Friday 28 October 2022

Book ~ "Look Both Ways" (2022) Linwood Barclay

From GoodreadsThe media have descended on Garrett Island, a small isolated community that is the setting of a visionary experiment. All the residents’ cars were sent to the mainland and for the past month the islanders have been “driving” the Arrival, a revolutionary autonomous vehicle. With a simple voice command, an Arrival will take you wherever you want to go and because the fleet is networked and aware of one another, car travel is now 100% safe. The future, it seems, has arrived.

As the excitement reaches a fever pitch, Sandra Montrose -  islander, single mom and public relations executive - prepares for Arrival Inc.'s flashy press event. Sandra is more than ready for this new world. Her husband died after falling asleep at the wheel and she’s relieved that her two teens, Archie and Katie, will never need driver’s licenses.

But as the celebratory day gets underway, disaster strikes. A visiting journalist has vanished, possibly murdered. Before long, the Arrivals run amok, no longer taking orders from their passengers. They’re starting to organize. They’re beginning to hunt. And they seem hell-bent on killing any human they encounter.

Is this all just a tragic accident, a technological malfunction with deadly consequences? Or were the vehicles programmed to act this way in a cruel act of corporate sabotage? Or could it be that the Arrivals have a mind of their own?

Arrival Inc. has designed a revolutionary car that drives itself ... there's no steering wheel because you don't need one. You name the car and it will do whatever you tell it to do ... they are electric so all you have to remember is to plug it in.

For the last month, the residents of Garrett Island were given one to use and their own cars were moved to the mainland. Arrival Inc. is having a huge media event and Sandra, a widow, a mother of two teens and a local PR rep, is organizing it.  Lisa, the CEO, and her assistant, are there to present about how amazing their cars are. Unbeknownst to anyone, Kyle, the owner of a rival self-driving car maker is also there. He hates Lisa because he thinks she was the one who destroyed his company and wants revenge.

After the presentation, Lisa leads the reporters outside to show off the cars ... and that's when everything goes to hell. The cars suddenly have a mind of their own and they are intent on hunting and killing all the humans on Garrett Island and beyond. Panic sets in as everyone tries to get off the island and/or out of the path of the out of control cars.

While Sandra is managing the wrath of Lisa and her assistant, she has the comfort of knowing that her two children are safe and sound at home ... but are they?

I've read many books by this author and I liked this one ... it's different from his usual style. It is written in third person perspective from many points of view, depending on where the action was.  There was a twist toward the end and I'm still wondering whether I am okay with it. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

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