Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: 'Offshored' by D.C. Downey

In 2008 Chris Myers, now writing as DC Downey, drew significant attention with her pre-novel OFFSHORED, her entry in the ABNA contest, and many people paid attention to the birthing process. That early form had the ingredients of a strong novel - timely topics, a probable scrutiny of the still present fascination with mixed racial families, and a 'terrorist-like' character whose ultimate role in this novel nudges the imagination of the reader. Her background suggests the reason for the veracity of the novel’s flavor – She earnd her ‘BS in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Engineering. Before studying engineering, she majored in biochemistry with an emphasis in psychology and genetics. Her first job was designing inertial navigation units and pendulous integrating gyroscopic accelerometers—yes, rocket science. Her most exciting work though was developing and implementing encryption algorithms in COMSEC devices for NSA, the DoD, and other agencies.

Now the novel is polished and ready and the finished result is a splendid book that deserves our complete attention. The plot has been polished and expanded and serves as an entry in to the major works in this genre of the recent past.

Quite quickly the plot is condensed as follows: ‘FACT: Three days after Nikola Tesla contacted the U.S. War Department about his invention that would end World War II, he was found dead in the New Yorker Hotel. That same day, the Alien Property Custodian seized Tesla’s technical papers, and the FBI classified them as Top Secret. During the Cold War, his research papers mysteriously disappeared from a government program code-named “Project Nick” at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The project focused on developing the particle beam weapon that allegedly would have ended WWII. FICTION: Over seventy years later, one of Tesla’s inventions destroys a TILAC Corporation plant. The FBI assigns fledgling agent Savannah Kinlaw to interrogate TILAC’s disgruntled employees whose jobs have been offshored. When a young boy dies, reminding Savannah of her murdered brother, she immerses herself into the offshored investigation. Savannah has never shed a tear, and smiling and laughing are learned responses. She was born with autistic spectrum disorder, and if it weren’t for her older sister flagging Savannah’s peculiar behavior at an early age, she’d live in a special needs’ home. However, her ASD left her with savant visual-spatial acuity, giving her the unique ability to visualize crime scenes and solve complex puzzles. Now, she must curb her social awkwardness to link the resurgence of Tesla’s technologies to the terrorists before more innocent lives are lost.’

The only recommendation- read this very fine novel and give it enough time to sink it – the story is not only well written, it is staggeringly suspenseful. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, May 17
I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.