Book: Swerve - A Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery (Book 8) by Mike Markelcategories: Book, Alcoholism, LDS, Self-Driving Cars, Police Procedural, Women Sleuths, Detective, Cybercrime, Crime Fiction
Mike Markelabout this book: In each of my detective books I try to focus on a timely topic. My previous book, Players, focused on traumatic brain injuries in football players; The Reveal focused on campus pornography; Deviations focused on lone-wolf extremists. In Swerve, I focus on self-driving cars and cybercrime.
Self-driving cars are related to cybercrime in an important way: by their very nature, self-driving cars will be connected to the Internet when they drive. That's one of the main ways they will "know" where they are. And if they're connected to the Internet, they will be hacked. In fact, the possibility that cars will be hacked is one of the main obstacles that might prevent them from becoming ubiquitous. In other words, the challenges in introducing them will not be purely technical--how to make them safe and effective vehicles--but human--how to make them so that they cannot be hacked and held for ransom.
Because of this relationship between the cars and cybercrime, I incorporated a thread about ransomware into the plot. High-tech companies, such as the one at the heart of my plot, are attacked by hackers every day.
From another perspective, however, my story is not really about self-driving cars. Certainly, I did a lot of research and tried to make the story technically accurate and plausible, but like all of my other novels, Swerve is really about the seven deadly sins: pride, envy, wrath, lechery, avarice, gluttony, and sloth. (Actually, the book doesn't contain much about gluttony, although one of my recurring characters is obese.)
Self-driving cars are a phenomenally exciting technology, but they will prosper--or fail--according to how effectively people learn how to develop and co-exist with them. As usual, human frailty poses the greatest impediment as we introduce this new technology.
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