Outlaw Traveler - Amazon Heat

Dennis Hambright

Book Cover

GENRE

ACTION ADVENTURE CRIME

    Core Theme

    GOOD VS EVIL, REBIRTH

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE ACCOUNTANT, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, JACK RYAN, WITHOUT REMORSE, SIX, THE NOVEMBER MAN

    CHARACTER LIST

    DAMIEN CHANCE: LATE 30S. LEAD. ADVENTUROUS LONE WOLF.

    DON TAYLOR: 60S.AN EXTRAJUDICIAL ASSASSIN WHO HIRES CHANCE TO ASSASSINATE DUEÑAS AND ULTIMATELY TAKE UP TAYLOR'S MANTLE.

    J. EDWARD ADAMS III: 57, SUCCESSFUL AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN PROFITING OFF A DRUG TRADE WITH DUEÑAS AND ZOTO, ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SLAYING OF CHANCE'S GIRLFRIEND, CRISTINA.

    COLONEL ZOTO: UNKNOWN. BOLIVIAN MILITARY LEADER WORKING ALONGSIDE J. EDWARD, WHO KILLS HIMSELF BEFORE CHANCE CAN QUESTION HIM.

    DOMINIQUE LEDEAUX: 38. ASSASSIN HIRED BY J. EDWARD TO CLEAN THINGS UP FOR HIM, SHE ULTIMATELY FLIPS AND KILLS J. EDWARD ON CONTRACT FROM TOSCALINI, A MAFIA MAN WHO USED TO WORK WITH J. EDWARD’S LATE FATHER.

    ALAN BRECKENRIDGE: UNKNOWN. J. EDWARD’S RIGHT HAND MAN WHO HAS A SWIFT DOWNFALL TO HIS BAD SIDE AND ATTEMPTS TO RUIN HIM FROM THE INSIDE IN REVENGE, IS KILLED ON J. EDWARD’S ORDERS.

    Logline

    "Nobody's bleeding. Nobody's dead. It's a good day," is Damien Chance's standard of living after his disastrous attempt finding adventure in the Amazon. Drug Kingpins, corrupt military leaders, militant guerrillas, and heartless business tycoons. He deals with them all, becoming an Outlaw Traveler.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Amazon jungle, Bolivia, Peru, Texas, Oklahoma.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Dennis Hambright

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    Chance assassinates a major drug kingpin in the Amazon jungle. We see his life progress from disgruntled corporate nine-to-fiver, to adventurous renegade. Rogue government agent details how they met and how he brought him into life of an Outlaw Traveler.

    Ending Description

    Chance proves his skills dealing vengeance and managing his own challenges of conscience. Those responsible for destroying his dreams are dealt with. Ultimately, Chance accepts the invitation to live his life as an Outlaw Traveler.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    (paperback) 978-1-09838-309-1 (ebook) 978-1-09838-310-7

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence

    Plot - Other Elements

    Other

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest

    Main Character Details

    Name: Damien Chance

    Age: late 30s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Confident,Decisive,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Patriotic,Skillful,Sarcastic,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Don Taylor

    Age: 60s

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Heroic,Leader,Masculine,Patriotic,Blunt,Skillful,Lone Wolf

    Additional Character Details

    Name: several others

    Age: various ages

    Gender: Other

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Charming,Criminal,Educated,Sexy,Narcisstic,Villainous,Romantic,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: various others

    Age: misc. ages

    Gender: Other

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Criminal

    Development Pitch

    Since I'm not skilled at writing a pitch, was told it could be part of the upgraded package.

    Genre

    THRILLER, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    An American treasure hunter in the jungles of Bolivia sees the village he’s staying in destroyed and his lover brutally murdered. When a mysterious government employee offers him the chance for revenge against the billionaire drug traffickers responsible for her death, the man accepts. He’s sent on an assassination mission to cut the head off the snake of the operation. Following his success, he finds himself in a new line of work as an assassin working outside of international law.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: GOOD

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: EXCELLLENT

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: FAIR

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    An American treasure hunter in the jungles of Bolivia sees the village he’s staying in destroyed and his lover brutally murdered. When a mysterious government employee offers him the chance for revenge against the billionaire drug traffickers responsible for her death, the man accepts. He’s sent on an assassination mission to cut the head off the snake of the operation. Following his success, he finds himself in a new line of work as an assassin working outside of international law.

