Inside Out

( 63 )


Ghost detainees.
And a massive cover-up that continues even today.

Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven gets a visit from his former commander, who explains the price of Ben's release: find and eliminate Larison, a rogue operator from Ben's unit who has stolen ninety-two torture tapes from the CIA and is using them to ...

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Ghost detainees.
And a massive cover-up that continues even today.

Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven gets a visit from his former commander, who explains the price of Ben's release: find and eliminate Larison, a rogue operator from Ben's unit who has stolen ninety-two torture tapes from the CIA and is using them to blackmail the U.S. government.

But other players are after the tapes, too, and to find Larison, Ben will have to survive CIA hit teams, Blackwater mercenaries, and the long reach of the White House. He'll also have to find a way to handle Paula Lanier, a smart, sexy FBI agent who has her own reasons for wanting the tapes and is determined to get them before Ben does. With the stakes this high, everyone has an angle-everyone but Ben, who will have to find the right alliance if he wants to stay alive.

"A thrill-seeker's book... Perhaps most interesting of all, the story is based on true events: 92 missing CIA interrogation tapes that allegedly included recordings of prisoners being tortured. Eisler's latest offering doesn't reinvent the genre, but it certainly pumps it full of adrenaline."
-The Daily Beast

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“A white-knuckle roller-coaster ride through the dark side.”—Robert Baer, former CIA officer and New York Times bestselling author

“Barry Eisler is this generation’s tech-savvy new media incarnation of Graham Greene. The former-covert-CIA-operative-turned-novelist is fast emerging as one of the most important fiction writers in the military/covert ops/political thriller genre.”—The Nation

“Timely, intense . . . will haunt readers long after the last page.”—Tucson Citizen

“A superior example of fast-moving entertainment.”—Salon

Kirkus Reviews
Eisler (Fault Line, 2009, etc.) centers his latest thriller on iffy protagonist Ben Treven, a ruthless assassin with an angst-ridden past and a tendency to relentlessly overexplain the tools of his trade as he targets another killer. The action begins with Treven senselessly beating an Australian to death in a bar fight that lands him in a Manila jail. Treven doesn't take well to imprisonment-the food makes him throw up, the heat is stultifying and he has to sleep on the concrete. Good thing his old nemesis/boss/friend/enemy Hort finds him and gets him out. But, of course, Hort doesn't do it because he's a buddy-he wants Treven to help him find some missing tapes. The tapes, which document the CIA torturing terrorist suspects, are being held for ransom by a man named Larison. Larison, who is as proficient and deadly a killer as Treven, grabbed the tapes and threatens to upload them on the Internet unless the government gives him millions in diamonds-something those in the know want to avoid. While Larison plots to stay ahead of his pursuers while sharing time with the Costa Rican man for whom he left his wife and son, Treven teams up with Paula, a sexy FBI agent, to track Larison to his tropical hideout. Treven and Paula share some sexual tension, lots of adversarial banter and barely avoid being killed in the bloodbaths that seem to surround any business Larison conducts. The pursuit gives Treven a chance to show off his skills as a killer, and it allows him to out-macho everyone with whom he comes into contact, except Larison. As it turns out, both men have problems with torture, even though they show a willingness to butcher anyone who gets in their way. This testosterone-soaked talefeatures unlikable, cardboard characters and a plot that disappears under the weight of implausibility.
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)
Library Journal
Eisler, who spent a covert three years with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, drives this locomotive of a story full speed into the façade on the war on terror. Black ops soldier Ben Treven (last seen in Fault Line) is sent to find a rogue specialist who stole 92 videotapes from a secret prison at Guantánamo Bay. Fast-action scenes alternate with Treven's education in the cynical arts of policymaking, and the quickening pace of the story culminates in a bombshell revelation. VERDICT One sex scene fits neither the story nor the characters, and the violence may make even the most jaded reader uncomfortable, but this is a relentless and revelatory look into the human cost of those who torture on behalf of their country. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/1/10; ten-city tour and library marketing; ebook ISBN 978-0-345-51929-0.]
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345505118
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/2/2011
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.04 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Barry Eisler

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and start-up executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.

