The Portable Nine

Pete Mesling

Book Cover

GENRE

THRILLER

    Core Theme

    THIS THRILLER TELLS THE STORY OF DAVENPORT, A SKILLED HITMAN WHO BECOMES A TARGET OF RETALIATION SCHEMES FROM THE FEARED BLACK PHANTOM AND CONTACTS HIS GROUP OF CRIMINALS IN ORDER TO SURVIVE AND SEEK REVENGE.

    TIME PERIOD

    Contemporary

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    OCEAN’S ELEVEN; SUICIDE SQUAD

    CHARACTER LIST

    DAVENPORT. 40’S. HITMAN. SMART, CHARMING, SKILLFUL.

    BLACK PHANTOM. ANTAGONIST. 40’S. GREEDY, EVIL, REVENGEFUL.

    ABEL HAZARD. ONE OF THE PORTABLE NINE. FEELS NO FEAR.

    LOVINIA DULCET. ONE OF THE PORTABLE NINE. PARALYZES WITH NEEDLES.

    MR BONNET. ONE OF THE PORTABLE NINE. BLIND WITH SUPERPOWERS.

    Logline

    When a criminal mastermind known as the Black Phantom has Davenport’s aunt killed as payback for a hit that never took place in Italy, the globe-trotting hit man reunites with a storied band of skilled mercenaries to seek revenge.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal,Female Leaning,Male Leaning

    Setting

    The Pacific Northwest; Tuscany; the Australian Outback; the Isle of Man; the concrete jungle of New York City; the actual jungles of South America; the streets of Chicago; the Midwest anonymity of Wichita, Kansas; the modern perils of Los Angeles; the Sahara desert; and the Caribbean.

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Other Kingdoms Publishing (self-published)

    Year Published: 2021

    Starting Description

    Davenport’s revolver fails to fire and kill one Max Brindle, and he wonders if maybe it's time to take up another profession—until he learns that the Black Phantom has destroyed his aunt’s home, and her along with it. Davenport and the rest of the Portable Nine soon embark on a quest for vengeance.

    Ending Description

    Davenport tracks the Black Phantom to the island of Guadeloupe and locks him in the same cell his father occupied years before. Max Brindle surprises Davenport, however, and the hit man accidentally pushes Brindle backward onto a length of rebar, finishing the job he'd failed to pull off in Italy.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-0-578-73256-5 (paperback only)

    Mature Audience Themes

    Extreme Violence,Nudity, Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Philosophical Questions,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Quest,Rebellion Against 'The One'

    Main Character Details

    Name: Davenport

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Heroic,Leader,Honorable,Lone Wolf,Strong Moral Code,Sophisticated,Outspoken,Skillful,Visionary,Secretive

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Pierre LeGrand (the Black Phantom)

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Badass,Criminal,Desperate,Greedy,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Manipulative,Seductive,Skillful,Visionary,Power Hungry,Blunt,Narcisstic,Villainous,Masculine

    Additional Character Details

    Name: The Rest of the Portable Nine

    Age: 40

    Gender: Other

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Crazy,Criminal,Heroic,Underdog,Narcisstic,Sexy,Skillful,Funny,Sarcastic,Secretive,Sophisticated,Strong Moral Code,Unapologetic

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    The Portable Nine is a revenge tale, but a complex one. The title refers to nine lawless mercenaries who haven't worked together for a long time when the novel begins. One by one, these misfits are introduced, and slowly their strange moral code is revealed. They must come together once more to right a wrong that has been done to their leader, known only as Davenport. If Abel Hazard doesn't shock an audience, with the fact that he's had his amygdala surgically removed so that he can no longer experience fear, perhaps the Butcher and his proficiency with a hatchet will. And if Lovinia Dulcet fails to surprise spectators with her ability to paralyze prey with a pair of glorified knitting needles, surely Mr. Bonnet will astonish with his hallucinatory navigation of the world, despite being completely blind. These are only a handful of the Portable Nine that await you. On the one hand, The Portable Nine is a commentary on how violence has become part and parcel of our popular culture. On the other, it revels in fictitious violence itself. There is much to be played with there in a film or television version. As a standalone novel, The Portable Nine is a rich vein for a film adaptation. The assassination plot and global landscape of the story would make for an exhilarating cinematic ride. At the same time, it is the first book in a planned series in which one of the Nine dies in each subsequent novel. Such a hook could of course lend itself very well to a limited series, too.

