Author: Alfred Wellnitz
ISBN: 978-1-4502-3432-0
Publisher: iUniverse

The opening chapter sets the tone for Alfred Wellnitz's PushBack that takes place in the year 2033. The United States had not taken appropriate action to defuse its fiscal time bomb, wherein the country's trade deficit was ridiculously at an all-time high, foreigners were financing the country, and the president was trying to assure everyone that there was nothing to worry about. Then it all happened, the dollar crashes and all hell breaks loose, and by the end of a week the Euro could buy one thousand U.S. dollars, unemployment zooms to twenty percent, the people are unable to purchase anything, as their money was worthless, banks stop lending, and credit cards are shut down.

Furthermore, the USA is breaking up into separate entities. Texas, Florida, Hawaii and Alaska became independent countries. All of the states east of California, Oregon, Washington and west of the Mississippi, except Texas, became known as the Continental States of America, the three West Coast states, California, Oregon and Washington form a federation and become the Pacific States of America, and another group of states, which includes every state north of Virginia and Tennessee and east of the Mississippi form a federation, the Union States of America that also includes Minnesota. All that remains of the old USA is a substantial part of the Old South and these join to form a country called the Federated States. Our protagonist, Jim Reed and his girl friend, Linda Alonzo now find themselves citizens of the Federated States- a country without a defined government or constitution.

Reed is a successful attorney with an Atlanta law firm and until this disaster happened, he was living a very comfortable life with his Latino girlfriend, Linda. As the economic catastrophe was hitting home, Reed, who was African American, was also about to witness another calamity, when the Federated States are taken over in a coup by a bunch of white supremacists thugs under the leadership of Carl Hass, who is the supreme head of the CAN Party. A hideous constitution is drawn up that discriminates against everyone except Caucasians.

Linda is not about to accept the status quo and strongly believes that it is the right of the people to stand up to and alter or abolish a repressive government. Consequently, she organizes a protest march in Birmingham, Alabama. Unfortunately, all did not turn out too well as planned and several of the marchers including Linda were murdered by Hass's goons. In addition, taking a page out of Hitler's Germany, the government enacts a decree called the Ultimate Solution that did away with the civil rights acts and exiled or interned the entire African American inhabitants of the Federated States.

The pain Reed felt upon losing Linda could not be quantified and he is extremely determined to avenge her death. He decides to adopt a different persona, giving up his law practice and change his name to John Renner. He also joins a clandestine organization, the Freedom Legion that attempts to wrest order from chaos. Once the action gets going, the novel clips along and becomes very difficult to put down. A lot can happen, and it does, with far reaching ramifications, when you have a group of brave and sometimes naive participants who are bent on destroying the CAN government.

Wellnitz has succeeded in pulling out all the stops in delivering quite a cliff hanger, as he continually blindsides his readers with a great sense of timing, wild settings, and hair pin turns that readers come to expect from suspense thrillers. And despite being a work of fiction, I have to admit that when you read today's headlines where world leaders are panicking concerning the ominous economic outlook and particularly the ballooning U.S. debt, Wellnitz's yarn may not be as implausible as it appears.

PushBack is Wellnitz's second novel, his first being Finding the Way. He grew up in rural South Dakota, served in the United States Navy and worked in technology as an electrical engineer. You will notice that this latter experience probably came in handy when dealing with some of the more technical aspects of the novel.

Click To Read Norm's Interview With Aldred Wellnitz

Author's Bio: 

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