The countryside, the near future.
Gabrielle Hunter, husband Leo and son Stefan drive to a remote luxury retreat for a spring break at the invitation of new client Art Fisher, who will be there with his wife, Polly, and daughter Fleur. As Gabrielle’s family approach the retreat, their car hits a deer. Investigating, they discover it was dying already, from a bullet wound.
The two families settle in. Stefan falls into a relaxed companionship with Fleur, while Leo finds himself drawn to Polly. Gabrielle, meanwhile, has some unresolved issues around Art.
Off-grid and away from the Areas, Leo and Art jockey for position. Subtle shifts of power are magnified. Gabrielle and Polly have their own secrets. In the garden, the fruit and vegetables ripen too early, while an unidentified shooter continues to take down animals in the wood. Stefan and Fleur seek an escape route into a Virtual Reality darkened by the shadow of war.
The family holiday that already resembles a bad dream soon turns into a waking nightmare.
‘Captures the elusive nature of dreams and nightmares brilliantly. It's original, cinematic, and very clever.’ —Lucie McKnight Hardy
‘The Complex is a lucid, menacing and utterly captivating novel, as elegantly designed as a labyrinth but as touching and human and chaotic as your own mind. Its hypnotic blend of technological horror and psychological accuracy, the intensity of its troubled characters and deeply eerie location worked its way into my dreams and I don’t think it’s going away. Like the very best speculative fiction it feels less like speculation than a present-day novel somehow transported back to us from the near future, not so much to warn us as to let us see more clearly where we are now.’ —Luke Kennard
‘Enigmatic and unsettling, with elements of Black Mirror and J. G. Ballard, The Complex is a gripping tale about the chilling, disorientating effect of technology on our lives.’ —Trevor Mark Thomas
‘An unsettling novel which taps into a range of human emotions, The Complex is a surprisingly thrilling book. Analysing the darker side of technology is a popular novel theme, however The Complex doesn’t ever feel tired or repetitive; instead, it manages to hand over a great deal of trust to the reader, finishing with an ambiguous, faded ending that is cinematic in every sense. Walters has developed a unique and thoughtful idea, transforming it into an accomplished novel that will hook even sceptics of sci-fi fiction.’ —Mariah Feria, Storgy