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Fault Line by Barry Eisler
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Fault Line (2009)

by Barry Eisler

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4379624,058 (3.58)26
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  1. 20
    Rain Fall by Barry Eisler (wdlaurie)
    wdlaurie: Eisler's first novel, with John Rain, gets off to a rollicking good start and keeps delivering.
  2. 00
    Requiem for an Assassin by Barry Eisler (wdlaurie)
    wdlaurie: Another title by Eisler, with John Rain
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Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
A pretty good thriller. I liked Ben, the hero, better than John Rain. Wonderful mystery & great ending, but pretty typical "shoot 'em up, bang, bang" as my boys used to call media of this type. Tough guy op, a gorgeous girl, & some real bad guys to whack. It's all that, but a bit more as well. Not everyone is as good or bad as they seem & there's a brother & old family history to contend with, too. Anyway, it was fun & relaxing. I think I'll read another. (Think potato chips.)

Eisler is an author I've been interested in, not so much for his writing as for his decision to leave one of the Big 6 publishers & start self-publishing. If you're not familiar with this, you should look up [a:J.A. Konrath|137270|J.A. Konrath|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1238279777p2/137270.jpg], author of the Jack Daniels cop thrillers, [b:Be the Monkey: A Conversation About the New World of Publishing Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath|10890413|Be the Monkey A Conversation About the New World of Publishing Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath|Barry Eisler|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1327799242s/10890413.jpg|15806191]. I read the original on his blog & then got a copy for free off Smashwords, but now it's $1 on Amazon. It brings up a lot of points about book publishing in general & how it is changing. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Ben Treven, fresh from killing some people (including an FSB agent) as one of his assignments is contacted by his estranged brother for help. His law firm was working with a software program called Obsidian - new fancy, fast encryption. Now two of the people involved have been killed and files taken.

So the program is more than it seems, given the level of interest and Ben soon works out his actual brand of help is needed.

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2012/03/fault-line-barry-eisler/ ( )
  BlueTysonSS | Mar 19, 2012 |
I have been a big fan of Barry Eisler’s ever since I read his first John Rain novel (concerning the increasingly complex adventures of John Rain, a half-Japanese assassin who tangles with the CIA – and that brief sentence in no way does justice to the complexities of the plot). I was disappointed when Eisler stopped writing Rain novels and started writing other stuff, and it’s taken me this long to get to the first of these non-Rain Eisler books.

Mild plot spoilers follow.

Alex Treven is an ambitious, up-and-coming Silicon Valley attorney specializing in software. He’s got a client who has created a new piece of software that’s going to be a really big deal, though Alex isn’t entirely sure of what the software can do. His chances at making partner are drastically diminished when the client dies under suspicious circumstances, along with the patent examiner in charge of the case. Alex also narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in his own home. He has no one else to turn to other than his estranged brother, Ben, a deep-black special operator. There’s a great deal of bad blood between the two, though Ben arrives to bail Alex out of trouble, and they quickly go on the run along with an Iranian-American junior attorney from Alex’s firm named Sarah Hosseini. Things go downhill from there once they realize who is actually trying to kill them (no spoilers here). The action is generally very good, especially the scenes when Ben Treven is introduced in mid-operation. That’s classic Eisler at his finest. There’s also plenty of sexual tension between the two brothers – who each desire Sarah – and this works well, though, oddly, Eisler tells us about all of their individual masturbatory habits in throwaway lines. Did we really need to know this, Barry?

I should note that the book is explicitly set in the Rain universe (there’s a quick mention of John Rain) and for the most part the plot and attention to detail in the characters’ operations are up to Eisler’s usual standards. The characters were the biggest let-down for me, however. None of them grabbed me, or were at all sympathetic or enjoyable as human beings. It’s hard to believe, I know, but John Rain the assassin is actually a far more likable guy than either of the Treven brothers. Alex is too nakedly ambitious and cold, and Ben is, well, just kind of an angry, cynical jerk who’s grown emotionally detached from American culture and civil society.

I give this one 3.5 stars out of 5, as it was a fun, quick read, but it could have been better, especially in the area of characterization. I wanted very badly to care about these characters being in mortal danger, but they just weren’t very sympathetic. I plan to read the sequel, though I’m concerned that the topic of that one is another thinly veiled platform for Eisler to pontificate about torture being bad (Requiem for an Assassin suffered because of this). We’ll see.

Review copyright 2011 J. Andrew Byers ( )
  bibliorex | Apr 16, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not my cup of tea. Felt the writing was not up to Eisler's standards.
  ebengtson | Mar 4, 2011 |
There are some similarities between this book and Eisler's "Rain" series. Even cuter, Rain's assassination specialty gets a casual 'cameo' mention in it, lol, clearly establishing it as the same world as the Rain series. And hey, Ben just happens to be an assassin who works for the US government.

I enjoyed the family history and dynamic Eisler uses here between the brothers. I think he made Alex too unsympathetic until nearly the very end. Hard to believe that having his own life threatened wouldn't force him to be more civil to and focused on whoever was saving him.

The law office 'frame' around the story was nicely done as well.

For all the positive play between the brothers, the added female interest, and gripping action scenes, somehow the plotting felt uneven. I wanted to give this book four stars but I think it only earned 3.5. Perhaps the main plot twist was too improbable? Can't say for sure.

Eisler does his usual magnificent job of researching the setting. Felt like I was back in the SF bay area again. I've said it before but I need to say it again -- Eisler breathes authenticity into his novels and I appreciate it.

You say there is a sequel book to this one? See you later, I'm off to the book store! :-) ( )
  Penforhire | Jan 25, 2011 |
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For Naomi, Dan, and Maya, with love
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The last thing Richard Hilzoy thought before the bullet entered his brain was, Things are really looking up.
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(Ben) Because deep down, he'd known what his father really wanted. The old man didn't trust Wally and wanted to be sure that Ben - Ben personally - would get Katie home safely.
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Book description
In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent carjacking. In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged younger brother. When Alex Treven, a patent lawyer who has been working for the inventor, is attacked in his apartment, he is convinced he is the target of a conspiracy, and his brother, Ben, is his only hope. Setting aside their differences, Alex and Ben come together to find out who is behind the attacks. They soon learn that forces in America and abroad are involved in a high-stakes struggle to take hold of the technology, and now both of their lives are in danger.
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In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent carjacking. In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged younger brother. When Alex Treven, a patent lawyer who has been working for the inventor, is attacked in his apartment, he is convinced he is the target of a conspiracy, and his brother, Ben, is his only hope. Setting aside their differences, Alex and Ben come together to find out who is behind the attacks. They soon learn that forces in America and abroad are involved in a high-stakes struggle to take hold of the technology, and now both of their lives are in danger.… (more)

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