Take it away, M.H.
* * *
Crimes of the Future
by Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion
writing together as M.H. Mead
All societies need laws. Since laws tell you what not to do, then they exist because some fool made them necessary. But laws change when society changes, mostly because enough people challenged the laws by breaking them. This is where we come in. Writers are always on the lookout for conflict and what better conflict than a hero at odds with his own world?
We're fascinated by characters who flout conventions, rebels who bend and break the strictures of a new society. We love writing about them because we often ponder how much easier—and maybe more fun—it would be to violate a law rather than follow it. (Harry, in particular, would like to see speed restrictions on the freeway limited by individual permit determined by a test of skill.) In real life, we consider the consequences and the greater good, and we obey the law. But we admit that we get a vicarious thrill when we let our characters break it.
Morris Payne of Fate’s Mirror is an online pirate who steals the privacy and security of other computer networks. Aidra Scott of The Caline Conspiracy is a mother trying to instill values in her son, but she’s also a private detective who will stoop to some B&E to close her case.
Now, in Taking the Highway, Andre LaCroix is a police officer and thus a defender of society. But he moonlights as a professional hitchhiker—or "fourth"—which means he's seen as an element of counter-culture.
In the newly-invigorated Detroit of the future, every highway is restricted to cars with four passengers. Those who come up short must either take surface streets through dangerous neighborhoods or hire fourths to complete their carpools. Part warm body, part social chameleon, fourths have become an accepted part of the commuting landscape. And if fourthing is seen as a bit unsavory, at least it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash. Or to end up dead. Someone is killing fourths and homicide detective Andre LaCroix seems to be the only one who cares. As a cop, he must solve the murders. As a fourth, he must avoid becoming the next victim.
Then LaCroix discovers that the dead fourths were terrorists sabotaging the highways, causing horrific crashes. Worse, his own nephew may be involved. Continuing the investigation paints a target on his family and leaves the terrorists free to strike again. Suddenly, he isn’t sure that bringing the killer to justice is the right thing to do.
Torn between upholding the law and breaking it for the greater good, it's only by combining his talents in both his jobs that LaCroix is able to triumph, and help fourths gain respect along the way.
Society will never be the same.
About the authors: Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion write near-future thrillers under the shared pen name M.H. Mead. To find out more about them, or Taking the Highway, or if you have a great key lime pie recipe to share, visit them at www.yangandcampion.com
Taking the Highway is available on Amazon, B&N, and Kobo.
* * *
Get an ebook copy of Taking the Highway. Just leave a comment below with your name/handle and a email address. You have until 8pm PST Sunday December 9th to get your comments in. Then we'll do a drawing and announce the winner on Monday's post.
Quick! Get your entries in!