The Killer Collective (John Rain #10; Livia Lone #3; Ben Treven #4)by Published 01 Feb 2019
|The Killer Collective (John Rain #10; Livia Lone #3; Ben Treven #4).pdf|
|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
A fast-paced, page-turning novel of betrayal, vengeance, and depraved secrets in high places from the New York Times bestselling author of the John Rain and Livia Lone series.
When a joint FBI–Seattle Police investigation of an international child pornography ring gets too close to certain powerful people, sex-crimes detective Livia Lone becomes the target of a hit that barely goes awry—a hit that had been offered to John Rain, a retired specialist in killings appearing to be from “natural causes.”
Suspecting that the FBI themselves were behind the attack, Livia reaches out to former marine sniper Dox. Together, they assemble an ad hoc team to identify and neutralize the threat: Rain; Rain’s estranged lover, Mossad agent and honey-trap specialist Delilah; black op soldiers Ben Treven and Daniel Larison; and their former commander, SpecOps legend Colonel Scott “Hort” Horton.
Moving from Japan to Seattle to DC to Paris, the group fights a series of interlocking conspiracies, each edging closer and closer to the highest levels of the US government.
With uncertain loyalties, conflicting agendas, and smoldering romantic entanglements, this group is hardly a team. But in a match as uneven as this one, a collective of killers might be just what they need.
"The Killer Collective (John Rain #10; Livia Lone #3; Ben Treven #4)" Reviews
This was a pretty ambitious project for author Barry Eisler since he weaved together most of the characters in his previous books into a seamless story line. I liked the Detachment which required him to do the same thing, but I thought he did it here much better, and with more characters to boot.
Eisler sets the scene well from the very beginning by introducing one of the main villains from the first act. He quickly introduces him without making him cartoonish. He quickly establishes all of his previous characters in the book without letting any of them monopolize the entire book. A lot of his characters have grown since he last wrote about them and he establishes this too in a very economical way.
There is also a lot of practical information in this book. I would highly recommend the bibliography. I was definitely happy that this was in Amazon's First Reads selection. Not that I won't be getting the physical book the second it comes out.
Livia is trying to stop a child pornography ring. She has some personal connections that drive her passion for bringing these monsters to justice. She's also working a serial rapist case. One of these cases put out a hit on her. Soon after, she reaches out to a special friend she worked with in the past. Carl jumps at the chance to see her again, and plans to help keep her safe. Action and hair raising danger keep this book moving.
I started out reading thrillers years ago through a book club where our first pick was THE GOLD COAST by Nelson Demille. I have continued enjoyed to enjoy the genre on a regular basis thanks to excellent writers and Megan Beatie of MB Communications who sends excellent novels for me to review.
Author Barry Eisler has written many thriller series, but THE KILLER COLLECTIVE is a standalone book. It does have protagonists John Rain, Livia Lone and Ben Treven from earlier series.
Livia Lone works for the Seattle Police and is involved with the FBI in investigating a child pornography ring. She is suddenly told it is being shut down. Livia is almost killed in a hit that has been offered to John Rain, who is retired, but has excelled in the field of killings that looked like normal accidental deaths.
Livia gets in touch with Dox who is a former Marine sniper. They assemble a group of "killers" who try to get to the bottom of the ring which may involve the FBI and other government agencies.
Although most thrillers are action driven, there is plenty of character development in THE KILLER COLLECTIVE and even some touches of humor and romance. The changes in locales are engaging and the end location of Paris is particularly charming and fun.
Each chapter is plainly marked with a character's name and the third person point of view which helps to propel the narrative. My only criticism of this wonderful novel is I did have a trouble keeping all the people straight for a while since the author uses last names, first names and nicknames. By mid-way through I had everyone in place in my mind.
Barry Eisler writes a truly authentic tales since he spent three years in covert operations. He is also well versed in international law since he has worked with a law firm with that specialty.
Entertainment Weekly magazine has already picked THE KILLER COLLECTIVE as a must read thriller and lucky Kindle First readers have the novel as a January choice. I highly recommend it as thriller that will provide with exciting entertainment.
