A heart-pounding glimpse into a lesser known tale of American Terror.
Jeff Bailey’s debut novel, The Defect, is an exemplary exploration in the positions that internationals and first and second generation immigrants take when their feet reach U.S. soil — to embrace or shun the proud and infectious American spirit. The author’s unique background in nuclear science immerses the reader into the work-life of Indian-American operations supervisor, Brian Sing, and his day to day exploits in the Desert Canyons power plant in Southern California from one shift to the next — like some kind of well-rehearsed clockwork he’s seen many times before with minimal variance to the status quo. As the story progresses, Bailey educates readers on the specificities and requirements that a role as Brian’s would entail, ultimately leaving us all thankful such a person knows which controls to press, maintain, and monitor in this setting. [Admittedly, I am not one of those people and have gained great admiration for such since reading this.] The descriptive methods and technical prowess ever familiar to the author is healthily peppered across the pages in this page-turning nail biter [and I would imagine much easier to palate than the thousands of pages he likely had to consume to carry such adeptness in his work] — effortlessly catching readers up to speed with processes and procedures in the plant, a seemingly insurmountable task in a mere 238 pages. Well done, Mr. Bailey! No so fast, though… a contrasting immigrant plant worker to Brian named Alex James takes center stage in the story as he and other characters represent radicalized religious extremism, furthermore reinforcing the unsettling reality that manipulation, exploitation, and hate can come from abroad without setting foot on American soil. At some point, a gut-wrenching reality overarches the novel’s efficient historical narrative as the reader accepts an unfortunate truth — without ample checks and balances, nuclear devastation to the blessed and beautiful, “land of the free” is a mere arm’s length away when left in the wrong hands. The Defect was uncomfortable on an emotional level at times to see the thought processes of the story’s antagonists/conspirators and their hatred toward this great nation and its successes, but, nonetheless, eye opening and thought provoking to see through an uncommon set of lenses to that of Protestants, Catholics, or Jews as many other novels regularly cover. All in all, I enjoyed the book.
Pick up your copy of The Defect from Amazon today!