Book Review: The Detainee

Sixty-three year old ex-Mafia enforcer Clancy, once known as the “Big Guy” is now a detainee on an island off the East Coast. What was once a residential area is now a grim place as the entire island is now the mainland’s garbage dump and that includes those members of society deemed incapable of maintaining a certain standard of living. Thanks to clever media manipulation, those considered disposable are typically the elderly although unmanageable kids end up there as well. Camera surveillance and killer satellites ensure island residents have no hope of escape yet as bad as those are, the fog is more dangerous as that is when gangs of armed kids rampage through the shantytown killing everyone they find. While looking for a safe place to hide from the gangs, Clancy discovers a series of tunnels beneath the mountains of garbage and in the process, perhaps a way for the discarded to escape captivity.

At a time when automotive companies decide it is more important to save fifty cents a vehicle with a defective part then to save lives, Liney’s dystopian world is frighteningly believable. Told from Clancy’s perspective, it seems strange for a former mob enforcer to think in terms of gosh and shucks instead of the more plausible cuss words or have such a low opinion his abilities. Still, Clancy makes a compelling character that grows into an entirely new role from his working life and secondary characters are equally well drawn. World leaders like to find convenient scapegoats for problems they themselves created. It is no different in Liney’s world where rather then blaming mismanagement and crooked politicians, the sick and elderly are blamed for destabilizing society by living too long and depleting entitlement programs. Looking at current headlines or listening to the “talking heads” of Fox News and other channels, this grim view of the future seems all too plausible and well worth reading.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.