June 29, 2010 / ISBN 978-0345505101
by Dennis Collins
We first met black ops soldier Ben Treven in the novel Fault Line.
He reluctantly returns to duty in Inside Out. His former commanding
officer, Colonel “Hort” Horton, finds Ben wasting away
in a Philippine prison for killing a man in a bar fight. Ben’s
only way out of jail is to rejoin Hort’s forces in a new and
dangerous assignment. Ben agrees to the terms and the adventure
It appears that ninety-two CIA video tapes of suspected terrorist
interrogations have fallen into the hands of a rogue black ops agent
who had supposedly been killed while on a past assignment. Daniel
Larison has seemingly risen from the dead threatening to make these
very damaging tapes public unless his demand for a hundred million
dollars in uncut diamonds is met.
Hort’s division is not the only government agency trying
to recover the tapes. The CIA feels that their ownership trumps
any other department’s right to the tapes and they are prepared
to defend their claim with lethal force, even if it means killing
other American agents.
The FBI enters the chase as well, and Ben finds an unlikely ally
in a female FBI special agent. He takes her along for the ride and
opens her eyes to the raw reality of international manhunts. She
opens his eyes to a new meaning for the phrase, “War makes
Their quarry proves to be an accomplished assassin, thwarting every
effort to corner him by simply wiping out the pursuit teams. It
soon becomes apparent that there is only one man capable of countering
the deadly skills of Daniel Larison, and that man is Ben Treven.
This story ends with question marks instead of exclamation points.
There are unresolved dilemmas and hazy futures for several of the
characters. In the end, the reader may wonder just how well he really
knows Hort or Ben. There are also hints that John Rain and his sidekick
“Dox,” operatives from earlier Barry Eisler novels,
may soon be joining forces with Ben and company.
Barry Eisler brings us another very thought provoking thriller
that warns us of the dangers within our system and those who try
to hold those dangers in check. The combination of brutal non-stop
action and political intrigue will satisfy a broad audience. Eisler’s
characters are solid and, in spite of their violent nature, quite
likeable. We’ll be hearing from this cast again.