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Fault Line

by Barry Eisler


Inventor Richard Hilzoy has developed a computer encryption application, but heíll never live to see it in action. Richard is murdered on the morning that he is supposed to meet with patent attorney Alex Treven to get the ball rolling.† Alex tries to contact his connection in the U.S. Patent Office for more information and is informed that his friend has unexpectedly died of seemingly natural causes.† Two deaths in such a short time span are unnerving, and when an intruder makes an attempt on Alex in his own home, he is convinced that there is a conspiracy, but he doesnít know why.† In desperation, Alex turns to his estranged brother, Ben, who works in some dark and mysterious government agency.

Ben Treven has just completed a mission in Turkey, where he had taken out two Iranian nuclear scientists and their bodyguards. He is awaiting instructions from his superiors when the email from his brother arrives.† Ben isnít happy about being asked to help his ungrateful and judgmental sibling, but he grudgingly returns home to see what he can do.† It doesnít take long for Ben to recognize that the threat is real and that Alexís co-worker, Sarah Hosseini, is equally endangered.† He takes them underground while he scouts the territory.† Their common enemy is very well organized, highly disciplined, and extremely ruthless.

Friction and distrust threaten the unity of the trio. A simmering resentment between Ben and Alex is rooted in the accidental death of their sister many years ago.† And Sarahís Iranian heritage is a red flag to Benís suspicious mind.† Itís up to Ben to keep the group cohesive and focused, a task that is sometimes beyond him.

Author Barry Eisler doesnít mess around in this book. The first murder occurs in the very first sentence of the book and the action accelerates from there. The quick dialogue, short chapters, and lightning-paced narrative make it a fast read.† The reader will streak through this book hardly noticing just how complex the plot really is.† Itís easy to follow with very believable, very human characters.

This is the third Barry Eisler novel that Iíve reviewed for† and, in my opinion, itís the best.

The Book

Ballantine Books
March 10, 2009
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The Reviewer

Dennis Collins
Reviewed 2009
© 2009