I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
CW: inter-partner violence, chronic illness, racism, death, pedophilia, mention of human trafficking, adultery, bigamy, blackmailing, childbirth, and graphic violence/descriptions of gore
Like with The One, this is fit for a Black Mirror episode. It was unputdownable (it’s now a word). I didn’t want to stop reading it because I was so, so intrigued by it.
The story is set in a future Britain. After Brexit. After everything else. Britain has passed laws to help integrate driverless cars into their world. Of course, they have to do inquests for deaths caused by these cars. That’s where Libby comes in. Libby is very against driverless cars, yet she’s chosen to be a part of the jury to decide whether the car or person harmed by the car is at fault for the crash. Most of these cases come out in favor of the car making the right choice.
However, everything goes wrong.
Eight people get into their driverless cars to get on with their day. Six of them are Shabana, Claire, Sam and Heid, Jude, and Sofia. Shabana is fleeing her abusive husband. Claire is pregnant. Sam and Heidi are a married couple, each going on with their day. Jude is down and out. And Sofia is an aging actress.
The Hacker takes over their cars, which have already been set to explode at some point. He breaks into the jury room, putting the people in it as jury for whether these people will survive the day. Because they — and the rest of the world — have to choose which one of the eight will live while the other seven will crash into each other. If anyone tries to stop the cars or gets in the way at all, the car will explode, killing the person inside and injuring other people.
It’s fucking madness.
I read this book so quickly. The thrills kept coming. It’s split into two parts. I loved Parts 1 and 2. God, they moved fast and the hits didn’t stop coming. I tried to cover everything in my content warnings, but I have a feeling that I missed something because of just how quickly the story went. I feel like some of the hits were lackluster just because there were harder hitting things. I know that the Hacker chose these people for his specific purpose, but it still was a lot and it kept veering towards too much.
I wish I could talk more about the plot, honestly. But you have to take my word for it that it moves at an insane rate for about 80% of the book. It was nonstop and I couldn’t put it down for the first two parts.
The next two? Eh.
While the first two parts were imaginative and insane, the ending was weak. I think it honestly could have ended at the second part and it would have left me wanting more rather than it dragging on for 20%. There were multiple “twists” that didn’t work. I just kept wanting it to end because it had gone too far. The story kept going even though it had stopped being interesting.
And that made it all fall flat. I sincerely think it could have ended around 80%. Sure, I might be writing about how the ending left me wanting more, but when I got more I wasn’t happy about it.
Still, a fantastic book. Just with a lackluster ending.
What was the last thriller that you loved?
Have you read this? Are you planning to?