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“The only thing you need to know at this point is that in two hours and thirty minutes from now, it is highly likely that you will be dead.”

John Marrs has done it again and we think this may just be our favourite book by this Author to date. Wow…just wow! Honestly, if you haven’t picked up a book by this magnificent Author yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. Not only is John Marrs a master of the written word, but he is also a master of character development, storyline twists, suspense, relevance, intelligent writing and the gift of creating something inherently unique. John Marrs has mastered the art of compelling his readers by sucking them into his world, turning something conceivably possible into reality whilst fictionalising concepts that on the whole aren’t entirely unrealistic. Whilst creating a thrilling tale, he drops in current mainstream subjects, baring naked souls in a magnifying mirror which highlights the imperfections in humanity as well as the importance of issues close to every single one of us. We want to give a standing ovation to John Marrs for writing a fast-paced story of intensity, thrilling intrigue and suspense with a focus on human behaviour and the consequences of innovative greed and corruption.

“I have taken eight of your autonomous cars – the same vehicles your government promised were impossible to penetrate or corrupt – and taken them over to operate as I see fit. These passengers represent different walks of modern British life.”

On a ‘regular’ day eight individuals get into a self-drive car, which has now become the chosen and imposed way to commute, promoting safety as well as reducing congestion. Two of these people are sadly caught up in a horrific web of vengeance, whereas the other six have been chosen for reasons known only by the man dubbed, ‘The Hacker’.

“Sensitive material is supposed to be removed from the public domain and erased.”
“Nothing disappears any more. Everything is somewhere. All that’s private becomes public in the end.”

John Marrs skilfully introduces us to the six passengers, and in a few chapters, he ensures that we have a connection, an opinion and an emotional connection to each and every one of them. However, as with everything in life, we either see what we want to see or what we’re led to believe through what is cunningly portrayed. How well do you truly know someone from the persona that they’ve chosen to portray? Not only that, how many can hold a hand up and say they haven’t experienced regrets of actions or words in their past? Magnify this with the additional curse of social media and the ease of one clicking online hiding behind a screen.

“You cherry picked nuggets of information to encourage us and social media to vote in a particular way…You told the people what they wanted to hear to make their decision easier.”

Six people on way to a grand crescendo of inevitable death, each having to face their own truth and the judgement of the world that is watching online. Another group of individuals in charge of the harrowing decision forced upon them of who lives, whilst listening and watching the tragedy play out before their eyes through a direct live connection to every single car. A world watching, tweeting and voicing their opinions through hashtags; it’s a voyeuristic train crash of compulsion. The Hacker is the master puppeteer who forces truths and the unmasking of his passengers. What are the motives and why have these passengers been handpicked? What is the influence of social media and how much weight does it hold? At times we felt we were reading a truth, a compelling insight into the world we live in today with a somewhat advanced spin from which we couldn’t look away.

“When people are part of a mob, they stop being individuals, their inhibitions disappear, they don’t follow their normal moral compass.”
“But mob mentality and the anonymity of being behind a keyboard means people are braver when they’re together.”

We cannot stress how much we love John Marrs. He has written some of our favourite books and when we need that suspenseful thrill, the psychological drama and the relevance of humanity today, we know he will deliver every single time. Once again, through his fiction, John Marrs shines a spotlight on social issues today; the pitfalls of social media, mob mentality and standing in judgement with limited knowledge. His writing is outstanding, his characters have such depth and his storylines are addictive. An added bonus was a reference to the first book we read by this Author, The One. We didn’t move, we skipped breaths and we once again sat in compelled astonishment at just how bloody amazing John Marrs truly is!

Synopsis

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

The new gripping page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of THE ONE – soon to be a major Netflix series. 

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

‘It’s a real joy to read something totally original, smart and thought provoking.’ Peter James

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