Tuesday, February 12, 2019
The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler
Seattle detective Livia Lone is tracking down a pedophile ring with the assistance of an FBI hacker. When startling links to a government agency turn up, Livia is warned off and the investigation closed down.
Outraged, Livia can't decide what to do--until she is targeted by two assassins in what seems to be coincidentally close to the timing of the investigation that was just closed down.
As it turns out, the hit on Livia was first offered to John Rain. Rain, retired from black ops with a specialty in "natural causes," refused the job.
I have not read the John Rain series by Eisler and was surprised at how he could bring in so many characters from the series and make it work, but he does. Even though this is the 10th book in the John Rain series, it functions as a standalone.
Fast-paced and suspenseful, the novel makes the best of a large cast of characters.
About the author: Barry Mark Eisler is a best-selling American novelist. He is the author of two thriller series, the first featuring anti-hero John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American former soldier turned freelance assassin, and a second featuring black ops soldier Ben Treven. Wikipedia
And there is also a third series featuring Livia Lone. The Killer Collective combines the characters from all three series. It may sound complicated, but it isn't. The book read quickly, and I couldn't put it down.
Also, of genuine interest to me, was a section of Notes at the end. For each chapter there are links to articles that provided the inspiration for events in the story.
Livia's sting was based partly on "The Takeover: How Police Ended Up Running a Paedophile Site."
Remarks about Pentagon spending: "Only the Pentagon Could Spend $640 on a Toilet Seat."
Other links on cognitive dissonance, the "hurtcore" subculture, Secret Service scandals (oh, yes, we've read about some of those), a link to Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence (a good idea to follow your gut to avoid dangerous situations), Erik Prince's Plan to Privatize the War in Afghanistan which provided the basis for the OGE group, and on and on.
The links give relevance to the plot, but they are also pretty damn scary because they show the dark side of a lot of things, and I've only listed a few.
“The fun of Eisler’s super thriller is in the excitement, the chase, and the survival. The Killer Collective binds it together into a blazing adventure of espionage escape fiction, perfect to start the new year.” —New York Journal of Books