Friday, January 30, 2009

Fault Line - Barry Eisler

Just when attorney Alex Treven is about to close a big patent deal for an encryption program, the software designer is murdered and the individual in the patent office reviewing the patent dies mysteriously. Alex begins to think he may be the next target. Is he just being paranoid or is there a conspiracy? To be on the safe side, he contacts his estranged brother Ben, who unbeknownst to Alex is a trained assassin for the U.S. government. When Ben reluctantly comes to Alex's aid, old family wounds are re-opened and new ones emerge.

Fault Line is my first novel by Barry Eisler; I am not familiar with his John Rain series. Fault Line is an entertaining novel with a dark setting and themes, but there was nothing about it that "wow'ed" me. The plot was focused and tight, so the action moved fairly quickly but was predictable.

The characters struck me as being flat and stereotypical. There was no point that I felt any real connections with the characters. And at several points in the novel, I was waiting for Ben to beat on his chest and yell, "me Tarzan; you Jane." Both brothers also struck me as extremely egocentric.

The blurb on the back cover from the Chicago Sun-Times says that "Eisler is one of the most talented and literary writers in the thriller genre." So, I was waiting for the "literary" element to come into play, but I didn't ever experience anything in this novel that would make me classify it as a literary thriller.

I felt the strongest element of the novel was a look at the ethics of the government assassin, but in the whole scheme of the novel, that theme didn't seem to play as big of a role as maybe it could have.

I would probably place this book in the category of a good beach read.

Fault Line will be released by Ballantine Books in March of 2009.


Corey Wilde January 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM  

I guess this is one I'll pass by. I read the first two 'Rain' books and while I thought Eisler did a wonderful job creating atmosphere, there just never was any 'pop' to the action. Intriguing books but not gripping, at least not for me. But I know some folks who would call John Rain and have me done away with (accidentally on purpose, that's Rain's style) for saying so.

PK the Bookeemonster January 31, 2009 at 11:19 AM  

I've read all the Rain books and loved the first few but by the end I was getting weary. I initially had this one on hold at the library for me but decided eventually that the premise just didn't grab me and that I had many more things to read otherwise. Thanks for reading it for me and reporting on it! :)
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Ruth February 2, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

I've had the first of the John Rain books on the TBR pile for awhile now. Something keeps stopping me from reading it, and from the sounds of it, maybe that's not a bad thing. :)

There are so many good thriller writers out there. Right now I'm reading Deadly Exchange by Geoffrey Gluckman. It's a really fast-paced espionage thriller that grabbed me from the first page and just won't let go.

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