Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 11 March 2013
I first became aware of Barry Eisler after the controversy surrounding his decision to turn down a serious amount of money from a traditional publisher, in favour of bringing the books out himself. Subsequently, he accepted a deal with one of Amazon's publishing imprints, and hasn't looked back. Meanwhile, I became a fan of his blog; his writing on book marketing, the publishing industry and politics is always engaging, entertaining and usually right on the money.
I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to try one of his thrillers - I think it was the lack of availability as a reasonably priced e-book, something that Eisler is planning to fix. But having finally got to it, I'm happy to report that Eisler deserved every penny of whatever money Amazon threw at him - The Detachment is an excellent book by a man as fascinated with the shades of grey as I am.
Eisler has been writing about the assassin John Rain for a while, and this is the latest of those books. I guess it's not an ideal place to start as I came into it with none of Rain's backstory - but it didn't matter. The book works perfectly well as a stand-alone thriller, while the writer still encouraged me to go back and read the earlier ones by making some adroit references to Rain's previous adventures.
Barry Eisler's bio says he worked for the CIA in a covert position, and it shows. Or, at least it shows as far as I - a civilian - can tell. The book has an incredibly authentic feel, that's the first thing. The second is that it rips along at pace, with a rock solid and all-to believable underlying conspiracy at the centre of the plot. John Rain, the conflicted killer is a terrific central protagonist, and the other characters that make up The Detachment are all well drawn and keep you guessing. My pulse was racing in the final set-piece shoot up - only the denouement of Argo has matched that recently. I hope we see more of Rain, and the other characters in The Detachment, but I will most certainly be reading more Eisler either way - `nuff said about this one.