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Fault Line [Hardcover]

Barry Eisler
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: 15.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

10 Mar 2009
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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (10 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345505085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345505088
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 16.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 962,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A Note On The New Titles

Why have I changed the titles of the Rain books? Simply because I've never thought the titles were right for the stories. The right title matters--if only because the wrong one has the same effect as an inappropriate frame around an otherwise beautiful painting. Not only does the painting not look good in the wrong frame; it will sell for less, as well. And if you're the artist behind the painting, having to see it in the wrong frame, and having to live with the suboptimal commercial results, is aggravating.

The sad story of the original Rain titles began with the moniker Rain Fall for the first in the series. It was a silly play on the protagonist's name, and led to an unfortunate and unimaginative sequence of similar such meaningless, interchangeable titles: Hard Rain, Rain Storm, Killing Rain (the British titles were better, but still not right: Blood from Blood for #2; Choke Point for #3; One Last Kill for #4). By the fifth book, I was desperate for something different, and persuaded my publisher to go with The Last Assassin, instead. In general, I think The Last Assassin is a good title, but in fairness it really has nothing to do with the story in the fifth book beyond the fact that there's an assassin in it. But it was better than more of Rain This and Rain That. The good news is, the fifth book did very well indeed; the bad news is, the book's success persuaded my publisher that assassin was a magic word and that what we needed now was to use the word assassin in every title. And so my publisher told me that although they didn't care for my proposed title for the sixth book--The Killer Ascendant--they were pleased to have come up with something far better. The sixth book, they told me proudly, would be known as The Quiet Assassin.

I tried to explain that while not quite as redundant as, say, The Deadly Assassin or The Lethal Assassin, a title suggesting an assassin might be notable for his quietness was at best uninteresting (as opposed to, say, Margret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, which immediately engages the mind because of the connection of two seemingly contradictory qualities). The publisher was adamant. I told them that if they really were hell-bent on using assassin in a title that otherwise had nothing to do with the book, couldn't we at least call the book The Da Vinci Assassin, or The Sudoku Assassin? In the end, we compromised on Requiem for an Assassin, a title I think would be good for some other book but is unrelated to the one I wrote--beyond, again, the bare fact of the presence of an assassin in the story.

Now that I have my rights back and no longer have to make ridiculous compromises about these matters, I've given the books the titles I always wanted them to have--titles that actually have something to do with the stories, that capture some essential aspect of the stories, and that act as both vessel and amplifier for what's most meaningful in the stories. For me, it's like seeing these books for the first time in the frames they always deserved. It's exciting, satisfying, and even liberating. Have a look yourself and I hope you'll enjoy them.


Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. To learn more, please visit www.barryeisler.com. Or Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

Product Description

About the Author

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law. www.barryeisler.com --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By NeuroSplicer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to start up by saying that I am a huge fun of Barry Eisler. I have greatly enjoyed all six of his Jack Rain novels (highly recommended to anyone!) so my expectations were high even though I knew this was to be a break from that story arc. Having said that, I have to confess that I found FAULT LINE to be a disappointment.

Alex is in trouble. He is a lawyer and his client's software under patent seems to have triggered a murderous spree and the list includes his name. Conveniently, his older brother, Ben, is a CIA wet-works operator that has just completed a semi-successful op in Istanbul. Although estranged and barely on speaking terms (not to mention unaware of his brother's true occupation!), Ben is the one Alex calls when it hits the fan. And even if suspension-of-disbelief requirements were not high enough, here come yet another couple of things that gum up this novel from working.

First off, the brothers' back story: it seems to drag on and on forever. We are well past the middle of the book when the narration of events from that fateful night is finally completed. And the switching of perspectives from one brother to the other, not something I would try again. It only manages to add excessive emotional details to an action novel, and without really strengthening anyone's motivation. I suspect that, this being the first book of the new Ben Traven series, it had to suffer a little in the heavy background department; nevertheless, it could had been done more subtly and concisely.

Secondly, there is no such thing as an action novel/political treatise hybrid - and when attempted it simply does not work. Barry's political observations (although accurate and valid) cannot be supported in an action novel.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Stick to action, Barry... 18 Jun 2009
Fault Line is obivously Barry Eisler's attempt to stretch himself as an author. As well as being a thriller it is also the story of two brothers and their dysfunctional relationship, with the latter seemingly more important to the author than the somewhat slight conspiracy that drives the plot.

