James Thane's Reviews > Outsourced

Outsourced by Dave Zeltserman
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Jul 29, 11

bookshelves: crime-fiction, suspense
Read in July, 2011

Dan Wilson is a middle-aged software engineer. He's out of work; he's going blind, and then his wife gets laid off from her job as well. All in all, things are not going well.

Dan's last job of any consequence was designing the security system for a local bank. But then the penny-pinching bankers outsourced the writing of the software Dan designed to a firm in India. Dan is righteously angry and so decides to take his revenge and secure his family's future all in one fell swoop by robbing the bank in question.

Dan conceives a fairly ingeneous plan and recruits several of his friends to assist. They are all out of work software engineers as well and they eagerly sign on to the plan. As always happens in a book like this, things will inevitably go amiss; the law of unintended consequences will come into play, and in fairly short order, Dan has major problems.

I loved the premise of this book, but I was less satisfied with the execution. My main problem was that I didn't find any of the characters to be at all sympathetic, including Dan, whose situation should have made him enormously sympathetic. But I found that I couldn't root for him or anyone else in the book, and in the end I didn't really care what happened to any of them. In particular, the crew that Dan recruits consists of a bunch of hopeless misfits. I wouldn't think of trusting any of these guys to go along for a ride during which I planned to run a red light, let alone rob a bank.

Reading the book, I kept thinking of Donald Westlake. "Outsourced" sounds like a plot that might have worked well as one of Westlake's "Parker" series (written as Richard Stark), although if Westlake had written it, it would have been grittier and more believeable. Mainly, though, the premise of this book reminded me of Westlake's The Ax, in which the protagonist is also out of work and designs a criminal plan to save himself that is much more interesting than the one in "Outsourced."

This is not a bad book, and I'm sure a lot of readers would enjoy it more than I. Perhaps my expectations were simply too high.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Kemper (new)

Kemper When I started reading this review, it made me think of The Ax. Then you mentioned it too. Great minds think alike...


message 2: by Mohammed (last edited Jul 30, 2011 07:01AM) (new)

Mohammed I read some site where Ken Bruen recommend this author and not just the tyical cover blurb.

The fact it sounds like Parker heist mm....


James Thane Kemper wrote: "Great minds think alike..."

Obviously!


message 4: by James (last edited Jul 30, 2011 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

James Thane Mohammed wrote: "I read some site where Ken Bruen recommend this author and not just the tyical cover blurb.

He may have, but there was no recoomendation from him on this book. I have a friend who's very high on Zeltserman and strongly recommended another of his books, Small Crimes. I have the book and once I've had a chance to get to it, I'll report back and let you know if I liked it better than "Outsourced."



message 5: by Mohammed (last edited Jul 31, 2011 12:33AM) (new)

Mohammed James wrote: "Mohammed wrote: "I read some site where Ken Bruen recommend this author and not just the tyical cover blurb.

He may have, but there was no recoomendation from him on this book. I have a friend who..."


Will be interesting to know what you think of that one. To me at first glance Julius Katz stories sounds old school fun. Plus Shamus awards is one of few literary awards i respect being a big PI fan.


message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy This review also made me think of Brian Keene's Terminal by Brian Keene


James Thane Nancy wrote: "This review also made me think of Brian Keene's Terminal by Brian Keene"

Nancy, from your review, it does sound similar. I'll have to look for this one.


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