Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review & Blog Tour - Fault Line by Barry Eisler

Synopsis from publisher:

Silicon Valley: the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent drug deal. Istanbul: a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he’ll be the next victim. And on the sun-drenched slopes of Sand Hill Road, California’s nerve center of money and technology, old family hurts sting anew as two brothers who share nothing but blood and bitterness wage a desperate battle against a faceless enemy.

Alex Treven has sacrificed everything to achieve his sole ambition: making partner in his high-tech law firm. But then the inventor of a technology Alex is banking on is murdered, the patent examiner who reviewed the innovation dies–and Alex himself narrowly escapes an attack in his own home. Off balance, out of ideas, and running out of time, he knows that the one person who can help him is the last person he’d ever ask: his brother.

Ben Treven is a military liaison element, an elite undercover soldier paid to “find, fix, and finish” high-value targets in the United States global war on terror.

Disenchanted with what he sees as America’s culture of denial and decadence, Ben lives his detached life in the shadows because the black ops world is all he really knows–and because other than Alex, whom he hasn’t spoken to since their mother died, his family is long gone.

But blood is thicker than water, and when Ben receives Alex’s frantic call he hurries to San Francisco to help him. Only then does Alex reveal that there’s another player who knows of the technology: Sarah Hosseini, a young Iranian American lawyer whom Alex has long secretly desired–and whom Ben immediately distrusts. As these three struggle to identify the forces attempting to silence them, Ben and Alex are forced to examine the events that drove them apart–even as Sarah’s presence, and her own secret yearnings, deepens the fault line between them.

A full-throttle thriller that is both emotionally and politically charged, Fault Line centers on a conspiracy that has spun out of the shadows and onto the streets of America, a conspiracy that can be stopped by only three people–three people with different worldviews, different grievances, different motives. To survive the forces arrayed against them, they’ll first have to survive one another.

My thoughts:

This is a very "macho" book. I could almost feel the testosterone dripping from the pages. I would supose Ben is meant to be the main character - he would be the natural choice to base a new series of books around. He is everything an action hero should be - tough, mean, sarcastic, remarkably learned though he never went to college, fast, stealthy, somewhat emotionless until the end of the novel - you get the idea. Alex, his brother, seemed a bit whiny much of the time. Sarah, the token female protagonist, didn't really get fleshed out enough to make much of an impact.

While the characters weren't especially unique, the storyline certainly was, and that's what kept me going through the novel. Eisler seems to have a perfect grasp of the nefarious ways bad guys can use modern technology, and makes a fast-paced, action-packed thriller that keeps the pages turning. My biggest complaint with the plot was that the ending seemed a little......anticlimactic? But it certainly kept me interested, all the way to the end.

Barry Eisler is poised to become another big-name writer - his previous series, about assassin John Rain, has a movie coming out start Gary Oldman. You can learn more about his new novel Fault Line, or visit his personal web page if you'd like to learn more.

Finished: 5/1/09
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotion Blog Tours
Rating: 6/10


Tracee said...

Thanks so much for the review and for being part of Barry's virtual book tour!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a book for my hubby!

Barry Eisler said...

Hi Elizabeth, thanks again for the guest slot.


thewriterslife said...

Terrific review...thank you!

Hazra said...

When I heard the title, I thought it was some earthquake story.
Anyways, sounds interesting, but there's some deja-vu. I have read a similar book -two estranged brothers, one dies and other takes revenge (cant remember the name)

Alyce said...

I love the part about the book being macho. :) I've read books like that before. The ones where they are so obviously "guy" books. Not that a girl can't enjoy them, but they are what they are.

Cheryl said...

This book sounds right up my alley.

kathye Quick said...

Sounds like a book I would like as much as my hub.

Movie with Gary Oldman - interesting casting.

Good luck, Barry!!!!

Barry Eisler said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. One of the things that always intrigues me about the book biz is the way a book can function as a kind of inkblot test. The same book that struck Elizabeth as super macho has been criticized by some in the testosterone crowd for its emphasis on the relationship between the brothers and the love triangle that develops between them and Sarah Hosseini, the female lead. Personally, I like a blend of action and emotional depth, and that's what I was going for in Fault Line. I'll leave it to you to decide whether I've pulled it off.


Elizabeth said...

Barry - I appreciate that you did give the lead characters that emotional depth. I said the book seemed "macho", but if that emotion hadn't been there, I would have ditched it pretty quickly. I really think this book will do well - I wish you the best! And thanks for stopping by!

Zibilee said...

This book sounds like something a friend of mine might like. I will point him to this review when I next see him. Great review!

CherylS22 said...

This book looks great! Can't wait to read it.