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Read an Excerpt

Ulrich stared at Clements, wanting to believe he’d misheard. Even in the grand panoply of CIA incompetence, this one would be a standout.

“Let me get this straight,” he said, deliberately speaking slowly and clearly so Clements and the rest of the Langley contingent assembled before him would understand exactly what Ulrich made of their collective mental acuity. “Ninety-two interrogation videotapes, and you’re telling me they’re just . . . missing?”

Clements shifted his weight from one foot to the other, the frozen grass crunching under his wingtips. “We think there were ninety-two. We’re still trying to get an accurate inventory.”

Ulrich looked past Clements at the precise rows of thousands of white markers, their expanse dazzling in the brilliant morning sun. Well, at least now he understood why Clements had wanted to meet here. No one was going to notice, much less overhear, a small group of men paying their respects to the honored dead of Arlington National Cemetery. No records, no witnesses, no proof this conversation had ever happened.

“All right,” Ulrich said, running the fingers of a gloved hand along his thick gray beard. “First thing I need to know. What’s on these tapes?”

Clements glanced at the man to his left and then at the one to his right. Stephen Clements, Michael Killman, John Alkire. The deputy director of the CIA, the director of the National Clandestine Service, and the director of the Counterterrorism Center. Half the bureaucratic firepower of the entire Agency, huddling in their dark overcoats like an incipient union of funeral directors.

“Are you going to tell me? Or are we all just going to stand out here and freeze?”

Clements said nothing, and Ulrich was suddenly concerned at how meekly the man was taking his licks. Ulrich was used to being deferred to—after all, in this administration, chief of staff to the vice president was an exceptionally powerful position. On top of which, Ulrich was a big, imposing man, accustomed to intimidating bureaucratic rivals with his loud voice and blunt manner. But Clements looked beyond intimidated. He looked . . . scared. Which was itself unnerving.

Ulrich sighed. He took off his wire-framed spectacles, closed his eyes, and massaged the bridge of his nose. When he felt calmer, he slipped the glasses back on.

“Just tell me,” he said, his voice a notch softer.

Clements blew out a long, frozen breath. “Waterboarding, for one thing.”

Ulrich closed his eyes again. “Crap.”

Waterboarding was a problem. In the public mind, it was the one enhanced interrogation technique that was most arguably torture. But even for waterboarding, the mainstream media had done a nice job of sanitizing the public’s imagination of what the practice entailed, carefully describing it as “torture” only with scare quotes, or as “a practice some describe as torture.” Actual footage of helpless, shackled men sobbing and begging and pissing themselves while American guards repeatedly drowned and revived them could cause a change in sentiment.

“What else?” Ulrich said.

“Walling. Stress positions. A lot of the stuff we had to stop using after Abu Ghraib.”

Well, they’d survived photos of this kind of stuff coming out of AG. The public wanted to believe it had been just a few bad apples, and anytime the public wanted to believe something, the job was already ninety percent done. It could be done again here.

“What’s the worst of it? The parts that’ll be on the blogs.”

“I don’t know, we’re talking about hundreds of hours of footage. It’s—”

“The worst, goddamn it.”

The three Langley men exchanged glances. Alkire said, “The dog stuff is pretty bad. The waterboarding is worse. There are people at Langley who couldn’t even watch it on video. And the beatings—some of these guys, they had edema from being manacled to the ceiling for a week straight. You ever see someone with edema, hanging by his wrists, getting the shit beaten out of him? Half the time, their skin splits open.”

Ulrich considered. He knew these three had every reason to make it sound as bad as possible. They wanted him to know that if any of this got out, the fire would be so big they’d all burn together. But even if they were exaggerating, it wouldn’t be by much. He knew what was being done at the black sites. He’d long ago made his peace with it, of course, as the price that had to be paid in the shadows so the rest of America could go on enjoying the light. But asking the secret guardians of American liberty to live with the truth was one thing. Force-feeding it to the entire public was different. It wasn’t the public’s burden to bear.

“When did you learn the tapes were missing?” Ulrich asked.

“Just this morning,” Killman said. “Another FOIA request in federal court. You’re following these cases?”

