Monday, May 17, 2010

FAULT LINE by Barry Eisler

When Richard Hilzoy, creator of revolutionary encryption software, is murdered, his patent lawyer Alex Treven fears he may be next. When those fears start to bear out, Alex sends an urgent message to his brother, covert operative Ben Treven.

Alex and Ben have been estranged since a fateful decision resulted in a car accident that killed their sister Katie, the family peacemaker. For much of the story, Eisler switches viewpoints among Alex, Ben, and Alex's colleague, Sarah Hosseini, who gets between the brothers. Eisler takes these opportunities to get into each character's psyche and win readers' empathy. Realistically, the brothers' conflict is not resolved in one doozy of an argument. Nor is Fault Line the simple tale of a man of action saving a milquetoast. Each character is equally instrumental to the outcome.

Fault Line was originally billed as a standalone, but a second book featuring Ben Treven, Inside Out, goes on sale next month. Here's hoping it's just as well balanced and psychologically deep.

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