Book Review Thriller

Inside Out by Barry Eisler


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, Colonel Scott Horton, who explains the price of Ben’s release: Find and eliminate Daniel 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 need 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.


Barry Eisler just keeps getting better and better with each book he writes.

Inside Out is the second Ben Treven story, sadly I haven’t read the previous outing but that didn’t spoil this one in anyway. Thankfully, Eisler doesn’t waste time playing catch up in his opening chapters but writes thought-provoking, stand-alone thrillers that deliver on every level, whether or not they feature characters who’ll become part of a series.

It’s how Eisler takes you straight into the heart of the story and characters that makes him a captivating writer. He sets the scene, he builds the characters with just the right amount of background detail and shading (no one is paper thin, black and white, or without a hidden agenda or motives) his characters come with their own share of baggage so you know exactly where each one is coming from, from the get-go. Eisler also delivers the punches, and by god he’ll make you squirm, and smile, and wince, and nod your head knowingly as you read this one. At times wonderfully nuanced, it’s also in your face and brutal, revealing, and all at once, thought provoking.

Inside Out is a deceptive look into the black abyss of what goes on behind closed doors in the corridors of power and politics that is so close to reality, you wonder if, in fact, he’s writing fiction at all.

If you love well-researched, well-written and well-plotted thrillers, this one is a must read!

Thank you Barry, I can’t wait for the next one.

8 comments on “Inside Out by Barry Eisler

  1. Avatar

    Ooh, this sounds good. And just what would hit the spot at the moment.

    • Alex

      It’s a really fast, tense read, HP. I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and hope you give it a go, too.

  2. Avatar

    He seems to be a fantastic writer!

    • Alex

      Indeed, Sophie, this was a really good read, and the CIA background detail was really well done. If you like spies and intrigue, then you should try this author’s work.

  3. Avatar

    I haven’t read any of his books yet but it sure sounds a thrilling read!

    • Alex

      I hope you give this author a go, Inge, as I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It had all the right ingredients and kept me reading.

      • Avatar

        I’ll put it on my list (I also happen to know a male friend who has several of his books so I’ll need to ask in my sweet voice if I can borrow one then to read)

        • Alex

          Oh, that’s even better, borrow a book and read and you don’t have to waste money if it turns out he’s not your cup of tea. Perfect!

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