The Outer Circle is the last book in The Counterpoint trilogy. It brings together the characters of The Metronome and The Great Game to conclude their stories. It’s 2024 and the world is divided, pitting the United States against the combined forces of China and Russia. In China, domestic unrest pushes the leadership to act against Taiwan. In Russia, under the surface a power struggle is brewing. Such is the backdrop of the U.S. presidential elections where the established parties face a challenge from unexpected political newcomers.The two heroes of The Great Game, now fugitives, discover that not everything is what it seems and someone invisible is pulling the strings behind the scenes. But can they stop the events set into motion before the world slides into a war?
I am an accidental writer. In "real life" I have graduate degrees in business and engineering and spent many years writing boring technical, business, and legal papers. In late 2012 a friend's death prompted me to ask what would be the one thing I regret not doing. I've always been an avid reader but have not had the courage to write. And I made a New Year resolution to write a book. That's how "The Great Game" was born.
I try to write about serious topics - I have strong interest in history, economics and international politics - but wrap them into an action-filled story. I was born in Europe but lived in the US for over half of my life. Hopefully, this gives me a multiple points of view perspective. While all my books are entirely fictional, each of them carries a Commentary how the fiction is rooted in facts and realities of current events.
As the last book in the trilogy, The Outer Circle will best be enjoyed by prior readers who will find the initial premise, characters and setting all play out to a gripping conclusion. The book is set in the near future of 2024, two years after the The Great Game concluded. The story opens with the scenario of the 'big three' (the U.S., Russia and China) locked in a deadly game of international struggle as the U.S. Presidential elections loom. But those who come upon The Outer Circle and presume its timeframe translates to a dystopian science fiction piece might be surprised to learn that it's actually a political thriller, taking today's circumstances and moving them outward to their logical conclusions.
Bell's ability to take the ordinary facets of modern times and translate them into one future possibility is part of what lends The Outer Circle such realism and strength. The other lies in its political savvy, which deftly outlines high-level national associations, rationales for actions, and individual choices in the matter; all based on historical precedent. Without giving away the story line, suffice it to say that as a political thriller steeped in action and insight, The Outer Circle's story is difficult to put down. Just when the reader believes they have the entire picture, something else enters to give everything a twist and a new perspective. The readers will find its premises realistic and the characters believable as they roll through an involving story packed with underlying messages on privacy, surveillance, interconnected worlds and uncertain political and economic world alliances.
D. Donovan, Senior Book Reviewer, Midwest Book Review and Editor, California Bookwatch