In the indefinite future, an impoverished United States has sold its Southwestern and Pacific Coast states to Mexico. Seattle is giverned by administrators and police sent from Mexico on hardship tours. Human life has been brutalized. At night, gangs control the streets. Idealistic revolutionaries are no less brutal than the gangs. The Prisoner's son portrays a bottoming-out of society, an America that is pathological at every level. The protagonist, Sam Brave (readers of The Inquisitor will recognize Sam as Bill Brave's son), is kidnapped by a gang of revolutionaries in retaliation for something bad that Sam did to them. If the revolutionaries are psychopathic, Sam is not the nicest guy in the world either. His imprisonment--based on the Patricia Hearst case--results in his taking on the coloration of his captors--to an extent. The plot of this novel, dealing with an attempted assassination, is based on an act of terror committed by the People's Will party of nineteenth-century Russia. Thus, while The Prisoner's Son is (social) science fiction, it is based on historical events.