The Potrero Complex
by Amy L Bernstein
August 1-31, 2022 Virtual Book Tour
Praise for The Potrero Complex:
“Anyone immersed in the experience and possible outcomes of social change after this pandemic will find The Potrero Complex frightening and hard to put down, presenting thought-provoking insights on the progress and erosion of freedom in the name of safety and social preservation.”
D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“Bernstein sets us in a post-pandemic time just the barest bit beyond our own, on the way to a dystopia that feels too frightening and too familiar. A thoughtful, complex, well-executed novel—not a who-done-it? but a much scarier what-in-the-hell-is-happening?”
Robert Kanigel, author of Hearing Homer’s Songand The Man Who Knew Infinity
“An intelligently conceived tale of an unthinkable yet credible future. A novel of dark deeds in dark times.”
Karen S. Bennett, author of Beautiful Horseflesh
“A complicated tale of post-pandemic times in the not-so-distant future, where share cars, data phones, and respies figure into a plot that is scarily believable.”
Avery Caswell, author of Salvation
“Richly textured, with many evocative threads [that] explore the culture of a post-pandemic small town—a town that camouflages its disturbing secrets. A cautionary tale.”
Kathy Mangan, Professor Emeritus, McDaniel College, author of Taproot
“A scarily prescient novel that deftly explores the fraught connections between individuality, society, public policy, and technology.”
Courtney Harler, Harler Literary LLC
“An emotional, haunting tale leaves you with more questions than answers, and that’s a good thing. A memorable and timely reminder that there are no easy solutions when fear and conspiracy feed like hungry beasts and the innocent exist simply for the taking.”
PJ McIlvaine, screenwriter, author of My Horrible Year
Bernstein says she likes to make people think. She has sure done so with this novel. This is not a mystery so much as it is an exploration into the psyche of humankind when stressed by a very serious pandemic. We are made aware of people plagued by fear and the subsequent actions that fear can produce. The plot is a good example of what fear of the unknown can generate. In this case people fear the outbreak of a new strain of a virus more deadly than anything humans had experienced. We also see how some can use that fear to manipulate people with an aim to achieve power.
The mystery of the missing teens takes a back seat while the narrative centers on Rags and her current behavior based on her past, something of which we get hints. I did not find Rags a particularly likable character as she did cause some of her own troubles. But I did appreciate her standing firm in the face of opposition.
This is a good novel for readers who like to be challenged with what might happen based on an extrapolation of recent events. This story is a reminder of how quickly a situation and the leaders over it can go horribly wrong. While I would have preferred a neatly tied up ending, it is left a bit open. Perhaps more of Bernstein making us think about how we might see it all ending.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Regal House Publishing
Publication Date: August 2nd 2022
Number of Pages: 270
ISBN: 1646032500 (ISBN13: 9781646032501)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Regal House Publishing
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)