The Passengers by John Marrs

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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?

My Review

Set in the not to distant future, we now have fully AI self driven cars that need no human control at all. Just tell it where you would like to go, sit back, relax, even have a glass of wine to two. Drink driving is a thing of the past with these new cars. The numbers of fatal car accidents has decreased exponentially but when a fatality involving one of the self drive cars does happen an inquest is opened to ascertain blame. Was the accident caused through fault of the AI or human fault.

The panel of 5 consists of a Member of Parliament and Transport Minister Jack Larsson, a barrister Fiona Prentice, a member of Religious Pluralists Muriel Davidson, a representative of the General Medical Council Doctor Matthew Nelson, and a randomly selected member of the public that is summoned for mandatory jury duty. This weeks mandatory jury member is Libby Dixon.

Libby is not a fan of level five driverless cars after witnessing a fatal collision killing 3 people. The car could have saved those three lives if it had swerved into an unoccupied parked car to miss them but instead chose to try to brake ultimately hit the two women and a child killing all three.

As the inquests begin on the second day, the unhackable, safe fully autonomous cars, eight cars have been hacked and taken over by an unknown, referred to as The Hacker. Each passenger has been told that they are all being taking to an undisclosed destination and that in two hours and thirty minutes from now, it is highly likely that they will be dead.

All of which is being broadcast live over social media. The Hacker is put up streams from inside each car as well as from cameras hidden in the conference room the inquest is being held, so not only can members of the public see the Passengers they get to see the faces of the jurors. The general public knows about the inquests into driverless car fatalities but up until now the members of that panel has been classified information.

The Hacker ups the ante by telling the jury and the public that they will each get a vote on which Passenger they would like to save. One person will live, the other seven are set on a collision course into each other as well as explosives in each of their cars.

How you go about prioritising one persons life over someone elses because if they don’t choose, all eight will die.

They jury get ten minuets per Passenger to interview them and find out why each person thinks they should be saved. Once all eight passengers have had their ten minutes voting begins, in the conference room and online across social media.

But each Passenger has a secret, a secret that the Hacker knows, and with each revelation the Hacker makes brings about some insanely clever plot twists!

From the first to the last page this book is a full throttle thriller that once you begin you wont be able to turn the pages fast enough. Filled with great characters, even the unlikable ones are portrayed so well that you cant help but feel the urge to give them a slap around the face yourself!

This is a brilliantly clever, twisty, jaw droppingly good book that you wont want to miss!

The Passengers will be out to buy in digital format on 01 April 2019 in the UK and the paperback edition on 30 May 2019. It is available to pre-order now from:

A huge Thank You to the author John Marrs, publishers Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing and NetGalley for my digital edition of this book in exchange for an honest, independent book review.

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