New thriller by Lafayette author explores technology’s dark side

Lafayette. Ashraf Elghandour’s story of love and friendship explores politics, religion, and other profound themes.

| 01 Feb 2021 | 11:51

Politics, religion, culture, a pandemic, good, evil, and the defining factor — technology — put society on the “Tip of the Needle” in Ashraf Elghandour’s stunning new thriller.

The book is a modern-day Adam and Eve story filled with insight.

The idea for the book came to Elghandour, a resident of Lafayette, as he drove his sons to a distant soccer game. “We started talking about technology and their touch screens, and I asked them what would be the next technological innovation,” he said.

The boys weren’t sure. Elghandour then asked, What if your thoughts controlled your computer?

“Observing the pace of technological changes and the total disregard for the unintended consequence, led me to believe that this was the proverbial apple in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, and to the realization that technology has been the main contributor to our social discourse and the extreme polarization of people with differing opinions,” he said. “I wondered if this is the tipping point in human history and the disruption of the balance between good and evil that maintained us for so long.”

Elghandour wrote the first paragraph on an overseas flight home about two years ago. From there, he worked on the book as time allowed, one chapter leading to another.

An unlikely friendship

The main characters are Nader and Addis, intelligent high school students who live on opposite sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in Israel. They bond through the unlikely friendship between their fathers: one a prominent Imam, and the other an influential Rabbi. As the idealistic religious leaders attempt to bring their followers closer, one is violently assassinated. The path of each lad’s life is altered forever.

Fast forward ten years, and Nader and Addis are rising stars in their respective fields in the United States. Their paths cross again when they’re brought together by the love and ambition of Sacha Zimmerman, the super-smart daughter of wealthy tech giant Zack Zimmerman.

“As each grapples with their feelings for Sacha, they’re drawn into opposing sides of Zimmerman’s plan to change the world with his breakthrough biotechware technology,” Elghandour said. “The worldwide release of this technology has the potential to eliminate many of the scourges on humanity but risks tipping the balance of power between good and evil.”

It’s a time and place in which technological advances are overtaking humanity’s ability to identify unintended consequences.

“Humanity becomes more willing to relinquish privacy and free will for the promises offered by technological innovations,” Elghandour said. “The universe is balanced on the tip of a needle. In a modern-day story of Adam and Eve and the lure of the proverbial apple called technology, Nader, Addis, and Sacha must each make decisions based on friendship, love, loyalty, and religion, as Zimmerman’s plan has the potential to take him to the presidency and beyond.”

A love of entrepreneurship and finance

Elghandour was born in Cairo, Egypt, and immigrated to the United States at age 14 with his family. He earned his bachelor of science degree and masters in business administration from Montclair State University. He has spent most of his career in the financial industry. Although he enjoys his full-time job in finance, he’s also developed a love of entrepreneurship and has two patent-pending bikes in the works.

The book is published by Archway Publishing, a self-publishing company in partnership with the venerable Simon & Schuster publishing company to help authors reach their desired audience.

“I chose Archway Publishing because they offer a la carte services, so you can pick those that you want,” Elghandour said. “I’ve been very happy with them.”

To order a copy of “Tip of the Needle” or visit, call 844-669-3957. The book is also available on Amazon (