« Reading List: We Meant Well | Main | Gnome-o-gram: Goldman Sachs Meets a Muppet »

Friday, March 23, 2012

Reading List: Domestic Enemies

Bracken, Matthew. Domestic Enemies. Orange Park, FL: Steelcutter Publishing, 2006. ISBN 978-0-9728310-2-4.
This is the second novel in the author's “Enemies” trilogy, which began with Enemies Foreign and Domestic (EFAD) (December 2009). In After America (August 2011) Mark Steyn argues that if present trends continue (and that's the way to bet), within the lives of those now entering the workforce in the United States (or, at least attempting to do so, given the parlous state of the economy) what their parents called the “American dream” will have been extinguished and turned into a nightmare along the lines of Latin American authoritarian states: bifurcation of the society into a small, wealthy élite within their walled and gated communities and impoverished masses living in squalor and gang-ruled “no go” zones where civil society has collapsed.

This book picks up the story six years after the conclusion of EFAD. Ranya Bardiwell has foolishly attempted to return to the United States and been apprehended and sent to a detention and labour camp, her son taken from her at birth. When she manages to escape from the camp, she tracks down her son as having been given for adoption to the family of an FBI agent in New Mexico, and following the trail she becomes embroiled in the seething political storm of Nuevo Mexico, where separatist forces have taken power and seized upon the weakness of the Washington regime to advance their agenda of rolling back the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and creating a nation of “Aztlan” from the territories ceded by Mexico in that treaty.

As the story progresses, we see the endpoint of the reconquista in New Mexico, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and how opportunistic players on all sides seek to exploit the chaos and plunder the dwindling wealth of the dying empire for themselves. I'm not going to get into the plot or characters because almost anything I say would be a spoiler and this story does not deserve to be spoilt—it should be savoured. I consider it to be completely plausible—in the aftermath of a financial collapse and breakdown of central authority, the consequences of mass illegal immigration, “diversity”, and “multiculturalism” could, and indeed will likely lead to the kind of outcome sketched here. I found only one technical quibble in the entire novel (a turbine-powered plane “coughing and belching before catching”), but that's just worth a chuckle and doesn't detract in any way from the story. This the first thriller I recall reading in which a precocious five year old plays a central part in the story in a perfectly believable way, and told from his own perspective.

This book is perfectly accessible if read stand-alone, but I strongly recommend reading EFAD first—it not only sets the stage for the mid-collapse America in which this story plays out, but also provides the back story for Ranya Bardiwell and Bob Bullard who figure so prominently here.

Extended excerpts of this and the author's other novels are available online at the author's Web site.

Posted at March 23, 2012 22:15