I am loving this... no spoilers but... You know how irritating it is when a writer creates a memorable character, then a series, and you love every book. Then he stops and writes another series and you love that, and then he stops and writes another series. You get annoyed because you have to wait for a bit longer each time. (Sorry Barry - not really complaining). AND THEN ....He does this brilliant thing and puts them all in the same book. Much appreciated Mr Eisler - now to persuade the Robert B. Parker estate (and Reed Farrel Coleman to put Spenser, Hawk, Vinnie, Jesse Stone and Sonny Randall in the same book properly - best of all - make it a 500 pager you guys)
My review of The Killer Collective can be found at High Fever Books.
Ever since Barry Eisler’s newest series character Liva Lone appeared on the scene in her eponymous 2016 debut, I was waiting for the day she would cross paths with the author’s original creation, John Rain. Finally, that day has come, and the two — along with their many and various colleagues — share page space in The Killer Collective.
Like Eisler’s 2011 novel, The Detatchment, The Killer Collective brings together all of the various characters he’s written about over the years, Avengers-style. As such, this book wears a lot of hats and its characters have their own already-deeply established relationships and web of networks. The Killer Collective is the tenth John Rain thriller, the third in Livia Lone’s series, and the fourth Ben Treven book. Although Eisler gives enough information about each of these characters and their histories to make this an accessible introduction for new readers, long-time fans will likely find a lot more to appreciate given their built-in familiarity with the diverse and storied cast after having come to know all the different faces here over the last couple decades.
While investigating a child sex abuse ring Livia uncovers connections to several Secret Service agents, which quickly makes her a target for assassination. Needing her death to look natural, John Rain is contacted through a cutout, but he refuses to kill women and children and turns down the job. The inquiry, though, is enough to pique his interest and draw him out of retirement in order to find more information on who attempted to hire him. Soon enough, he’s drawn into Livia’s orbit thanks to a mutual acquaintance, his friend Dox, who also partnered with Livia in The Night Trade.
Given the large cast surrounding Livia and Rain, there isn’t a lot of time to develop deep emotional connections between the reader and the characters. However, those who have been with Eisler and his creations for the long haul already know these operatives and assassins intimately. It’s a handy shortcut to rely on, and it allows Eisler to focus hard on the action and keep the book moving at a rapid-fire pace.
The Killer Collective moves hard and fast as Rain and his reassembled detachment go on the offensive to target those who have put them in the cross-hairs, and the action sequences are delightfully large-screen in their scope. Between helicopter attacks, pinpointing a sniper’s den, and becoming embroiled in a massive shootout at a French bar, neither the reader nor the detachment have a lot of room in which to breath and slowing down isn’t an option.
While the book moves along a frenetic pace, Eisler’s depiction of action and tactics is as sharp as ever. He cleanly portrays violence, letting you see every step of the assault, inside and out. The action is high and mighty violent, but also psychologically complex. He gets us into the heads of these operators as they stage an execution or prepare a counter-offensive assault, understanding the mental and emotional components to their physical actions, how it will make their targets feel instinctively and how those feelings can be further leveraged to achieve their goals.
The characters are also deeply aware of their comrades subtexts, thanks in part to their long relationships or because of their own inclinations. As I said earlier, I’d been waiting to see how Livia and Rain would get on, and in fact it’s nicely subdued. Both recognize elements of themselves in the other and understand the natural boundaries that exist around them. They’re damaged loners, but also deeply professional and aware of the deep, unspoken currents residing in the other’s psyches, even if they don’t know each others actual histories very well. Ultimately, their relationship is one built upon mutual respect, and I dug that aspect a lot. It’s hard to say if they’ll ever meet again, but as a one-off it’s a satisfying exploration and the inciting elements that bring them together are nicely, chaotically staged.
The Killer Collective is not as deeply emotional as prior books in Eisler’s oeuvre, particularly the grueling debut of our latest series heroine in Livia Lone, but it does have plenty of other rewards and more than its fair share of thrills. And when it comes to staging and exploring violence from the head-space of trained killers, nobody does it better than Barry Eisler. The Killer Collective is an adrenaline-fueled marathon run of action and conspiracy from beginning to end, filled with plenty of combat and movie screen-ready violence that’s more satisfying than ten of Hollywood’s biggest summer blockbusters. Now…when’s the next one releasing?