Thursday, January 31, 2019

Books: "The Killer Collective" By Barry Eisler

The Killer Collective
By Barry Eisler
Thomas & Mercer; hardcover, 429 pages, $24.95; paperback, $15.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; Audiobook, $24.99; available Friday, February 1

Barry Eisler, the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen thrillers and a former CIA covert operative, has created three series, featuring sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, freelance assassin John Rain, and black-ops soldier Ben Treven. These have received numerous literary awards, made it on various "Best of" lists, and have been translated into more than twenty languages around the world.

Eisler's books, while entertaining, confront pressing social and political issues, including child sex trafficking, rape, and other crimes against humanity. 

Barry Eisler.

When Eisler is not writing, he works alongside other former intelligence, law enforcement, and military professionals with Human Rights First against torture, which includes lobbying on Capitol Hill.

The series focusing on Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone has resonated with readers for its authentic portrayal of a nuanced character who is not only a cop, but is also a refugee, victim, survivor, and a killer.

All of Eisler's characters come together in this new standalone thriller, The Killer Collective. When a joint FBI-Seattle Police investigation of an international child pornography ring gets too close to certain powerful people, Livia becomes the target of a hit that barely goes awry - a hit that had been offered to John Rain, a retired specialist in "natural causes."

Livia suspects that the FBI itself was behind the attack, and she then reached out to former Marine sniper Dox. Together, they form an ad hoc group to identify and neutralize the threat. The group includes 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 Scott "Hort" Horton.

This battle will take the team to Japan to Seattle to Washington, DC, to Paris, as they fight a series of interlocking conspiracies, with each one edging closer and closer to the highest levels of the United States government. With uncertain loyalties, conflicting agendas, and smoldering romantic entanglements, these operators will have a hard time forming a team.

In this entertaining thriller, it is clear that this is an uneven match, but a collective of killers might even be better.

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