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Inside Out

Cover of Inside Out

Inside Out

Fault Line Series, Book 2
Borrow Borrow

Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven is offered a deal by his former commander, Colonel Scott Horton. In exchange for his release, Ben has to find and eliminate Daniel Larison, a rogue operator who has stolen CIA torture tapes to blackmail the U.S. government. But Ben's not the only agent in play--and succeeding will mean surviving CIA hit teams and Blackwater mercenaries after the same objective. He'll also have to outmaneuver Paula Lanier, a smart, sexy FBI agent with her own interest in the tapes--and every intention of getting them before Ben does. With the stakes this high, everyone has an angle--except Ben, who must separate allies from enemies if he wants to stay alive.

Marooned in a Manila jail after a bar fight fatality, black ops soldier Ben Treven is offered a deal by his former commander, Colonel Scott Horton. In exchange for his release, Ben has to find and eliminate Daniel Larison, a rogue operator who has stolen CIA torture tapes to blackmail the U.S. government. But Ben's not the only agent in play--and succeeding will mean surviving CIA hit teams and Blackwater mercenaries after the same objective. He'll also have to outmaneuver Paula Lanier, a smart, sexy FBI agent with her own interest in the tapes--and every intention of getting them before Ben does. With the stakes this high, everyone has an angle--except Ben, who must separate allies from enemies if he wants to stay alive.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    "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...

About the Author-
  • 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.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 3, 2010
    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.

  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2010
    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 tale features unlikable, cardboard characters and a plot that disappears under the weight of implausibility.

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2010
    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, "LJ"3/1/10; ten-city tour and library marketing; ebook ISBN 978-0-345-51929-0.]

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Matthew Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist

    "Inside Out is more than just an addictive, non-stop thriller. It is a microscope turned on the official policies of torture, extraordinary rendition, and the systematic ghosting of detainees. Through the dialogue of his engaging characters, Eisler insightfully conveys the incredible damage these policies caused our nation and the danger they pose to democracy and freedom."

  • Robert Baer, former CIA officer and author of See No Evil "A white knuckle roller-coaster ride through the dark side, a truth so horrifying that it can only be told in fiction. Eisler is a rarity, the ex-spook who turns himself into a great mystery writer."
  • Juan Cole, President, Global Americana Institute, author of Engaging the Muslim World "Eisler turns on its head the old saw that to understand all is to forgive all. His tight plotting and believable characters show us unforgivingly how counter-terrorism turns evil and counter-productive."
  • Mark Danner, author of Torture and Truth and Stripping Bare the Body "Inside Out plumbs, with absolute credibility, the darkest recesses of our recent public life, pulling back the curtain on the grim world of secrets--from extraordinary rendition to torture to extra-judicial killing--that looms behind our recent foreign policy. Which makes it not only compelling but, alas, essential reading."
  • Charles Ferguson, Oscar-nominated writer, director and producer of No End in Sight "Eisler's new thriller is as smart, dark, and tough as his others. This one, however, is also all too real and all too close to home. After you read it, you will find yourself looking at political news in a very different way... and wondering why these facts are assembled more convincingly in a clever, entertaining suspense novel than they are in the supposedly factual media. Read it for scary fun, only to realize that the facts were the scariest things of all."
  • Alex Gibney, Director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room "Inside Out does what only the best thrillers can: to illuminate the dark corners of hidden crimes in white-hot prose that is terrifying--and riveting--because it is so true to life. Ex-CIA agent Eisler puts black-ops veteran Ben Treven to work in a search for missing interrogation tapes that promise to answer a haunting question: How and why do our leaders use torture to force prisoners to endorse the fearful lies that keep them in power?"
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Fault Line Series, Book 2
Barry Eisler
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