Barry Eisler on Inside Out
Black ops soldier Ben Treven is back, and I have to tell you, I love what he’s been up to.
What really fires me up about Inside Out--apart from the characters, the action, and (naturally) the sex--is the timeliness and relevance of the story. The ninety-two interrogation videos the CIA confessed last year to destroying, and which form the foundation for the book’s plot, are back in the news now, as independent prosecutor John Durham concludes his two-year obstruction of justice investigation. And the other subjects at the heart of Inside Out--torture, ghost detainees, renditions, the real nature of America’s Establishment--continue to be the most profound and controversial political issues of the day.
Various interviewers have asked me, "Do you really believe in the ‘oligarchy’ you write about?" It’s a strange question, suggesting as it does that the oligarchy is in the same category as, say, the Loch Ness Monster or UFOs. In fact, as one of the characters in the book explains, “The oligarchy is right out in the open. It’s just a collection of people in business, politics, the military, and the media who recognize their interests are better served by cooperation than they would be by competition.” MIT professor and former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson has written about the oligarchy in the Atlantic; Matt Taibbi has written about it in Rolling Stone. After Enron, the subprime meltdown and bailout, the lax oversight of BP that led to the Gulf oil spill--to name just a few--you’d have to be in fairly significant denial not to notice the oligarchy’s insidious presence, if only by its disastrous effects.
I’ve never written a book that so perfectly synthesizes my interests as a thriller writer and my concerns as a political blogger, or one that draws so heavily not just on my obsession with current events but on my background as a CIA intelligence officer. More than anything else, Inside Out is a reality-based thriller--as demonstrated by the list of sources and the bibliography I include at the end. Its emotional impact doesn’t derive from Jack Bauer fantasies, but rather from real people caught up in the real political machinations of the day. For me, the most gripping thrillers are always the ones that hew most closely to reality, the ones that leave you feeling, Good God, this could really be happening! That’s the kind of book I set out to write with Inside Out, and the kind of experience I think it delivers. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
From Publishers Weekly
Eisler's rock-solid sequel to Fault Line
finds black ops spy/assassin Ben Treven dealing with anger management problems that have landed him in a grim Filipino jail. To the rescue is his old boss, Col. Scott Hort Horton, chief of Ben's secret unit, the absurdly blandly named Intelligence Support Activity. Hort tried to have Ben killed in the last book, but no matter—in exchange for his release, Ben must hunt down fellow agent Daniel Larison, a rogue who's demanding $100 million worth of uncut diamonds in exchange for 92 secret tapes showing extreme torture, instigated and sanctioned by the office of the U.S. vice president. Caught in this rapidly escalating disaster are various high-level government officials, all of whom are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the tapes from being revealed. The open ending promises to unite Ben with Eisler's other series hero, John Rain, a matchup that should prove to be thriller gold for anxiously awaiting readers. 10-city author tour. (July)
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