Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Ebook Details
  • 09/2014
  • B00NNNCA7M
  • 369 pages
  • $3.99
Eric J. Gates

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

What's the most dangerous gift a fan could send to an author?

And if that fan was a professional assassin?


Readers' Favorite 2017 GOLD MEDAL Winner

Chill With a Book READERS' AWARD Sept 2017

GoodReads BOOK of the MONTH February 2015


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!

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Plot: Gates’s novel starts off with a bang, literally and figuratively, with unexpected, intriguing circumstances and a turn of events with the acquittal of an assassin guilty of mass murder. The action-packed, suspense-filled, fast pace is carried throughout the novel that will keep readers engaged and on tenterhooks for what happens next.

Prose: Gates’s prose is well crafted overall and matches the pace and tone of the book and its storyline. He employs sentence structure and word choice well to convey the atmosphere, mood, and emotion of each scene and to truly transport the reader into the story and into the shoes of the characters. The language is biting, emanates suspense, and is sometimes staggering.

Originality: Readers will find all the elements of a classic suspense thriller but with a twist of mystery and, with its elements of the supernatural and science fiction as well as its unique premise, is even more original.

Character/Execution: The antagonist, Polanski, is cunning, intelligent, sociopathic, and narcissistic and is reminiscent of other serial killers with his charming and seemingly friendly demeanor. When Nic and Phil become connected by the mysterious pen, the rival authors become allies against the dangerous reality in which they have been thrust. Both prove to be more capable and daring than expected to the readers and of themselves and, unlike Polanski, want to use the pen for good. All characters, even those occupying very little of the book, are believable and convincing in their roles and move the story along.

Blurb: A unique, nail biter of a novel and an excellent recipe to whet the appetites of readers who enjoy classic suspense thrillers, science fiction, and the supernatural.

Date Submitted: August 19, 2021

B. J. Tiernan

OUTSOURCED has all of the elements of a multi-faceted, high-tech thriller and then some. After reading the author's bio and background, one can understand why. Having past experience in cracking cryptographic codes, teaching Cyberware to spies and a 14 black belt discipline to draw upon certainly helps. Gates speaks from authority, and it shines through his work. One can almost picture him reaching into his proverbial basket of components - philosophy, paranormal, destiny, fate, and mysticism - to name just a few, and weave those components to create abstract concepts of the impossible that are almost believable to the reader. Yes, you must open your mind at times, and you may need to reread a few passages to grasp it all, but OUTSOURCED has an X-factor that cannot be denied. This is a novel you will want to read more than once. The nuances almost demand it. Eastern mysticism has always been my cup of tea. Add government surveillance and sinister corruption in the publishing industry to the mix and now you have quite a brew. The setting and well-developed characters only add to the intrigue of this complex novel that never lets up. What a ride!

C. Smith

A fascinating read. I have thoroughly enjoyed every page of this well written and equally well thought out novel.

Mr Gates creates some nicely rounded and wholly three dimensional characters together with a plot which should be totally unbelievable, yet is so carefully and precisely presented and explained I never once questioned the possibility of it happening for real. The Author's obvious knowledge of his subject is as evident as it is impressive, and is delivered in a manner which brings to mind such greats as Clancy and Forsyth.

I was drawn into this book from the first page but hadn't worked out how it was all going to end almost until the final scene itself, always the mark of a great writer and, for me, the only way a thriller should be written.

I notice there are several more novels in the Eric J Gates catalogue and I will definitely be going back there for more. As for 'Outsourced' - I highly recommend it to all thriller fans and certainly would not be surprised to hear one day it is being made into a film.

Cathy R.

An intriguing, complex and multilayered thriller beginning with the acquittal of mass murderer, Robert Polanski. Even though his lawyer and the police know he’s guilty they can’t prove it conclusively. Before disappearing into obscure and tropical ‘retirement’ from his crimes, Polanski has one last task. The package he sends off in the mail launches an incredible chain of events.

Nic Stiles and fellow author, Grayson Fallon, have been under media scrutiny for years. They share the same publisher, write in the same genre and are declared mortal enemies by the press, while being manipulated to outdo each other with the amount of work they manage to get published. They’ve never met and while Nic seems to have lost his focus, Grayson’s star is still rising. Nic has secluded himself at his cabin to try and overcome whatever it is that’s hindering his ability to write. A strange object comes into his possession, along with a letter of explanation. A pen with the power to influence destiny? All he has to do is write it? Nic is confused and initially totally disbelieving. He’s a rational man, after all. But after a couple of test runs Nic is more inclined to accept there may actually be some truth to the information contained in the letter.

Bridget Mason, a tough, no-nonsense federal officer, who will do whatever it takes to get the job done, even if she has to operate on the very edges of law enforcement, is on the track of the ‘device’ via Polanski and one Phil Beasley. Through the latter Nic also comes into her orbit. An unlikely alliance forms between Nic and Phil as they strive to put a stop to Polanski’s plans.

Elements of truth woven into a story take it to another level and I found the plot creative, tense and exciting with an intriguing twist and credible characters. The history of the stone and the observations of fate and destiny are fascinating and what could have been an improbable, and possibly too far-fetched narrative, is well thought out and written with an assurance and confidence which makes it perfectly plausible. The characters are well drawn and convincing, with depth and flaws, and are perfectly placed in the story. The subjects of unauthorised government surveillance and detention are explored which adds another layer of authenticity, and the research has obviously been deep and thorough. Packed with surprises and intrigue.

There’s nothing I dislike about this book, not even the villain who, although full of himself, made great reading. I enjoyed the twist of two male protagonists being thriller writers, their moral conflict which is portrayed realistically and the mystifying power of the pen. A very imaginative and unusual device to drive the plot. It’s impossible not to wonder…if you had access to a device such as this what would you do? A compelling and thought-provoking read.


Definitely a page turner, Outsourced keeps you guessing. The plot keep my interest but with one of the best and most deadly villains I have read in a while it was the characters I enjoyed spending time with. Polanski was such a great character, knew what he was doing and seldom got panicked, that he energized every page he was on. The government agent Mason was another character that I grew to like (didn't like her in the beginning) and unlike many thrillers with faceless and cold secret agents, the author gave her a full personality with back story, what a treat! Although the two authors were the heroes of the piece, I initially didn't take to them until they collaborated to construe the final plot set piece, which turned out to be ingenious. One thing I kept thinking when reading the book: would I really like to own an object of their desires that held such powers? Having read this book and the trouble it caused everyone, I'm not so sure I would.

Fleur Ferris

Yet again Eric J Gates has written a gripping thriller that keeps you turning pages well into the night. With enough twists and turns to keep you perched on the edge of your seat, Outsourced is anything but predictable (but totally believable). The characters in this are so strong and vivid, even though I was completely satisfied with the ending of this novel, I'd love to read more of them. I hope Gates writes a sequel! I refuse to include spoilers, as part of reading a pacy thriller like this is experiencing the thrill of the unexpected, the rush of the pace. Fans of Matthew Reilly and Dean Koontz would also love Outsourced. I highly recommend it.

Leonard T.

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 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.

Ebook Details
  • 09/2014
  • B00NNNCA7M
  • 369 pages
  • $3.99