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, MATURE AUDIENCE, FANTASY

    Brief

    This is the story of Davenport, a skilled hitman who is successful until he fails a mission and becomes a target of retaliation schemes from the feared Black Phantom. This is when he contacts his group of 9 criminals in order to survive and seek revenge.

    Overall Rating

    EXCELLENT

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: GOOD

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: EXCELLENT

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    It is accurate.

    Draw of Story

    I was drawn to this story mainly due to the author’s writing style and the admirable construction of the characters that are part of the Portable Nine – all of them charming, dubious with a hint of insanity.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me want to put the book down.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch this movie and also its sequels because of the richness of characters and the enticing dynamics between them during the narrative.

    Fanbase Potential

    This story has a high potential for a large fanbase because each character is interesting in their own way and this type of narrative structure tends to enable identification with a broader audience.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential if adapted especially regarding actors, effects and screenplay.

    Envisioned Budget

    LARGE BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    SUICIDE SQUAD; OCEAN’S ELEVEN.

    What’s New About the Story

    The most original thing about this story is that we can consider The Portable Nine as this big character comprised by nine individuals that wouldn’t be interesting enough if separated as we’re talking about criminals with crooked morals - but they somehow are charismatic as a group and due to that narrative becomes even more addictive.

    Lead Characters

    The duality of the main character, Davenport, is shadowed by the insanity surrounding his colleagues from the Portable Nine and the Black Phantom – and, by comparison, the reader slowly accepts the contradictory idea that the protagonist, the hero, is a hit man with strong morals.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It is a rare gem.

    Possible Formats

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

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    Because narrative is well written and characters are solid, it would certainly be a remarkable adaptation.

    Brief

    Davenport is a skilled hitman who is used to getting things his way – but this is about to change as he is out to hunt Brindle. Even not being successful in his task, Davenport’s aunt is killed by the revengeful Black Phantom – and that’s when Davenport summons the Portable Nine to help him get his justice and finish the job he started.

    What We Liked

    What we liked the most about this story is that we can consider The Portable Nine as this big character comprised by nine individuals that wouldn’t be interesting enough if separated as we’re talking about criminals with crooked morals - but they somehow are charismatic as a group and due to that narrative becomes even more addictive

    Film: It would be a great film adaptation because storyline of this particular book is well constructed and, beyond that, a franchise would be expected – as the Portable Nine members are individually interesting and spin offs would easily become a hit.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV because of the unique richness of the Portable Nine characters, each one bringing along a universe of individualities and visuals enough to enable surprising and varied episodes, keeping the audience hooked.

    Key points: Well-constructed and dubious characters; Dynamic Plot; Solid storyline; Well-written character-arcs; Open ending.

    Synopsis

    We are transported to Florence, Italy, where Davenport, a charming and deadly hit man is on a mission: ending up Max Brindle’s life. Surprisingly to him, he fails on his mission, but apparently the feared Black Phantom is not aware that Brindle is still alive and gets hungry for revenge.

    When Black Phantom destroys Davenport’s aunt house and kills her, Davenport decides to gather the Portable Nine, a group of criminals that haven’t worked together for a long time. He tracks each one of them, all unique, deadly and somehow ethical around the world to help him in this battle.
    The Portable Nine reunite in a plot of revenge and nothing will stop them until they get justice in their own terms.

    Davenport finally tracks the Black Phantom and locks him in the same place the story began: the cell in which his father spent time years before, and finishes killing Max Brindle.

    About The Author

    Pete Mesling has published poetry and fiction widely, including several horror collections, a book of poetry, a collection of crime stories, an assassination novel, and a children’s fantasy novel. Other publishing highlights include having stories in All-American Horror of the 21st Century, the First Decade: 2000 - 2010 (Independent Legions Publishing) and Shallow Waters, Vol. 3 (Crystal Lake Publishing). Mesling also had the pleasure of working directly with the late Richard Matheson on an online retrospective of his career in film and television and is the official Clive Barker proofreader for Gauntlet Press.