Ulrich nodded. Of course he was following the cases. The ACLU had filed multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for information on treatment of terrorist detainees and then sued when the Agency refused to turn anything over. God, he hated the ACLU. If they had even half the concern for the safety of Americans that they did for the rights of terrorists . . . 

“Well, recently our people monitoring the FOIA cases have been getting alarmed. We’ve got a detainee in court claiming his interrogations were videotaped. Now it looks like we’re going to receive a court order specifically for video—and not just for Guantánamo, but covering the black sites, too. If that happens, we won’t be able to dodge the order the way we have before. So we decided to do a complete inventory, assess our exposure, get ahead of the order. That’s when we discovered the problem.”

The problem. If nothing else, the CIA always had a flair for understatement.

Ulrich stroked his beard. He supposed it was possible one of these jokers was less stupid than he seemed, that he’d destroyed the tapes himself and was going along with this meeting just to obscure his own actions. Or that someone else, some patriot, or even just someone wise enough to have a modicum of self-preservation instinct, had done what needed to be done. After all, it wasn’t as though anyone was going to take the credit for it. All that would earn him would be a silent prayer of thanks from the people whose asses he’d saved, a prayer that would last only as far as the first congressional investigation into the latest CIA cover-up, at which point his circle of silent fans would immediately point their fingers inward, ensuring their benefactor would be crucified for their collective sins.

So yeah, it was possible there was someone inside the CIA smart enough to have demonstrated the proper initiative. That was his immediate working theory. But he had no way to prove it. And even if he did, it wouldn’t solve the immediate crisis.

“There’s something else,” Clements said, glancing at the other Langley men.

“Is that even possible?” Ulrich asked, unable to resist.

There was a long pause. Clements said, “Some of the tapes are of the Caspers.”

Ulrich could actually feel the blood drain from his face. “You . . .  But he couldn’t finish the sentence. He’d only just gotten his mind around what that very morning he would have believed was impossible. Now he was dealing with the unthinkable.

We’re done, he thought. We’re really done. I can’t spin this one. Nobody could.

Yes, you can. You just have to focus. The Caspers don’t matter. They don’t change the dynamic. They just raise the stakes. You handle it the same way regardless.

But handle it how?

They all stood silently. Ulrich’s mind raced furiously, examining options, gaming out plans from multiple angles, pressure-checking vulnerabilities. He felt both terrified and weirdly exhilarated. If he could put a lid on something this big, they’d have to invent a new name for it. Damage control? Hell, he was trying to control a cataclysm.

He kept going—yes, no, too dangerous, if, then—conducting an orchestra of alternatives just behind his eyes. A minute went by and a narrow possibility began to emerge, a little sliver of hope. It was crazy, it was audacious, it would require luck. But it could be done. It had to be done. Because there was simply no other way.

“Here’s what you’re going to do,” he said, looking at Clements. “You call one of your contacts in the media—”


“No, definitely not Ignatius. At this point he might as well be an official CIA spokesperson, and everyone knows it. And not Broder or Klein, either—they’re known to be too sympathetic, too. Too eager to please.”

Clements frowned, obviously not getting it. “We don’t want someone pliable?”

“Just listen, okay? For this, we need a news article, not an op-ed. At least to start with. From a paper that’s considered liberal. So . . . make it the New York Times. Yeah, the Times is perfect, they won’t even use the word ‘torture’ in their coverage but they’re still thought of as an enemy. Call them. You’re a whistle-blower. The CIA made some interrogation tapes, tapes that include footage of detainees being abused.”

Clements’s mouth dropped open. “What?”

“I’m not finished. You say the CIA destroyed the tapes. Clear case of obstruction of justice. You’re calling because you’re a patriot, this won’t stand, something needs to be done.”

They were all looking at him as though he’d lost his mind. Christ, they were slow. They didn’t deserve to have him save their asses. Unfortunately, his ass was next in line. These morons happened to be his primary defensive wall.

“You’re crazy,” Clements said. “There’s no way—”

“Shut up and listen if you want to survive this. The liberal media will jump all over the story. Obstruction of justice, cover-up, rogue CIA, the whole thing. There’s going to be pressure. And under pressure, the CIA admits—no, no, you confess—yes, we destroyed the tapes. But no more than two of them for now. Two, you understand?”

