainted, and he tends to not c
Diane Lynch
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Social Engineer By Ian Sutherland
Completely new type of book about a man who is Social Engineer. He checks computer systems for weaknesses that would allow hackers in. He goes beyond weakness through a computer keyboard. He looks for weaknesses within the companies staff. He pushed his way into a job that he thought would help
him win over a girl. He is self employed and finds his own jobs through his own channels for lack of a better word. Good guy or bad guy. Maybe somewhere in between.
Anna Bendewald
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm falling behind on my work because I can't put this book down. Is it wrong that I want to become a hacker? Okay, since I'm not very tech savvy, maybe I'll just go change my passwords and keep reading...almost finished...don't post any spoilers guys!

Finished! Whoo! Ian Sutherland's Social Engineer is a page-turner! He's created a modern spy who is marvelously complex, I was cheering for him even with his flaws and was hoping his love interest could forgive. I'm haunted by that USB stick and wh
R.M. Gauthier
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Social Engineer
What a great start to a new series. The action starts from page one and continues to the end making the reader want more.

It was a short read but packed a punch! The world of hacking is a mystery to me, but I could follow this story no problem and it was filled with mystery and intrigue.

Take a chance and grab a copy!
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I will do a full review - this is a novella - I really, really liked Brody but the ending was...well..not as good as I had hoped. This is a prequel to the books series which now I really want to read.

Allyn Nichols
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic read from start to finish. Solid and well designed protagonist and a well researched plot. A real five star tale. Honestly can't wait to get stuck into the second and third books. A character and theme which holds so much potential. Certainly looking forward to more in the future. ...more
Morris Graham
Too short, listed as 88 pages on Amazon. It literally changes percentage on my kindle every time I went to the next page. What there was was good, but it ended too quick and ended flat. You could have kept the story going with the police looking for him for the video, the Russian mob finding out who he is, and Mel forgiving him and both are on the run.
Kimia Wood
This book has a lot going for it: secret agent vibe, engaging plotting style, and the feeling of a learner’s guide for real-world hacking infiltration.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend it without some major caveats.

I’m a fan of "Mission Impossible". The *old*, television "Mission Impossible" – the first few seasons where Jim Phelps (Peter Graves) or Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) headed up the team, and brilliant planning, synchronized timing, and exceptional team-work were more important than gadgets
Charles Ray
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brody Taylor is a ‘white hat’ hacker who specializes in using social engineering to get into IT systems – to help organizations protect themselves from ‘black hat’ hackers who would do them harm. He’s hired by Dr. Robert Moorcroft, head of R&D for a company that’s creating a new drug to treat dementia, when the company thinks it’s being threatened by Chinese hackers.
Social Engineer by Ian Sutherland is a novella that is the prequel to his longer work Invasion of Privacy, which introduces Brody t
David Baird
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nice short story to lead nicely into the next book in the series. It's a great introduction story.. not too long and not too short. Just the right amount to peak your interest.

The book follows a white hat hacker who falls in love.. it's quite a good tale.

Only bit i didn't like was near the end when a section of text was repeated from earlier in the book, it was required for the story i understand but i found myself skim reading this.. i wonder if it could have been scripted better to refer to th
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is right up my interest alley. It takes readers well beyond black hat hacking to how these criminals use what is called 'social engineering'--digging into people's lives to uncover detail to enable them to break into even the most secure computer systems. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of pentests--using ethical hackers to show corporations where the vulnerabilities in their networks are.

For those who aren't geeky nerds (like me), the author walks that line well. You will be wr
Eeva Lancaster
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-reviewed
The fascinating concept of social engineering kept me reading on. As techno-thrillers go, the data was sufficient to maintain interest, although I would have liked it better if the author went deeper into the details. The lead, Brody Taylor is a different kind of hero... is he a hero or a villain? I can't decide. Cause the author is right... how can you trust a hacker? White Hat or not.

All in all, a fascinating read.
Sean Randall
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is free, what's not to like? It's also a seriously good story (Jacobson, pwned, loved it) and a clever way of getting into Ian's writing without having to buy something. But if you are getting this for your Kindle, save yourself having to go back to buy the follow-on novel by getting them both at the same time. It's worth it, trust me. ...more
Joselyn  Moreno Burke
I received this book from the author for an honest review.

