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Big If by Mark Costello
Big If (a 2002 National Book Award nominee) contains two story lines. Vi Asplund is a Secret Service agent accompanying the vice president on a campaign swing for the presidency to her old home town in New Hampshire. Her brother, Jens, writes the software for the monsters in a hugely popular computer war game called Big If. Mark Costello captures the obsessions and frustrations of both groups, living on the edge and expecting catastrophe at any time as their story lines come together at the end. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls this book, "is not only hilarious, but meticulously researched, penetrating, and sometimes even touching."