Clements shook his head as though he was trying to clear it. “What . . . why two?”

“Because it’s too soon to go public with ninety-two. Two is a nice, finite number, it makes it sound like you’ve been exceptionally careful and selective regarding who gets subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. You can tie the number to just a couple of high-profile detainees, right? Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, just the worst of the worst. Listen to those names. You think anyone outside the ACLU will complain if you’ve maybe been a little rough with a couple terrorists named Mohammed al-this and Khalid al-that?”

“But . . . what are we going to do later on, if the real number comes out?”

“Later on won’t matter, don’t you see? You’ll already have established the principle that the destruction wasn’t a big deal by attaching a low number to it. You can always increase the number afterward, at which point you’ll just be applying the established principle to a new number. You say something like, ‘Oh, did you think I said two videotapes? I meant two terrorists on one of the tapes. Sorry for the confusion.’ You get it? For Christ’s sake, you don’t have to sign a fucking affidavit that there were only two tapes, this is just to ease the idea into the public mind. Are you telling me you don’t know how to put a number in play in a way that gives you room to walk away from it later?”

No one said anything. Ulrich couldn’t tell if they were getting it or if they were drifting into shock. Well, nothing to do but keep going.

“Understand? Two interrogation videos, you think. Keep it a little vague, and you can get them to report two while giving you wiggle room for later.”

“Okay, fine,” Killman said. “But what do we do when they start asking about waterboarding? You know they will.”

“Of course they will. And when they do, you reluctantly admit it. It’s already out there anyway, the vice president himself acknowledged it. This is your chance to tie the waterboarding to just a small number of detainees, your chance to minimize it. That’s actually a win.”

“Doesn’t sound like a win,” Alkire said.

Idiots. “You can’t cover this up, don’t you understand that? If you try, the whole thing comes out. What you can do is channel the information, shape the narrative. You need to manage this story or it’ll manage you. Do it right, keep it simple, and you’ll be fine.”

“But it’s not simple,” Clements said. “It’s not just videos. There are also records of what’s on the videos, who had access to them—”

“Good, now you’re thinking. You need to destroy all contemporaneous records describing what’s on the tapes because that’s the next thing the court will ask for if the tapes are unavailable. You destroy all records of who had access to the tapes, of who might have knowledge of what was on them. And you create a paper trail of the proper authorizations that predates the court order. You claim the tapes had no further intelligence value, and . . . yes, yes, you say you had to destroy them because if they ever leaked, they could compromise the identities of field agents, patriotic men and women who are risking their lives every day on the front lines of the war on terror to keep America safe. Fox, and Broder and Klein and Krauthammer and Hiatt and Ignatius and the rest, they’ll pick up that angle and run interference for us, attack the patriotism of anyone who questions the decision to destroy the tapes. They’ll make it a political issue, it won’t be a legal one. ‘Only the angry left would want to put our soldiers and spies in danger,’ that kind of thing.”

None of them spoke.

Come on, Ulrich thought. Man up. We can do this.

“Look,” he said, “you’re not going to be alone, okay? We’ll get someone highly placed in the administration to leak the same talking points.”

Clements looked doubtful. “The vice president?”

“Definitely possible. But if not him, me or someone else who can speak for him. We’ll give the background not for attribution, the papers will publish it, and then the DCI, the vice president, whoever, they’ll go on all the Sunday morning talk shows and cite as evidence for our positions the articles the newspapers wrote based on what we fed them.”

Clements nodded, a glimmer of understanding in his eyes. “Information laundering.”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 63 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 28, 2011

    The ride continues...

    I was so fraught with trepidation about the "end of John Rain".
    BUT!!!! Eisler has maintained the SAME writing style and dialogue and twists and turns. I have a suspicion we gonna see more of John Rain - In fact Eisler probably is devising a way to create a super secret team.

    Please don't keep me waiting too long for the next book...

    Can someone direct me to 'similar' authors such as Eisler?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    There's no need to recap the story, other reviewers have done that. I like Barry Eisler and his writing style is top notch. This is the second book with Ben Treven, a deep character with strong emotions and motivations. If you want an engaging read that both entertains and informs, then this is the thriller for you. Why not learn something in the process!

