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The Backfill

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Backfill didn't get good until chapter 21. Up until then it was pretty boring. It was the story of Jake who went to work for a tech company called Resolute. He was hired to replace a woman named Jessie who had gone missing. He went to a press conference about her disappearance and when his company found out about it they warned him to stay away from the investigation. Nevertheless, Jake found himself in the middle of it. He was recruited by a man named Martin who was a PI. His best friend, Brandon, worked there as well.

The first half of the book was all about the company and the work they were doing. That part was unremarkable. The second half of the book was about the quest to find. Jessie. That half captured my attention. It wasn't by any means spellbinding, but it was enough for me to keep reading. Fortunately, Jake's company didn't find out about his involvement until the very end. And near the end, Jake almost died. It wasn't until the near end that it got exciting. I wasn't too thrilled with this book, but I did give it three stars because of the second half.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for this eArc! The Backfill by Michael McLain is absolutely 5/5 stars! I found myself skipping necessary things like sleeping and working so I could read more of this book. I sort of anticipated parts of the ending so when you start this book, write down your initial predictions because it's a wild ride! I am also absolutely hoping, crossing my fingers and praying that there is a 2nd book!

Jake Serrano has worked for many tech startups but he is recommended by a friend to come and work for Resolute, a local PNW based tech company that is dominating the industry. Jake soon finds out that he was hired as a backfill position which came with zero training. When Jake starts asking around, trying to learn about his role and its expectations, he finds out his predecessor, Jessie, has disappeared leaving everyone paranoid to speak about it.

Jake is determined to ace his first company goal while trying to find out where Jessie is and what happened to her. Along the way he meets the most amazing characters and some not so kind characters. Jake finds himself too close to the active case and ends up involving himself a little more than a curious person would. He puts his job, potentially his life and everything else on the line to see if he can find Jessie. He doesn't realize that he might be next to be backfilled if he keeps it up.

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Jake is starting a new job at Resolute, a tech company. At the very beginning, something is off about his new company. Initially distracted by meeting the crushing demands of a job in a highly competitive market, he almost ignores the sinister goings-on at Resolute. When he finds out his predecessor is missing (that is why the job was open), he becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her.

A cast of characters emerges to help and hinder him on his quest to discover the plight of his missing predecessor. A touch of romance and a lot of action color this thriller. The characters are engaging. The setting is well-rendered (I particularly liked the inclusion of Whidbey Island). My only criticism is the amount of time the author spends at the beginning fleshing out characters that don't necessarily play a part in the story. That being said, I found all of the characters to be engaging and found Jake to be very relatable.

Good read, especially if you are a fan of tech mystery/thrillers and/or stories set in the Pacific Northwest. Strong The Firm vibes.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this eARC.

The Backfill (meaning the person hired to backfill a position formerly held by someone else) is a well-written suspenseful mystery about someone who becomes curious why the person who held his job before him disappeared. The company involved creates personal "healthcare" devices that the user wears, that tracks health information (think Garmin tracking that you have your 10,000 steps in per day). The job that the backfill is working is to work night and day to attempt to develop a plan to combat user's resistance to the numerous "opt ins" that each user must agree to so that every bit of their personal info is tracked and used. Being a tech fan (I work in Info tech/info sys, I had stupidly never given "step trackers" another thought. Jake, the main character in this novel work at a company called Resolute, and he was pushed to become productive from almost day one. I can relate, as I worked 72 hours last week, and haven't had a day off for the past 14 days. If anything bothers me about this novel it is that commonality, although I work for a I work for a top notch, very ethical company, we are just very busy right now. I also relate to having a job with decades of experience, however I find myself, for the first time in decades, micro-managed, to death, by a manager who doesn't realize that I am working as fast as I can, and her attempts to "push me" merely create a huge amount of stress, added to my excessive work hours, they don't assist in anything, as I am ethical, therefore I am doing the best I can.

Jake is in a similar situation, which really brings the absurdity home, if it wasn't so tragically "spot on" for far too many of us, who proved ourselves many years ago.

The mystery is captivating, and extremely intriguing, with Jake being a very likeable character,

Kudos to McKain for producing this captivating thriller! I will watch for more mysteries written by this writer.

Until next time, dear readers, cherish your time off, while it is still there to cherish, and beware your step trackers, they could be recording more personal info about you than you could ever imagine!

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This book had engaging characters and relatable characters that made this a fast and enjoyable read.

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Interesting characters and several twists along the way. A very good read

Thank you to Michael Mckain and NetGalley for the arc of this book.

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thrilling and enticing, a great thriller that sucks you in immediately. you go through a rollercoaster of events and emotions through this, a captivating experience. waiting to post on GoodReads closer to the release

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Jake Serrano’s dream job is anything but in this fast paced, gripping tale featuring awesome characters and an incredible setting.
Being an office drone myself, I was hooked from the start. I’ve gone through those company onboarding’s that try too hard and make you feel like you’re joining a cult, which this book runs with. I could imagine the author sitting through another boring onboarding at a big tech company and dreaming up what if’s that resulted in this book.

Really fun, scary and thrilling - what more could you ask for?

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Prepare to be immersed in a world where nothing is as it seems.

"The Backfill" by Michael McKain is a thrilling and captivating novel that takes readers on a roller-coaster ride through the high-stakes world of a Seattle tech giant. From the very beginning, the story grips you with its intriguing premise and keeps you hooked until the very last page.

Jake Serrano, is a relatable and engaging character who finds himself caught in the jaws of Resolute, a company known for its cutthroat work culture. As he steps into his dream job, he is immediately confronted with the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor, Jessie.

The author skillfully navigates Jake's journey as he delves into the secrets and hidden truths behind Jessie's vanishing act.

One of the strengths of this book is the author's ability to create a vivid and realistic setting. The portrayal of Resolute and its intense work environment is incredibly well-crafted, making readers feel the pressure and tension that Jake experiences. The author captures the complexities of corporate culture and the lengths people will go to in order to protect their interests.

The plot is intricately woven, keeping readers guessing at every turn. As Jake uncovers clues and follows a trail of deception, the story becomes increasingly enthralling. The suspense builds steadily, and the author masterfully balances the pacing, providing just the right amount of twists and turns to keep readers engaged without overwhelming them.

Prepare to be immersed in a world where nothing is as it seems, and the pursuit of truth comes at a high cost.

I loved this intriguing mystery and am happy to recommend it to any mystery lover!

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Mysteries aren’t only found in books and the movies, and politics are only found in government, as Jake finds when her hired as a replacement in his dream job. Assuming his predecessor’s case load, he soon starts asking questions—questions that people don’t want asked.

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