The Night Trade

The Night TradeThe Night Trade (Livia Lone, #2) by Barry Eisler
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 316
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The Night Trade is the second book in the Livia Lone series. I strongly suggest reading Livia Lone first, so you have the entire back story on Livia’s character and her need for vengeance and revenge for what happened to her and her sister.

Detective Livia Lone works is a sex-crimes detective who has been given a position with a government anti-trafficking case. She jumps at the chance to return to Thailand so that she can seek out Rithisak Sorm, the man who was responsible for what happened to her and her sister (and hundreds of other kids as well). When a takedown goes wrong, she learns that she is not alone on the hunt for Sorm. A man by the name of Dox is also hunting him. Dox and Livia are nothing alike and it takes them some time to trust each other and realize that they have the same goal in mind – justice.

Those that have read Eisler’s John Rain books know Dox well. He is my favorite character in the series, so I was extremely happy to see his aww-shucks good ole boy Texas persona once again! Dox is a sniper with a witty personality and for a big guy he can hide in plain sight due to his ability to blend in and looks like a harmless tourist.

I thought Livia Lone was a great book. I had high hopes for this book but there were parts that just felt flat for me. Dox is what really saved this book for me and pushed it to a 3.5-star rating, again mainly because I loved his character so much from the John Rain series. Some readers may not be familiar with him, so I don’t know how they will embrace Dox. Again, reading the John Rain series will help readers know and love Dox. Livia is a tough chick, but she has her issues and while reading this book, I kept thinking how she passed any psychological background checks. She had to have undergone them to do what she did for a living. But I digress….

It’s not a secret that Eisler once worked for the CIA and has a huge martial arts background. I have always loved his fight scenes and tales of international intrigue, inter-workings of the government, spies, etc. but for some reason they did not work for me in this book. I also did not care for Livia as much in this book. I found her to be more likable in the first book.

Thank you to Thomas Mercer and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Zero Sum

Zero SumZero Sum (John Rain, #9) by Barry Eisler
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 288
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4.5 stars

I was so excited when I saw that there was going to be another book in the John Rain series. I was first introduced to Barry Eisler’s John Rain series years ago through a site called bzzagent. I was selected to read a book and give my honest opinion. That book was the 4th in the series (Killing Rain now known as Redemption Games). I was hooked!!! I quickly read the first three books in the series and have been a Barry Eisler (and John Rain!) fan ever since. I have read Eisler’s other books as well but the John Rain series remains my favorite! Eisler never disappoints – the action is fast, the plot moves at a great speed and there will be intrigue, mystery, fighting, sex, and plot twists along the way. It is no wonder that he has such a huge fan base. I find Eisler’s books to be intelligent, fun, dark, and suspenseful.

In this book, a young John Rain has returned to Tokyo after spending a decade in the Philippines working as a mercenary. The year is 1982 and Rain has been given the task of eliminating/killing a Japanese politician by a man named Victor. Victor is half Japanese- half Russian thug who controls the “killing” business in Tokyo. But is Victor really in charge or is someone controlling him? As Rain goes about completing his task, the bodies begin to pile up and Rain begins a relationship with the politician’s wife.

Rain relies on some friends along the way to fill in some background info as he determines his best course of action. Speaking of action, there is a lot of it in this book. I have always enjoyed the fight scenes. They are really vivid. The Author has spent time in Japan, has a covert position with the CIA, and has martial arts experience. It is no wonder that his action and story lines feel real, descriptive and vivid.

This book is a prequel and does a good job showing how John Rain became an assassin. It also works well as a stand alone book but I think hard core Rain/Eisler fans will especially appreciate this book! This book will get your heart pumping and your fingers turning the page.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas and Mercer and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Livia Lone

Livia LoneLivia Lone by Barry Eisler
Published by Thomas & Mercer on October 25th 2016
Pages: 358
ISBN: 1503939669
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Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Barry Eisler is an Author who does not disappoint. I have been a fan since I read his first book about John Rain. When reading an Eisler book, one can always count on a few things: complex interesting characters, in depth fight scenes, some violence and my favorite: strong female characters.