    Bottom line: INSIDE OUT is a hair-raising journey into dark, unexplored territory.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    fast-paced espionage thriller

    In 2005 at Arlington, CIA Deputy Director Clemens, National Clandestine Service Director Killman, and Counterterrorism Center Director Alkire inform the Vice president's Chief of Staff Ulrich that approximately ninety-two tapes are missing. Clemens nervously explains the tapes are vivid showings of torture without the in their pocket main stream media sanitizing the picture for the public. Ulrich informs the frightened trio to find the tapes at any cost.

    At a bar in Manila, three Australians and Ben Treven get into an altercation. Ben breaks the finger of the middle guy; hammers another in the head with a bar stool and batters the third Aussie. Two are in spasms while the other is dead. The Filipino police arrest Ben.

    His enemy and former boss Hort arrives with a deal to free him if he takes on a mission or to let him keep puking up the prison food. Treven has five days to retrieved ninety-two damaging torture tapes from another paid killer he personally knows, Daniel Larson, who demands millions in diamonds or be prepared to watch the show on You Tube. Treven and FBI Agent Paula Lanier seek Larson as does other Feds and their contracted cronies.

    This is an action-packed fast-paced espionage thriller with stratospheric levels of testosterone that even the beautiful women seem to have an overly abundance of the hormone. Based on the reported destroyed torture tapes, Inside Out is an exciting tale as blood flows wherever either Treven (see Fault Line) or Larson happens to be; ironically as each kills without blinking both loathes torture. Although pre Abu Ghraib would have put this over the top of Everest, the audience will wonder how much is possible and how much is truly implausible.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    Great Hi Tech Thriller

    What I think is so neat about Eisler is that he has actually been there and done that. All the details make logical sense and his knowledge of technology and procedure is unsurpassed. You don't read about putting silencers on revolvers in an Eisler book!

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  • Posted October 18, 2010

    Entertaining, yet scary concept!

    Inside Out is the second book in Barry Eisler's Ben Treven series. Ben Treven is a black ops soldier who recent had everything he believes in turned upside down in the previous novel Fault Line. This time Ben has been asked to track down a rogue operator who is threatening the US government with revealing tapes of American soldiers torturing prisoners all in the name of war. Ben, with the help of FBI agent Paula Lanier, must stop Larison before these tapes are revealed to the American people.

    While Inside Out had many of the things I enjoyed about Fault Line, the first Ben Treven novel, it also didn't quite live up to my expectations. I think Inside Out was much more focused on the external conflict Ben was facing in hunting down Larison and was much less focused on Ben's relationships with those around him. Inside Out also seemed transitional in the fact that Ben is being groomed to take on more a leadership role and active participant in his division than just being a mindless drone that just takes orders and executes them.

    There is no doubt that Barry Eisler writes a compelling, well researched and believable story. He is extremely knowledgeable in the nuances of the United States government and how it would manage a crisis it didn't want the American public getting wind of. It actually makes a person wonder at just what kinds of things are being kept hidden from us. Barry also can write compelling characters and gives the reader insight into how a soldier, especially a fierce, loyal and aggressive soldier views the world. I found it very interesting how Paula would psychoanalyze Ben and hit the nail right on the head. I do wish that there would have been more romance between these two, although the one sex scene in the book was smoking hot! Also, I felt like certain issues were wrapped up rather quickly at the end. But, I am definitely going to be reading the next Ben Treven novel.

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  • Posted September 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fast paced thriller

    Ninety-two classified CIA torture tapes are missing, stolen by Daniel Larison, a former black ops operator who is blackmailing the government. Meanwhile, black ops soldier Ben Treven is in a Manila jail after a deadly bar fight. He's visited by his former commander, Col. Scott Horton, who can get him released if he's willing to find and kill Daniel Larison and recover the tapes. The biggest concern is keeping even the knowledge of the tapes from the media and the public.

    Ben's not the only one on a quest for the missing tapes, pitting him against the CIA, mercenaries and even the White House. He's matched step by step in his search by Paula Lanier, an FBI agent. Who will get to them first and who in the government is trying to keep this all quiet for their own reasons?

    A former member of the CIA, Eisler has written a fast paced, and believable scenario reminiscent of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up. You'll enjoy this one!