    Draw of Story

    The pace of the book is excellent. It starts on an exciting note with an assassination in the flash-forward prologue, and the intrigue is immediately established as to how the protagonist came to be pulling the trigger. Additional characters with complex ties to one another are quickly introduced, so the pace keeps galloping along with a fuller narrative to accompany it. The sense of an international drug conspiracy is intriguing, and any audience would be immediately drawn along for the ride. We want to know how everyone is connected and how their warring motivations will play out.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Though the flash-forward prologue is an exciting start to the story, the first few chapters are arguably just as interesting. This potentially renders the prologue an unnecessary teaser, especially because it could be confusing to readers. It’s not clear this is happening in the future for a few chapters, until Chance flashes back to his earlier memories in Bolivia with Cristina. Even then, it’s not entirely clear that the assassination hasn’t happened yet until Taylor gives Chance his assignment around 75 pages into the book. The “security problem” with supply that J. Edward, Breckenridge, and Zoto discuss could be taken to be the assassination itself, as Dueñas isn’t mentioned after the prologue until page 53. Telling the story in a linear way, and maybe even beginning with Chance’s past in the country, might be clearer. Trust the central premise and all its machinations to draw in the reader without needing a teaser.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The Bolivian setting is a great hook, as it’s not a country that features predominately in American films. From La Paz to tropical jungles, there is no shortage of cinematic backdrops to explore onscreen. Chance spends a good deal of time with the citizens of the country, too, and anything to further explore these people and how they live through an authentic lens would be perfect. There’s also the sense that this is just the beginning for Chance, so the potential for follow-up sequels is exciting.

    Fanbase Potential

    As an action movie with some elements of a political thriller, it’s easy to see this drawing a wide audience. This is a genre that’s often successful, and the mystery of the conspiracy here would intrigue most audiences.

    Awards Potential

    Due to the genre, the project is unlikely to have traditional awards potential. If it were based on a true story, there would be a higher possibility for it to.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    THE ACCOUNTANT, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, JACK RYAN, WITHOUT REMORSE, SIX, THE NOVEMBER MAN

    What’s New About the Story

    The most original element to this story is two-fold: the Bolivian setting, and the fact that the author has their own experience with the material. Anything that can be done to use the author’s experience with this world and the setting to an even greater extent will only push this further. What’s on the page is engaging and a fun read, but it also doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from other conspiracy action media. The best way to combat this would be to focus more on Chance’s transformation into an “outlaw traveler.”

    Lead Characters

    Chance has an incredibly interesting backstory that’s unique and compelling, and it’s also informed by the author’s own experience. Unfortunately, this doesn’t feature in the book itself, and it’s only mentioned in passing when Chance thinks briefly about what he used to do. He’s a literal treasure hunter, not an assassin, and showcasing more of his transformation from one to the other would make him so much more interesting. He seems to fall into his new job so easily, and it’s a shame to not get to see him actually searching for gold, or how that factors into him being equipped to kill a man. Maybe he struggles with the morality of it, or maybe he wants to leave South America entirely after what happens to Cristina. Seeing him fight to overcome issues such as these would make him a more well-rounded character who stands out from the pack.

    Uniqueness of Story

    As mentioned, the freshest element to the story is the setting, and it’s not otherwise standing out. Building up the character of Chance more, and focusing on what makes him unique, could absolutely change that. He has the bones to be an action hero like an audience has never seen, in a region of the world rarely shown onscreen. Tapping more into his natural sense of adventure and what sets him apart would make this a rare gem.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Streaming TV Series: Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    Overall this novel offers a quickly paced and very enjoyable read, and for that reason alone it’s worth consideration. Though it’s not very unique in its current form, the bones for it to be are present, they just need to be built upon. Regardless, similar action and/or thriller features are released every year, and there is always an appetite for them. It’s very easy to see this as a fully-fledged series following Chance around the world. Besides what’s been mentioned above, the biggest changes that could be made specifically focus around the treatment of female characters and the Bolivian people. Besides LeDeaux, nearly every other female character is a love interest, a sex worker, or a victim — or a combination of two of the three. There’s a good deal of violence against women in the book, and often extreme, brutal violence. For instance, Cristina is murdered, does she also need to be repeatedly raped? Killing off female characters so that male characters have something to do, like revenge, is a bit of a cliche. It also might not be necessary to the narrative, as Chance isn’t specifically hunting down her killer. Additionally, Bolivians are often discussed as though they’re simple and less advanced than their American counterparts. This leads to Chance feeling somewhat like a “white savior” sort of character in this space. A potentially interesting fix could be if he were Bolivian American, versus being such a white tourist in this land. It might be worth exploring what’s gained by having him be a white man, and how he could be better integrated into this world.

    Brief

    An American treasure hunter recovering from grief is given the opportunity for revenge by a mysterious man who operates outside the law. Carrying out the assignment only plunges him further into the world of drug kingpins, ruthless businessman, and corrupt military leaders in Bolivia and America alike. This is the start of his life as an Outlaw Traveler, an extrajudicial assassin looking out for American interests worldwide.

    What We Liked

    Damien Chance is an enjoyable character with a unique backstory, and it’s fun to follow him as he discovers this new side of himself. He’s going through a radical change following a period of grief, and he has all the makings of an international assassin by the end of the novel. The Bolivian setting is unique and vivid, and audiences are treated to jungles and dive bars alike. These feel like real, lived-in locations, and it’s easy to see them translated onto the screen. He goes from hunting for gold in the Amazon to killing drug kingpins and impacting the drug trade on an international scale, and any audience would be happy to be along for the ride.

