Ann Aulis visits Amsterdam with her boyfriend, Peter. All she wants to do is see the Anne Frank Museum. They’re befriended, though, by an outgoing Dutch couple who invite them to stay at their home. They wake up in the morning, though, to find the couple and four other house guests brutally murdered. Ann and Peter flee to London just as Muslim riots erupt in Amsterdam and other Dutch cities, but the violence follows them across the channel. Finally able to get a flight back to the U.S., they’re met upon arrival by security agents who take Peter into custody, transporting him to the U.S. confinement facility at Guantanamo Bay. Soon, simmering discontent begins to erupt in the U.S., accompanied by anti-Muslim reactions and economic instability, rocking Ann’s world.
Amsterdam 2012 by Ruth Francisco is dystopian fiction at its scariest. Such stories are usually set in some far future time, but this one takes place in our present day, and while it is fiction, it contains a large enough kernel of possibility, based on real-life events, that it chills the blood.
Francisco has spun a tale that many will write off as pure fantasy, but she’s done it in a manner that will give even skeptics pause. While the probability of such events unfolding are slim, there’s that element of ‘possibility’ that will make you think; could this really happen here?
It has a few typos, but nothing that impedes reading. I give it four stars.