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Fault Line    by Barry Eisler order for
Fault Line
by Barry Eisler
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Barry Eisler's Fault Line is a study in relationships, trust, deceit, murder, and the skullduggery that a government feels it must employ to protect its country.

Alex is a seemingly straight-laced high-tech patent attorney, wary although respectful of the government. His brother Ben is a Military Liaison Element. Ben's job requires him to find and fixe Global War on Terror targets fixing means that they go away and are not seen again. When Alex's life is threatened - and two others working on a patent for an invention that would secure computers from hackers are murdered - Alex implores his brother to help him. Long standing bad blood between the siblings slows Ben down in making his decision in Alex's favor.

When Ben does arrive at Alex's side, he is put off by Alex's workmate, Sarah Hosseini of Iranian descent. Can she be trusted? Can anyone? If he helps his brother, will his own life be on the line also?

Fault Line is Eisler's first stand alone thriller (Rain Fall, the first of his series featuring John Rain will be released as a major motion picture starring Gary Oldman.) Calling Fault Lines a thriller is a bit of a misnomer. It's a thriller, all right, but so much more. Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA, where he was trained in the use of all kinds of firearms and in undercover work. Eisler brings reality to his novel based on his own experiences and uses his observation skills to effectively bring the reader into each scene. Fault Line is a very good read from a skilled writer.

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