Monday, November 29, 2010

book review: Inside Out by Barry Eisler

I have always been able to enjoy Barry Eisler's Rain books even though I don't agree with his political views.  In the Rain books the Japanese Liberal Democratic party is viewed with more than just sympathy.  They are viewed as out and out good guys, with the Conservative party being shown as under-handed immoral gangsters.  However, the quality writing of the books was able to shine through.  As a matter of fact, the Rain series has always been one of, if not my very favorite.  With that being said, lets move on to his latest work, Inside Out.
I have to say, first off, that unlike most of Eisler's other books and most other thrillers, there are no glowing reviews on the jacket from other authors or industry types.  The reviews on the cover are all from left wing cooks who work for such liberal sites such as the Huffington Post.  I really don't understand how anyone on that side of the fence or who are so-called experts at the terrorist torture game could actually give this book a glowing review.
This is one of the worst books ever written....period.  There is no story, the characters are not developed properly, all of the action in the book is pointless, and does nothing to help move the plot along.  The entire second half of the book is nothing more than a political rant.  on top of that there is no conclusion.  The reader is treated with some lame ending teasing with another story to come.  I firmly believe had the book been written by some lesser known author with no name recognition, it would have trashed and never published. 
Inside Out is the continuation of the book Faultline.  The only thing it has in common with it's predecessor however is the characters of Hort and Ben.  Unlike Inside Out, Faultline was action packed and told a nice story to boot.  All of it's action was well paced and served a purpose throughout the book.  Inside Out is obviously just Eisler's political view on the torture and treatment of detainees that he felt he needed to get out there.  That is fine, but the overall feeling of the book is rushed and amateurish.  If the next book in the series starts out like the series starts out like this one ended, I may be weened off of Barry Eisler for good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

book review: Vanished by Joseph Finder

I have read several of Joseph Finder’s books.  They have always perplexed me.  It seems they are hit or miss.  Paranoia was an excellent novel.  It was highly original and worthy of a movie deal.  Whereas, Company Man was a pretty decent read, but it was at the very least, a little far fetched.  The last Finder book I tried, however, I couldn’t make it all the way through.   Killer Instinct just seemed like it should have been better than it turned out to be.  I thought the overall sense of dread and foreboding really took the enjoyment out of the reading process.  However, this didn’t deter me from wanting to try another Finder book.
When I saw his latest work Vanished on a library shelf, I didn’t hesitate to snatch it up.  I was looking forward to seeing what Mr. Finder had in store for his readers this go-round.  Joseph Finder has always been known for his extensive research.  Let me tell ya, it shows in his writings.  Whether you enjoy the overall plot of the story or not, no one can ever say that the have read a more detailed work of fiction than any of his previous books when it comes to the corporate world.
Vanished is at it’s heart the story of the Heller family.  The family has flaws and skeletons, many of which come to light throughout the book.  The basic premise is that Roger Heller takes his wife Laura out to dinner where she is attacked in an apparent mugging.  She wakes up in the hospital and Roger has disappeared.  Roger’s step-son Gabe calls in his uncle---and Roger’s brother--- Nick to investigate.  Nick is an ex-Green Beret, who works for a high–priced Washington investigator.  He soon digs deeper than anyone wants and turns up a lot of dirt on not only the baddies, but the people who the reader doesn’t yet know are baddies, and the family itself.  Throw in Roger and Nick’s former Billionaire crook father who is in prison and you have ground work for a fantastic book.
I enjoyed this novel even better than Paranoia.  Vanished is the very definition of a page turner that just can’t be put down.  I found myself devouring this book and, I must say, I can’t wait for the next in this series.  That is right, the will be a four book series featuring Nick Heller, with the second book coming out next year.  From beginning to end this is one of the finest mystery/thriller works of fiction to come down the pike in a long time.  Read and enjoy.