Zoe Davis, late-thirties, bookstore owner, now living with a new family in Albuquerque, NM.
So why are Special Ops elite soldiers trying to kill her?
Perhaps Zoe isn't who she seems to be...
2021 Reader's Favorite GOLD MEDAL AWARD winner
Readfree.ly ''The 50 Best Indie books of 2021" Award (Nº 1 in Thriller category. Nº 3 overall)
Zoe Davis, former undercover operative, finds her life in danger. And not only hers: the lives of those she loves.
“[The family] have just discovered they welcomed a stranger to their midst. Someone different from who she appeared to be. Someone unexpected. Dangerous. A killer.”
Eric J Gates’ latest offering contains all the incidents and narrative energy that I have come to expect from his novels.
But Gates is that rarest of male action/thriller-writers: one who can create three-dimensional female characters who sit at the centre of events (and not at the periphery waiting to be ‘saved’ by some hunky man).
The chapters of ‘Death Mask’ are short and punchy: not a word is wasted. This makes for a very fast reading experience (“Oh, I’ll just read one more chapter. Well, maybe two…”). The author alternates between the first and third person POV, which allows him to put you inside the mind of the protagonist at key moments. Crafty. The novel is also laced with impressive weaponry knowledge and some imaginative, well-informed IT stuff. Among the bullets and explosions you might well learn something too!
Gates is my go-to author whenever I want some well-constructed escapism with a satisfyingly high body-count.
Highly recommended for lovers of the high-octane narrative.
I enjoy reading Gates. Beyond the sterling entertainment, a reader is assured of learning something new about operational tradecraft, quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence; in other words Eric J Gates is the ideal thriller writer for the 21st Century because he knows his stuff. DEATH MASK is a case in point. It's a ratatata-boom of a novel, both action packed and intriguing.
The rhythm of the writing is augmented by the brief chapters, switching at a beat between the first person perspective of Sheran, the lead protagonist - we get to 'see' her inner thoughts italicized - and well paced storytelling.
I commend the author's portrayal of women. Gates has discarded the typical sexist tropes. He doesn't waste time trying to trade on Sheran's looks, bust size and scenes of coquettish flirtation, instead he focuses on her competence, her tradecraft, her mission focus, and the overwhelming and inexplicable jeopardy she is confronting.
As is now the norm in modern publishing, every book is a set up for the sequel, and DEATH MASK is no exception. Questions still linger despite the booming termination of the plot; but this is all tantalizingly good provided Eric J Gates gets out the sequel pronto. I can't wait to read it.
I follow this author for a reason. I love everything he writes. Well constructed plots and believable characters that catch you up and sweep you along for a thrilling ride. It will not disappoint, I promise you. I can’t wait to see what comes next!