When a family moves into a remote high-tech mansion equipped with next-generation artificial intelligence that can control the house’s every function—a buried secret leads to terrifying and catastrophic consequences.
Nellie is programmed to be the perfect digital assistant. But something sinister lurks in her source code—and now she’s the perfect killer.
When Billy Stafford and his wife move into their house designed with every comfort in mind, he thinks it will be the perfect chance to work on their marriage and to restart his career. A brilliant computer engineer fallen on hard times, Billy’s been hired by his former business partner to test out Nellie: a cutting-edge artificial intelligence program hardwired into the house. All Billy has to do is fix a few bugs in the system, which sounds easy enough.
But as winter settles in and Billy and his wife are left alone in the woods, a dark reality begins to emerge. Nellie’s problems are much worse than a few technology glitches. Infused with the sinister history of the mansion and her own creator’s sins, she has, in fact, become a killing machine. And the only way to escape is to give her what she wants…
A gripping technothriller about AI gone rogue, The Mansion is “a thrilling story that combines modern technology with old fears” (Shelf Awareness).
In this decent if flawed horror thriller from Boone (the Hatching trilogy), Billy Stafford and Shawn Eagle spend months together in a cabin near a derelict mansion Shawn owns in Upstate New York, developing the revolutionary software that will later become the cornerstone of Shawn's multibillion-dollar tech company. Joining the two is Emily Wiggins, who's at first Shawn's girlfriend but eventually ends up marrying Billy. After parting from Shawn, Billy and Emily fall heavily into debt, and Billy hits the bottle. Two decades after those initial months in the cabin, Shawn offers the now sober Billy, who's living in Seattle, a job, even knowing that Billy blames Shawn for his situation. Shawn has fixed up the mansion, but he needs Billy to complete the next generation of smart home software that they abandoned years ago. Billy can't turn down the money, so he and Emily return to New York to begin work. Each gradually notices disconcerting inconsistencies in the software they are working on. Boone is slow, though, to move from creepy to terrifying, so that the final confrontation seems rushed. Despite the surfeit of backstory and uneven pacing, technophobes will enjoy this "bad computer" tale.)