    Lynn Kimmerle, Monarch Book Reviews

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Inside Out

    I enjoy Barry Eisler's books and his experience within the CIA shows in his writing. Inside Out is no exception. This story deals with the CIA's torture tapes, which they have told the US were destroyed, but in reality were stolen. And the thief wants one hundred million dollars.

    Ben Treven's mission is to find and dispose of the blackmailer. Treven was introduced in Eislers' Fault Line which I thought was an okay book. This one also, was just okay. I really like his John Rain stories and look forward to the one which combines both characters as hinted at the end of this book.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer


    He's never failed me yet - Barry Eisler's books have been consistently exciting, gripping, can't-put-down thrillers, especially the John Rain titles. However, with INSIDE OUT he exceeds his own high standards with a revealing look at the netherworld of official torture, killings, and ghosting of detaineees. While it is a brilliant fictional account, don't think for a minute that it's fiction...simply think.

    After a deadly barroom brawl black ops soldier Ben Treven (remembered from FAULT LINE) is tossed into a nightmarish Manilla prison where he fears he'll never be given a hearing but left to rot in the cell he shares with a dozen other prisoners. Enter Colonel Scott Horton (Hort), Ben's commander. Why is Hort there? In his words, "When I heard they had visiting hours in hell, I just couldn't stay away."

    Hort offers him a cost. Ninety-two torture tapes have been stolen from the CIA by a rogue member of Ben's unit, Daniel Larison, who is blackmailing the U.S. government for a million in uncut diamonds. These tapes are incendiary showing torture approved by the office of the U.S. Vice President. Ben is to find and get rid of Larison. At some level Ben seems to realize that he is being manipulated and threatened, but could not resist Hort's approval nor deny his desperate need to get out of prison. Little did he know or even dare imagine the twists and turns, machinations and betrayals that he would face.

    Of course, Larison and the missing tapes are of great interest not only to the CIA, but also the FBI, and other political figures. The FBI is represented by Paula Lanier, a beauteous agent, which gives Eisler the opportunity to pen one hot sex scene. Nonetheless pleasure aside,, Ben finds himself unable to distinguish between friend and enemy, always guarding his back, and realizing that there is even more to the tapes than their explosive content.

    At heart INSIDE OUT reveals the education of Ben in the ways of political conspiracies, and the lengths to which others will go to gain or retain power. After his three years in the CIA it is a story only Eisler could have and should have written. Forged with tension, terror, and truth it should be required reading. Exhaustively researched the book includes a Bibliography and an impressive list of Sources. INSIDE OUT is listed as fiction - read it and then ask why.

    - Gail Cooke

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  • Posted July 11, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting book

    This book is more a spook procedural than a thriller. The main characters criss-cross the globe in search of information and motive, ending up in a stunning shoot-out in Costa Rica and followed by cross, double-cross, triple-cross machinations that Machiavelli would approve of. The novel purports, as well, to be an inside-the-beltway who-dun-it on the missing CIA interrogation tapes widely reported in the media. Eisler's cynical and all too often over-the-top political views are on full display. We can look forward to sequels as the cadre of professional killers left standing pursue ever more blood-letting to consolidate the power attained in this novel. Entertaining, a bit scary and at the same time a bit on the looney side politically. Worth the money and the time.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

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    Will It Rain Again?

    As a big fan of Barry Eisler's "Rain" novels, I was disappointed with his first non-Rain story. But Inside Out has me happy again as Ben Treven proves worthy of the Rain mantel. Yet Eisler may have paved the way for Rain to return in partnership of some kind with Treven, and that would make me a very happy camper.
    Whether it is a realistic view anymore or not, I want to believe that there are still people in power who believe in the Constitution and haven't sold out to the oligarchy. Eisler does a great job here of making the lines clear. No matter your politics, it's hard to argue with what he is saying in this, his most political novel yet. And I like that he chose to make the female FBI agent a black woman, and the (perhaps) villain a gay man with a lover, and true feelings. Gays in the military wouldn't be an issue in an Eisler novel. And, with tongue in cheek, I suggest that
    once some male readers see how a certain female in this novel behaves, they might prefer to be gay as well!

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