The Backfill by Michael Mckain – Book Review

The Backfill by Michael Mckain – Book Review

The Backfill by Michael McKain

The Backfill

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What if the person you replaced at work had vanished without a trace?

Jake Serrano has just landed his dream job at Resolute, a Seattle tech giant known for its lucrative pay, limitless career opportunities, and a nasty habit of crushing anyone failing to meet its high standards. But the company’s notorious work culture isn’t the only thing Jake finds shocking; he soon discovers that his predecessor, Jessie, has vanished without a trace.

Navigating the intense pressure of his new job, Jake becomes consumed with unraveling the mystery of Jessie’s disappearance. As her replacement, he has a unique opportunity to uncover the secrets she left behind. But the deeper he delves, the more convinced he becomes that the key to solving the case lies within Resolute itself; could groundbreaking technology – with the power to save millions of lives – have cost Jessie her own?

With everything on the line – including his career and personal safety – Jake must decide if he’s willing to risk it all to uncover the truth. Packed with complex characters and a vivid setting, this gripping tale of ambition, deception, and betrayal will keep you captivated until the very last page.

Review by George

When Jake Serrano’s buddy, Brandon Dunning, helps him get a job at the prestigious tech company Resolute, he thinks he’s taken a big step up the ladder of success. Orientation takes him aback a bit, as it’s more like an Amway convention or Baptist revival meeting than a corporate onboarding. Oh, well, every organization has its quirks. At least his fellow new hire, Stella Chen, seems reasonably normal.

But Jake soon feels he’s taken on an impossible task. There’s no turnover from the person who held this job before. Nor is there any slack for the new guy, as his zero-personality new boss makes abundantly clear. Things take an even darker turn when Jake discovers the name of his predecessor, Jessica Roberts, and, after a bit of digging, learns she mysteriously vanished. Was her disappearance related to her work at Resolute? More to the point, is Jake’s new job putting him in danger?

Backfill follows Jake and Stella as they doggedly try to determine what happened to Jessica. Jake and Stella “click,” but he’s also involved with Marissa. The romantic back-and-forth adds a gentler but no less exciting counterpoint to the search for the missing woman.

The story plays out in and around Seattle, Washington, giving it quite a scenic background. It is well crafted with several layers. One thing that I, as an ex-computer engineer, appreciated is that the technical details are plausible, not at all contrived, as is sometimes the case in stories featuring technology. But you don’t have to be a techno-geek to understand and enjoy the book.

I liked Backfill and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery or thriller.

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Michael McKain


Michael McKain is a pseudonym for a part-time author and full-time tech industry grunt. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children.

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