Unfortunately whilst Barry Eisler can do action and thrills, as proven by his series of novels featuring John Rain, who gets namechecked in Fault Line but doesn't appear, when it comes to portraying realistic human relationships he has a tin-ear. None of the interpersonal relationships on display, be it that of the two brothers Alex and Ben Treven or the love triangle involving the two of them and the predictably beautiful Sarah Hosseini, feel remotely real or believable either in their conception or how they play out over the course of the book. Issues between individuals that are apparently deep seated, intractable and have developed over years are resolved in the course of one quick conversation (begging the question as to why they didn't have it when their lives weren't in immediate danger) and other conflicts feel forced and there only to provide added 'drama' to an already over melodramatic set-up.

When all this unrealistic and overheated human drama is combined with clunky dialogue and some cliched plotting, including the obligatory love-hate relationship that leads to lustful sex in almost indecently quick time, then what you end up with is a book that is more soap-opera than thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Faulty 11 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read Eisler's John Rain tales, a new set of characters was always going to be a hard sell. Even allowing for that, the story lacks cohesion and the fluid prose of his earlier works.

This stand alone story follows the tale of two brothers, one the stay at home, admin type with the expected baggage, the other a flawed intelligence agent and their involvement with the same woman as they attempt to unravel a conspiracy.

Avoid. Stick with his assassin stories. They are superior in every way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I wonder why more authors don't develop plots where lawyers are hunted by cruel torturers and deadly assassins. It sounds like a winning plot device to me.

That said, Fault Line has some of the most awkward brother-brother psychology and misunderstandings that you could possibly read. Oops! So much for having a good premise.

Alex Treven was the quiet, well-behaved son who stayed home and dealt with the aftermath of a disintegrating family. His brother, Ben, was the wild one who escaped the in-person second guessing . . . but hangs onto the guilt. As a lawyer, Alex lives in a neat world where making partner and developing a reputation as a mover and shaker are what matters to him. Ben lives in a shadowy world where taking down enemies can be a matter of saving many lives, including his own. The two don't have much adult connection until Alex decides that he needs Ben's help, as he often did while they grew up. These aren't schoolyard bullies. These are serious enemies who don't plan to take any prisoners.

Ben comes to help, and Alex doesn't take his advice very seriously . . . at first. Gradually, it becomes clear that this is a game from which none of them may escape, including the beautiful, brainy Sarah Hosseini who also knows too much.

Because of the lethal threat, the story has credible thriller credentials. If it just weren't for the pain of reading about what the characters are thinking about and saying to one another, it would be a pretty good book. These characters, these thoughts, and these dialogues just don't fly. They didn't come alive for me except when Ben was doing his professional best . . . away from his brother.

I also think Mr. Eisler tried too hard to bring in a back story. This plot could have worked very well with just a front story . . . and been a lot easier to write.

I hope Mr. Eisler will stick closer to his action thriller roots in future books. Let it Rain!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The First separate Ben Treven Story
Has not quite reached the excellent John Rain books yet, but there is room for improvement. Still a good read.
Published 19 days ago by Mike P
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable
The first of Eisler's book not to feature his excellent creation John Rain. It is sometimes a wrong move by an author who has established a good series featuring the same... Read more
Published 8 months ago by johnnyrockets
4.0 out of 5 stars Another eisler classic
Having read a lot of Barry eisler novels i took advantage of an offer of buying some at 77 pence and i have to say I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 13 months ago by lee305
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to John Rain.
Grips from the first page and never lets up. Filled with Eisler's trademark authentic feel and totally believable characters. I look forward to meeting up with them again.
Published 16 months ago by A. Woolstencroft
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly not Eisler's best work.
I'm a big fan of Barry Eisler's John Rain books, and was an avid reader of his blog back in its Myspace days. This, however, just didn't enthral me at all. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr. J. Firth
2.0 out of 5 stars Annoying
I have not got alot to say about this book, the action and story were ok at best. But the brotherly infighting was so ridiculous, constant and over done it became annoying to... Read more
Published on 25 Jun 2012 by N. Offer
1.0 out of 5 stars Fault Line failure by Barry Eisler
After reading Barry Eisler's brilliant John Rain series of books, this book turned out to be a very average read, with poor story line and little tension. Give it a miss....
Published on 21 Jun 2010 by Michael Coleman
1.0 out of 5 stars awful
while the john rain series is well written and good books, the only possible review of this is awful, the relation between the brothers in teh history is a joke
the dialogue... Read more
Published on 13 May 2010 by Luca Bazzea
5.0 out of 5 stars Fault Line by Barry Eisler
I've finished reading the latest thriller by Barry Eisler, and it's a good 'un
There are two main character, brothers who haven't spoken for years. Read more
Published on 5 May 2009 by Dennis Martin
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