by John Marrs is a pulse-pounding read. This riveting story
delves into the potentially destructive nature of technology
and how social media contributes to a mob mentality, where
people determine who will live and who will die.
Imagine a world where there are only driverless cars The rationale
is that there will be less accidents, less deaths, and more
safety. This is exactly what takes place in England because
of a government regulation banning all driver controlled cars.
Although car death tolls have gone down, they still happen.
Mandated is a jury to decide who's at fault for the deaths.
One such Vehicle Inquest has a jury made up of a government
agent, clergy, and medical professionals that includes Libby
Dixon, a mental health nurse. She is distrustful of driverless
cars after watching a terrible accident a few years ago, which
wiped out a family. As the jury was deliberating, a camera
shows how eight passengers of these cars, all from different
walks of life, have lost all control. Everyone watches in
horror as the doors are locked, and the passengers are told
they are going to die in 2.5 hours. The terrorist who's taken
control by hacking intends to crash the cars into one another
at full speed. One passenger will be spared after each is
allowed to plead their case. Each juror gets a vote, as well
as all those participating on social media. Yet, at the end
of their pleas, the hacker comes on at the end of the ten-minute
allotted period and reveals each hostage’s dark secret,
allowing no one an opportunity to explain or clarify their
“Purely from my imagination is having the UK government
ban driver cars. Although the five different levels of cars
are based on reality. I know there have been rumors of cars
being hacked. It is really frightening that it could happen.
In my story, it is based on so many things able to be hacked.
Why not have these types of cars hacked considering there
will be a huge network of cars able to talk to each other.”
What makes this story so scary is its plausibility. Almost
all technology is hackable, and social media has become an
albatross around one’s neck. As with TV shows like “American
Idol,” the social media audience will vote someone’s
fate. But this time, it is a life and death issue where the
passenger’s life literally hangs in the balance as social
media makes judgments, and decides who will live or die based
on thin and omitted facts. The entire world watches and votes
on social media using hashtags, able to observe the visual
feed as the events transpire.
“As I was writing, I thought of those on social media
can get caught up with mob mentality. I love and hate social
media. Although it is a valuable tool for myself personally,
it has its drawbacks. In this story, I went for the horribleness
of it. People allow themselves to get manipulated. They will
take what they read or hear at face value. I hope as time
goes on, people will wise up. Remember, years and years ago,
with the start of Tabloid newspapers, everyone believed everything
they read. Over time, it has become a bit of a joke. I think
that can happen with social media where people will become
more educated and start to doubt. I wanted to give those on
social media a part of the story and see where they would
go if they found out about a negative side of someone. They
never think of the reasoning behind this behavior and what
led to it. For some of the passengers, they are not as bad
as first appeared, and for others, they are worse than first
Not only is this story thrilling, but it is so very believable.
Readers will be terrified, frightened, and unsettled as they
experience the horror along with the passengers and jurors.
To add to the intensity is the twist at the end that has a