Friday, February 4, 2011

Introducing Outsourced by Dave Zeltserman

From the publisher (Serpent's Tail):

Following from his ultra-noir trilogy—Small Crimes, Pariah, and Killer—is Outsourced, Dave Zeltserman's most commercial book to date.

A classic heist thriller pitched somewhere between Ocean's Eleven and Dog Day Afternoon, it's the story of a group of software engineers who lose their jobs due to an industry push to outsourcing. Desperate, and seeing their middle-class lives crumbling apart, they come up with a brilliant plan to use their computing skills to rob a bank. But not even a systems analyst can foresee every eventuality, so the group falls afoul of the Russian Mafia . . .

Movie rights have been sold for Outsourced, and the film will be produced by the team behind the hugely successful Resident Evil films.

Outsourced was released in 2010 in the UK and is now out in the US. Here's what reviewers have been saying:

"A small gem of crime fiction" Booklist

"Bodies mount up as the double dealing and revenge gather apace. The blurb on the book describes it as a "fast-paced, edge-of-your seat crime novel," and it really does live up to the hype. Add this to your holiday reading list for a piece of escapism." Morning Star

"Dave Zeltserman's OUTSOURCED is a speedy, gritty, hardboiled bank robbery tale that bops and weaves along as a group of out-of-work computer programmers decide to get their hands dirty and find they like it a lot. As with Zeltserman's previous novels SMALL CRIMES, PARIAH, and KILLER, his greatest storytelling skill is in the small true, emotional details that every reader will understand. He will definitely keep you flipping pages as fast you can, and once you finish one book you'll be racing on to the next." Tom Piccirilli, author of Shadow Season and The Cold Spot

"A dark, lightening-paced read" Financial Times

"Back in the “real” world, Dave Zeltserman’s Outsourced is a dryly witty take on the heist caper genre with a gaggle of reluctantly redundant software engineers planning the perfect bank robbery. He brings together crazed hitmen, Russian mafiosi, Iraqi antiques smugglers and domestic angst in a fast-paced action romp that has the inestimable advantage (or not) that its characters are actually human." Peter Millar, London Times

"DAVE Zeltserman is one of the new, highly original voices in crime fiction, his writing spare, disciplined and concrete. His plots are as original as anyone writing hard-boiled fiction with an attractive noir edge, and always grimly entertaining. Like his characters. Outsourced, already being turned into a movie, follows an all-too-human bunch of outsourced software engineers who have no job prospects and no long-term insurance but do possess a plan. They are going to use their computing skills to rob a bank, and Zeltserman delivers a finely paced, witty and stylish take on the heist caper novel. More than most authors churning out mysteries, Zeltserman is fully steeped in the conventions of crime fiction. He remains absolutely his own hard man." The Australian

"It's a bleak book with a bleak ending, one you're likely to keep reading past your bedtime to get to. Zeltserman had a breakout year in 2010, and this book will just add to his growing reputation." Bill Crider, author of Murder In The Air

"OUTSOURCED is brilliantly paced and reminiscent of A SIMPLE PLAN with the supposed non-criminals slowly descending into desperation and violence, and Zeltserman gives the characters (Dan, in particularly) a kind of heartbreaking vulnerability as well. Another great crime novel from Zeltserman." Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep

"I've been crazy about Dave Zeltserman's books since the beginning; Fast Lane was an early Hardboiled Pick. His trilogy of Small Crimes, Pariah, and Killer should be indispensable to the reading list of any follower of modern noir fiction. This latest book simply kicks ass and is one of the most fun and twisted reads I've had in ages. His protagonist is a middle-aged software engineer who has been out of work for over a year as work is outsourced. Slowly going blind from a rare eye disease, he faces a dim (no pun intended) future in his field. But you see, Dan has a plan: he helped design the security system for a bank (the same bank which outsourced the coding work to India), and with the help of a rag tag assortment of fellow out-of-work IT guys he plans the perfect heist. Naturally, it all goes horribly wrong very quickly..." Patrick Millikin, Poisoned Pen Bookstore

"Dan Wilson is out of work and on the verge of losing his eyesight. With a mortgage to pay and a family to support, he is an ordinary guy desperate for money. He conceives a can’t-miss bank heist, enlists the help of some friends, and then—surprise!—things don’t go exactly as planned. Dave Zeltserman cleverly and effectively engineers the plot with a steady supply of action and surprises. In sum, Outsourced is thoroughly entertaining noir in a traditional vein." David Rachels, Noirboiled Notes

"In only a couple of years, Dave Zeltserman has become one of my favorite "must read" authors. Outsourced, although written four years ago and just now being published in the US, proves not only that the man has talent, but consistently delivers a slam-bang story full of real-world complications. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." The Drowning Machine

"Outsourced is a f*cking blockbuster of a novel, the type of book that you cancel plans for, even if said plans were to drop ecstasy in a snowbound cabin with a dead ringer for Christina Hendricks. Okay, that last bit might be pushing it, but you’d at least pack Outsourced with you so you’d have something to do between rounds of furious rumpy-and/or-pumpy. The Nerd has certainly not been shy with affection for Dave Zeltserman’s work in the past, but this is the book that, if we live in a just world, should give him the audience of a Don Winslow or a Dennis Lehane." Nerd of Noir, Spinetingler Magazine

"Zeltserman was employed in the software industry for twenty-two years, and this intimate familiarity adds an authenticity to the explosive drama of the novel and, in particular, to the IT engineers who struggle within its construct. The author’s mastery at characterization is as honed here as it’s ever been, and the narrative thrust displays furious cinematic pacing. Caper and heist novels of the sort exemplified by Lionel White and Richard Stark, respectively, have spurred a number of imitators throughout the decades, but few match the thrills present in Zeltserman’s contemporary offering. Highly recommended." Ron Clinton, Spinetingler Magazine

"Outsourced is a 24/7 novel, what some would call an all-nighter. It is one of those novels that you rush to finish, such is the pace at which the story is told. Rest assured, a compelling and compulsive read. You won’t want to subcontract this beauty out at all." CompulsiveReader

"Outsourced is not only a good read, but also a sobering one that makes you wonder about the nature of the human being: if driven to the edge, would an average law-abiding citizen commit a crime in order to survive? And once having done that, can that same person face the consequences with a clear head? The answers are not easy, and Zeltserman repeatedly turns to the reader, who in the end has to answer them on his own." X2TheL

"Desperation in the face of mounting economic hardship is a theme many can sympathize with and Dan makes a convincing protagonist as readers are drawn into his life." Monsters and Critics

"The whole plot of the book is very well scripted and the ingenious plan concocted by Dan and Shrini will give any bankers who read this nightmares. As ever though plans that look good on paper rarely work so well when executed and the maelstrom of events which the robbery sets into action are both hilarious and dramatic." Crimesquad

"No one likes being laid off, but some people rebound in more creative ways than others. "Outsourced" tells the story of four software engineers who when faced with being outsourced, plan their profitable vengeance on their former employers, but soon find playing on the other side of the law has far more complications than simply being caught. A riveting thriller all too topical in today's job market, "Outsourced" is a read that shouldn't be overlooked for thriller readers." Midwest Book Review

"In Dave Zeltserman’s superb crime novel a bunch of software engineers, unemployed as a consequence of the financial crisis, plan to rob a bank. Somehow, it seems apt." Jildy Sauce


  1. it's on my shelf staring at me as i write. it's moved just that little bit closer to the next in line position.

  2. Thanks, Nigel. You'll have to report back after you read to see if you agree with these other reviews.