    Film: Imagining this as a feature that sees droves of people lining up at the box office is a breeze. With a unique Amazonian setting and nods to real life political conspiracies surrounding the drug trade, this is both highly enjoyable and extremely topical. It’s the ideal first in its series, laying out the groundwork for Damien Chance’s story to continue in future films as he settles into his new role. An international action flick that weaves together intricate connections and complex characters, there’s no doubt that this would find a wide audience.

    TV: It’s clear that this book is the first in a series of what’s bound to be international capers that see Damien Chance jumping from country to country while carrying out whatever tasks assigned to him and always staying one step ahead of danger. A television series would allow for flexibility on how long Chance stays in one place, on one assignment, as the story (and future novels) could easily be condensed or drawn out to best suit the overall arc of the show. There are also a number of interesting characters in the pages that would be able to see their own subplots through thanks to the longer length of a TV series.

    Key points:
    1. Original setting in Bolivia
    2. Action genre
    3. Fast-paced
    4. Main character with unique backstory and skills
    5. Author has firsthand knowledge of settings and many story elements

    Synopsis

    In the Bolivian jungle, DAMIEN CHANCE assassinates drug kingpin DUEÑAS. Flashback to before Dueñas’s death, where Chance is struggling to move past his grief. While hunting for gold in the Amazon and living with his lover, CRISTINA, and her tribe, he encounters PARKER. A loud, racist investor, Parker shooting his mouth off leads to the village being destroyed. Cristina is brutally raped and murdered, along with most of the rest of the people there. Chance survives and fights back, but Parker refuses to lift a finger so he can hide and protect himself. Unbeknownst to Chance, the last of Parker’s money was drained in this adventure, and he’s now in deep to J. EDWARD ADAMS III. A ruthless businessman from a mafia family, Adams is determined to make a name for himself in a new way. He’s entered the international drug trade with Dueñas and corrupt military official COLONEL ZOTO. They’re currently experiencing a problem in their supply chain, though, and Adams needs his right hand man, ALAN BRECKENRIDGE to solve it immediately — or else.

    DON TAYLOR is an assassin and spy, working within but also outside of governmental channels. He’s all but a ghost, as after he was recruited, his death was faked. He doesn’t have an official identity or title, but he’s aging and needs to find a successor to carry out illegal actions to protect American interests. He’s identified Chance as a possible replacement, even though he doesn’t have the formal background or training. He utilizes his connections with the FBI to have Chance brought in, where he offers him a lucrative opportunity for revenge. Dueñas and Zoto were responsible for Cristina’s death, as something Parker said made some of the villagers think their mining operation was actually a cover for a DEA investigation. The locals spared Chance, as they knew he personally was just an adventurer with an eye for gold. Taylor directs Chance to kill Dueñas, which he carries out.

    Adams sends the same man, JACOBSON, to deal with Parker and his outstanding debt. Jacobson rigs a car bomb to explode, but Parker’s WIFE unexpectedly takes his car out that day. She’s killed, leaving Parker still alive. To clean up loose ends, Adams hires another assassin, DOMINIQUE LEDEAUX, to kill Jacobson. Adams wants LeDeaux to work for him full time, as she’s great at what she does and very attractive, but she has no interest in being tied to him. With Taylor’s blessing, Chance goes back to Bolivia to find Zoto hiding out in the jungle. Before he can find out who is bankrolling the drug operation, though, Zoto blows himself up. In the States, Taylor learns that Adams is in bed with Zoto, and previously Dueñas, in the drug trade. Adams is the one who was actually behind the slaughter of Cristina and the others, as he ordered everyone be killed but Parker, which would ruin Parker financially. This would lead to Parker being forced to launder Adams’s drug money to pay back his debt. Taylor learns of more of Adams’s connections, including those to the mafia. Taylor brings what he knows to the FBI so they can help take down Adams.

    Meanwhile Breckenridge is furious with Adams, and decides to try to bring him down legally. He has all the information he needs to expose his shady business dealings. Adams finds out and has Breckenridge killed. Parker goes to Adams’s home to get revenge for his wife’s death, but he’s killed by Adams’s butler. When Chance gets back to the States, Taylor comes to check on him. He tells him everything he’s learned about Adams’s dealings, and the two agree to go to Adams’s house to take care of him. Before they can, LeDeaux comes to see Adams. She claims to be considering his job offer, but in reality she’s been contracted by the mafia he’s trying to separate himself from. She kills him and escapes, evading suspicion. When Taylor and Chance arrive, Adams is already dead. Pleased with Chance’s work, Taylor officially hires him on to be an “Outlaw Traveler,” continuing in Taylor’s shoes.

    About The Author

    Dennis Hambright has spent over twenty-five years working as a private investigator and security consultant, handling assignments throughout the United States, Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia. Before that, he worked as a banker, salesman, repo man, bouncer, bodyguard, and radio personality. He spent four years living in Bolivia, searching for gold and lost treasure in the jungles of the Amazon basin, and five years living in Costa Rica.