Well, thank you, Barry Eisler, for burning out my eyes. If that sounds
like torture, don't worry; all the man did was write a book that was very,
very hard to put down. THE KILLER
COLLECTIVE combines characters from some of Eisler's thriller
series and places them in equal danger, forcing them to combine
talents against a many-headed enemy.
Livia Lone, the main character, is a Seattle cop. I like police procedural
series and Livia stars in the narrow subset of anti-police procedurals
since she is both a police officer and using her knowledge of
procedures to commit crimes. For reasons she justifies, of course. In
order to avenge the slavery and death of her sister, and her own early
slavery, she now harms sex offenders, especially those targeting
children. And that is what proves the inescapable lure that might get
John Rain is from another series, a hardened ex-intelligence field
agent. He gets involved after a joint FBI/Seattle police investigation into
online abuse poses a threat to high up staffers. Trying to remove this
threat, someone calls John and asks him to kill Livia and her hacker
friend and an FBI agent. John refuses, but now he knows too much so
someone sends mercenaries after him. Calling on his best colleagues,
John ups the stakes. He needs all the help he can get, as a large
private army corporation wants to take over running wars in the Middle
East, for profit (which seems to be a good way to guarantee the
fighting would never end) and so they have endless staff, guns, and
money to throw at this obstacle. And by now, John is curious to meet
this Seattle cop.
Other books by Barry Eisler have concentrated more on the
technothriller aspect, as in God's Eye which studies the surveillance
situation. I found THE KILLER
COLLECTIVE is more focused on weaponry, from a helicopter
gunship to underground bunkers, from concealable pistols to sniper
fire. The action begins in America and moves to Paris, which is visited
in depth, so this is not just a quick change of scenery but a well-
studied setting for the violent action. The author seldom leaves much
to chance for his motley crew, and as always with thrillers, it's best not
to get too attached to anyone.
Just remember to put the book down from time to time.
A fast-paced, page-turning novel of betrayal, vengeance,
and depraved secrets in high places from the New York
Times bestselling author of the John Rain and Livia Lone
When a joint FBI–Seattle Police investigation of an
international child pornography ring gets too close to
certain powerful people, sex-crimes detective Livia Lone
becomes the target of a hit that barely goes awry—a hit that
had been offered to John Rain, a retired specialist in
Suspecting the FBI itself was behind the attack, Livia
reaches out to former Marine sniper Dox. Together, they
assemble an ad hoc group to identify and neutralize the
threat. There’s Rain. Rain’s estranged lover, Mossad agent
and honeytrap specialist Delilah. And black ops soldiers Ben
Treven and Daniel Larison, along with their former
commander, SpecOps legend Colonel Scot “Hort” Horton.
Moving from Japan to Seattle to DC to Paris, the group
fights a series of interlocking conspiracies, each edging
closer and closer to the highest levels of the US government.
With uncertain loyalties, conflicting agendas, and
smoldering romantic entanglements, these operators will have
a hard time forming a team. But in a match as uneven as this
one, a collective of killers might be even better.