s skippy the bush kangaroo: skippy looks at books: inside out

skippy the bush kangaroo



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

skippy looks at books: inside out

we recently discussed having found the work of barry eisler, a crackerjack mystery/thriller author who had the extra dimension in his book of using bloggers' names for minor characters.

we were fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of his next book, inside out, which mr. eisler graciously sent to us. we are happy to report that inside out is as taut, fast-paced and relevant to today's issues as his previous work fault line.

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in this new book we still follow the adventures of ben treven, the hero of fault line. ben is a special ops, assigned to a super secret outfit of soldiers that are sent to do the dirty work of keeping democracy viable, with all the good and bad that such a position implies.

but ben (who had to struggle w/keeping his brother alex alive after his stumbling onto a secret software security package) is young and still forming his emotional core; he wrestles w/his own demons of right and wrong even as he carries out his orders from his commander.

the premise of inside out is one that every lefty in blogtopia (and yes, we coined that phrase) will relate to: abu ghraib. presumably another special forces black op kept tapes of all the the atrocities committed therein, and now wants to black mail the u.s. government w/them. it's up to ben to find this blackmailer and neutralize him.

in our minds, ben treven is like a younger, less mature (in that he's young and still forming himself) version of lee childs' wonderful jack reacher character. like reacher, ben is highly skilled and able, world-traveled and intelligent, and ready to be deadly if the situation calls for it. treven is partnered this time w/a beautiful fbi agent (are there any other kind in these books?) and must stay one step ahead of other operatives from various agencies who wouldn't mind killing ben and the feeb just to hang the mess on them.

again, mr. eisler writes with a great pace, and makes everything very plausible. as he used to be a covert operative with the cia himself, the details of surveillance, logistics and gunplay ring true. and the moral and philosophical questions that pervade the story-telling lift mr. eisler's work a notch above the usual bang-you're-dead kind of book usually found in this genre.

in fact, the ending of the story (which we won't give away here) is a shocking cold-water-on-the-soul wake up call to anybody living in this country, and certainly not what one would expect from a good-guy-v-bad-guy-shoot-em-up thriller.

we are quite pleased to report that inside out, which will be available in stores on june 29, is every bit as satisfying as fault line. plus, there are more inside-blogging references (did you know marcy wheeler was married? neither did we! lol!)

we look forward to finding and reading mr. eisler's previous work, as well as any new ben treven novels that are forth coming.
posted by skippy at 3:09 PM |

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