And I should said it was an interesting and very thoughfull short read, it gave me a lot to think about social engineering itself and everything that it implies.

It was pretty immersive for a 2 hours read actually, so I will recommend it to all techy lovers to give it a try.
Chip Luonuansuu
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A 21st century thriller. A computer hacker manipulates technology, and people to achieve his goals. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Allyson Abbott
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-pleasure
A great short story outlining a white hackers trail as he gathers evidence to highlight animal cruelty in a pharmaceutical company. An enjoyable read
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
A decent and light read with a few shortcomings. Social Engineer has an urge to explain fairly basic technical terms, making this a more suitable read for those disenfranchised with technology. The pop-culture references are a bit too hackneyed for my tastes and could do without extra elaboration, e.g. "these aren't the Droids you're looking for" is promptly explained in some length as a scene from Star Wars. Sutherland also writes French pronunciations in such a way that sounds closer to Britis ...more
Sherry Ellis
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Social Engineer is a prequel to a series known as the Brody Taylor Thrillers. Its purpose is to introduce readers to Brody Taylor and his world.

Brody is a "white hat" hacker, meaning he is a good hacker (versus black hat hackers who are the bad guys). His job is to reveal weaknesses in a business's security system. By the end of the novella, readers will have a good sense of what he's all about and the challenges he has to face due to his manipulative lifestyle.

One of the issues in reading this
Roberta Franklin
Have you ever wondered how hackers get access to even the most carefully guarded places, how they manage to extract vital and top secret information from any sort of company which they could sell to the Russians or the Chinese if they wanted to? Let Brody Taylor show you - he is one; a white hat hacker, though, not a black hat one, to the good fortune of the pharma company from which he steals the data of an immensely important project...

This is a really fascinating story spiked with absolutely
Saffron Mavros
This book was phenomenal when I started reading. Many times in between, it caught my breath. It had its "wow" moments, I won't deny that. Yet, towards the end, it started getting a wee bit stretched. It picks up again when the author reveals that the whole plot was orchestrated. The way the beginning connects to the end, it is mind-blowing.

When you are waiting for something interesting to happen, the book abruptly gets over. It kind of leaves you hanging. And then you go like, "Hey, at least te
Paul Jerimy
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-techno
I'm not a short story / novella kind of guy, but I wanted to read this before hitting the rest of the Brody Taylor books. That said, I enjoyed this novella. It got my interest quickly and was very descriptive for such a short story.

The "hacking" ideas were well executed and realistic. Obviously they're a little dramatized and the protagonist got lucky, but that's the point of a story. I'm glad the romantic threads had a point, since I wasn't really looking for that from a techno thriller.
This was a novella written in the POV of Dr. Moorcock, the head of a pharmaceutical company, and Brody Taylor, a "white hat" computer hacker. There is so little of Moorcock's POV that it doesn't seem warranted, especially when the opening scene in Moorcock's POV is repeated nearly word for word at the end of the novella, but in Taylor's POV. The ending was rushed and flat, and with the repetition of the first scene, I literally thought I'd lost my place on my Kindle. ...more
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories, fiction
A very nice little surprise book that I thoroughly enjoyed (I read through it in exactly two sittings) about a very clever con by a guy that sounded more like the protagonist of Mr. Robot than anything else

Incredibly cool intro to the world of Brody Taylor that definitely got me intrigued and thinking about what next to pick up from the series.
Ollie Gee
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Concise introduction to a character – very useful!

This short book acts as a fine introduction to the character, Brody Taylor, who is the protagonist in the first full length book in the Deep Web Thriller Series. It is well written and provides a snapshot of who Brody is and what he represents. Very much looking forward to reading ‘Invasion of Privacy’.
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Ian Sutherland is a crime thriller author. Leveraging his career in the IT industry, Ian's stories underscore the threats we face from cybercrime as it becomes all too prevalent in our day-to-day lives.

Learn more about Ian at

Other books in the series

Brody Taylor Thrillers (3 books)
  • Invasion of Privacy (Brody Taylor Thrillers, #2)
  • Taking Up Serpents (Brody Taylor Thrillers, #3)
  • The Brody Taylor Thrillers (The Brody Taylor Thrillers, #1-3)

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