"Civil Terror: Gridlock", The First Installment in the Civil Terror Series by J. Luke Bennecke

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What if the technology behind self-driving cars became a terrorist threat… A FAST-PACED THRILLER FROM REAL-LIFE TRAFFIC ENGINEER ABOUT THE LOOMING AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE REVOLUTION

Traffic congestion and 30,000+ annual car-related fatalities could all go the way of the 8-track player.

Sitting in traffic is the worst. We’ve all experienced the drudgery of hours upon hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic that has seemingly no good explanation. What if traffic jams were not only a nuisance, but also an actual source of danger? With self-driving cars being tested across the world, and computer systems at the helm, this possibility is not as far-fetched as it might have once seemed. Civil Engineer J. Luke Bennecke uses his wealth of knowledge on the subject to take a fictional dive head first into the question of what might happen if we, as a society, fail to account for the risks associated with the technological advancements of autonomous vehicles in his new page-turning novel, "Civil Terror: Gridlock" (Jaytech Publishing, March 2018). Readers will find themselves immediately hooked by Bennecke’s uber-timely, eerily believable escapade, and will be counting down the days until the next installment.

Kicking off what will eventually be a four-book series, "Civil Terror: Gridlock" centers on Civil Engineer Jake Bendel. Far from the usual genre hero, Bendel works for the federal government where he has designed and implemented a national self-driving network. For three months, fatal accidents and traffic congestion across the U.S. become all but obsolete. But when a terrorist cell weaponizes Jake’s system, suddenly the technology that was his success story is putting many lives on the line. Bendel and his unlikely partner, a rogue FBI agent named Jose Cavanaugh, must play a deadly game of strategy with a terrorist organization to try and head them off at the pass. When the terrorists’ activities threaten the life of Bendel’s adult daughter, the game becomes even more serpentine, and he must make an impossible decision to save her life or save millions of American lives at risk on freeways everywhere.

While "Civil Terror: Gridlock" is pure entertainment, it is also rooted in the reality of the technology and current events of 2018, seeming truly plausible. Part of what makes the book so immersive and convincing is the real-life knowledge Bennecke brings to the table — he is a licensed professional civil engineer with nearly thirty years of experience.

“Civil engineering permeates the bedrock of our society,” says Bennecke. “The self-driving revolution is looming, and if we proceed with caution, and rely on smart people with transportation engineering experience, the changes could truly be great. Traffic congestion and the 30,000+ annual fatalities associated with cars could all go the way of the 8-track player.”

Bennecke’s experience is evident in his handling of, and commentary on, the technology and infrastructure challenges in the book, but he infuses the story with just enough fun and adventure that it never seems heavy. Fans of smart, fast-paced thrillers, like those by Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy, will gravitate towards "Civil Terror: Gridlock" and be thrilled they got their hands on the first installment of this promising series.

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Emma Boyer
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Jason Bennecke
since: 05/2016
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