Daily Review: Outsourced by Eric J. Gates

A fast-paced thriller full of surprises and intrigue that never let up

 What’s the most dangerous gift a fan could send to an author? And if that fan was a professional assassin?

New York-based writer Nic Stiles receives a strange package in the mail. It’s not long before he realizes what it represents will change his life… with deadly consequences.

Others want the package’s contents too, including a high-tech Intelligence agency who will stop at nothing to obtain it.

…and the sender wants it back!

This fast-paced SUSPENSE THRILLER from Eric J. Gates will make YOU question your Destiny!

Eric J. Gates

Amazon Review

By Leonard Tillerman

If you were given the power to turn your innermost thoughts into reality by simply writing them down…what would you do?  The temptation to make all your hopes and dreams come true with the mere stroke of a pen could be exceptionally difficult to resist.

However, nothing is ever quite so easy in life.  There is always a catch!  What if your penned thoughts were interpreted in a way which you really did not intend?  Indeed, turning those wonderful hopes and dreams into a miserable and chaotic reality.  Temptation can be a dangerous business!

If we take all of these concepts and add a cruel assassin, determined intelligence agents, and two bestselling authors, you have Outsourced by Eric J. Gates.  For those readers who enjoy intelligent and fast-moving thrillers, this book is a top pick!

Essentially, Outsourced revolves around a famous thriller writer by the name of Nic Stiles.  As the story begins, Stiles is in a rut and has clearly lost his writing edge.  However, when he receives a mysterious package in the mail his life is about to drastically change!  The parcel contains a pen within a wooden box.

On its own, that would be a pretty dull and mundane gift for anyone.  Nevertheless, this is no ordinary pen.  It also comes with a note attached which reveals the pen’s extraordinary powers.  Whatever is written down will become a reality!  Stiles soon finds out that while this may be true, there are different versions of reality depending upon how they are interpreted- and they are ultimately intertwined with fate and destiny.

The power of this object is immense and it can be easily miscalculated and abused.  In fact, Stiles soon finds this to be very true as he discovers the pen was previously owned by a serial killer and assassin by the name of Polanski…and he wants it back!

To further complicate matters, this object is also being hunted by a team of crack intelligence agents. Nik is soon teamed up with a very unlikely ally as the pair race to outwit and evade their pursuers.  Will they succeed?  Or are they just destined to become two more casualties who, unbeknownst to themselves, already had their respective fate and destiny predetermined with the stroke of a pen.

Perhaps what struck me the most about this novel is the complex plot which is developed in the midst of non-stop action.  Not only do key elements of thriller writing such as suspense, anticipation, and excitement permeate throughout the story, but it has the unique aspects of mystery and the paranormal as well.  The pace of the plot is rabid and full of intrigue with twists and turns virtually around every corner.

There is also a very healthy dose of quantum mechanics which provides credibility to the plot.  There can be little doubt that the author spent significant time and effort researching his subject matter before writing this novel.  The result is a top-notch, believable and thrilling story.

While the plot of this novel is impressive and engaging, so are the many characters.  Their development throughout the story is thorough and meticulous.  For instance, we have the disillusioned writer Nic Stiles who steadily transforms into a whole different version of himself.

We also have the paranoid and skulking Beasley who develops increasingly heroic qualities with each passing page.  Major Mason is presented as a well-meaning player who can never actually seem to get things right and takes multiple hits on a continual basis.  All that being said, perhaps the best-developed character is Polanski himself.  He is brilliant, cunning and pure evil.  I would have to say that he is the perfect villain for this thriller!

All in all, I found this to be an absolutely engrossing thriller.  It is one of those books which is near impossible to put down.  Eric Gates achieves this by weaving various themes and complex concepts into his writing which have an entirely exciting and convincing flow.  I would highly recommend this book to an adult audience.  As is the case with most thrillers, there are some violent scenes so be forewarned.

Amazon Review

By Anthony McManus

Apart from the ability to write well, imagination must be the most powerful tool in a fiction writer’s box of tricks. And if this novel is anything to go by, Eric J. Gates has that in spades. ‘Outsourced’ is an outstanding thriller.

Set in the New York region of the United States, it’s a mix of gritty, hard-edged reality, Eastern mysticism, and fantasy. It held my attention from the first page to the last.

Obviously, the result of good research, the plot, the storyline, is woven in a complex way. It demands attention but rewards the keen reader with commensurate pleasure. It’s well-paced and fast-moving. The drama is almost non-stop.

The central characters, Nic Stiles and Grayson Fallon, are high ranking thriller writers at the top of their game, now engaged in a bitter, competitive contest conjured up by their ruthless, exploiting publishing house. And the pressure they are under is taking its toll.

And in Robert Polanski, we have a terrific villain. Supremely evil, he’s a charming, highly intelligent and successful serial killer who games and beats the justice system.

Then there is the pen.

I’m always fascinated when an inanimate object holds a central place in a story. In ‘Dial ‘M’ for Murder’ it was a latch-key. In the Indiana Jones sagas, it was the Arc of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, a crystal skull and other fascinating objects. In ‘Outsourced’ it’s a fountain pen.

But no ordinary pen. Think of Aladdin’s Lamp. Whoever processes this pen holds almost supernatural powers. Whatever is written with it will come about, though perhaps not in the way the writer intends. And often with catastrophic results. Polanski used it to great effect in his evil career.

Now rich and seeking retirement and a life of ease, he feels he no longer needs it, and he decides to pass it on and gift it by post to a writer he came to enjoy while serving prison time; Nic Stiles. And so he does.

But the United States Government is also aware of the existence of the ‘object’ and its immense power. And its secret agencies, aware of Polanski’s possession of it, have dispatched teams tasked with its capture. Tooled up with sophisticated gear, they track Polanski, watching his every move. Becoming aware of this, Polanski decides he needs to retrieve the pen. And so it’s game on.

What follows is akin to urban guerrilla warfare leading to a superb climax and on to a cool ending.

Outscourced is a superb novel and an engrossing read from a writer who knows his business. I do intend to read more of Mr. Gates’ thrillers, and I highly recommend Outsourced.

Please click HERE to find Outsourced on Amazon.

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