Labee (Livia) and her younger sister, Nason, grew up in the hills of Thailand. They came from a poor family and Labee was always on the lookout for things to eat in order to help her and her younger sister survive. One day Labee and Nason were playing in front of the family hut when their lives changed forever. Soon a van pulled up and three men stepped out and took Livia and her sister while her parents watched from the doorway of their hut. Scared and frightened, they soon learned that other children had been taken as well. Why had their parents not stopped the men that grabbed them? Where were they being taken? Sadly, Labee and her sister had been sold to human traffickers by their own parents. Labee, who has always looked out for her younger sister, tries to keep her and her younger sister safe as they and other children are kept captive by the traffickers. Soon it becomes evident that no matter what she does to try and keep her sister safe, even at her own expense, she learns that a little girl is not match to the men who have taken them. Both girls suffer sexual abuse at the hands of the men before becoming separated. Soon Labee finds herself in American being “rescued”.

Labee is taken in by a prominent family who change her name to Livia. She is promised that her new “father” will try to find her sister if she obeys and does as he asks. One nightmare turns into another for her. The only real break for her is learning martial arts from her friend and her friend’s father. She excels at this and makes friends in the process.

Later in life she becomes a sex crimes police officer in Seattle. She works hard to bring rapists and sex offenders to justice. The entire time she is desperately trying to find information on her younger sister. She has so many questions and hunts down the men who took them so long ago. She soon discovers a conspiracy and as she puts the pieces together, she discovers family secrets and the truth of how and why she and her sister were taken so long ago.

Labee/Livia is a very strong female character. She is willing to do whatever it takes to find her sister and bring their abductors to justice. She is able to take what has happened to her and turn it into a strength. She is brave, mentally and physically strong and cunning.

Eisler writes characters who operate above/beyond/outside the law. He has the ability to write about an Assassin (John Rain) and have us cheer for that character. Who hasn’t read the John Rain books and enjoyed Dox? Characters who are so likable yet live by their own code. Labee/Livia is no different. Although a police officer it is not enough to arrest those who harmed her, she wants vengeance and we root for her. We, the reader, want her to have that vengeance. I think it is a rare gift for an Author to be able to write a character who can be likable yet do unlikable things.

This is a dark gritty tale. Eisler delivers another great book that will not disappoint his fans. Be warned this book is full of sexual depravity, abuse and violence. It deals with difficult subject matter which some may find to difficult to read. But this is a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Eisler always delivers and never disappoints.


The God’s Eye View

The God’s Eye ViewThe God's Eye View by Barry Eisler
Published by Thomas & Mercer on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 374
ISBN: 1503949613
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Received from NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer in exchange for an honest review.

Barry Eisler does not disappoint in his latest book, The God’s Eye View.

Evelyn “Evie” Gallagher is a computer analyst working for the NSA. While doing her job of monitoring cameras around the world and filtering images through a facial recognition system, she see something that she should not see. She begins to question deaths of journalists and her tie to them as well as the motives of the Director of the NSA. Once she questions the director, he then in turn, has her under surveillance.

Theodore Anders, Director of the NSA has a mission to monitor communications around the world in order to keep America safe. In order to keep American safe, he often relies on a sadist bomb maker named Delgado and a Deaf Assassin named Manus. Anders is an example of how Absolute Power corrupts absolutely.

All of these Characters and more collide in “The God’s Eye View” to weave a tale of intrigue, whistle blowing, suspense, romance, political scheming, danger, and excitement. While reading this book, I could not help but think of Eisler’s other books; specifically the John Rain series. Once again, Eisler has been able to create an Assassin who is likable, damaged, and intriguing. This is where Eisler shines. Creating a Character that normally we would not feel for, and yet we do. He does this is such a smooth and wonderful fashion. Giving us a glimpse into his abusive childhood. Showing that although a ruthless killer, he can also be conflicted and compassionate.

Another thing Eisler is good at…taking a subject such as the NSA, political bureaucracy and making it fun to read. He doesn’t dumb down anything. He is a very intelligent writer who is able to tell his political tale in a succinct manner.

I really enjoyed this book. I think it has something for everyone. It is wonderfully written with well thought out characters. The story was fantastic. Another fantastic book by Eisler.