Inside Out by Barry Eisler
Ghost detainees.

And a massive cover-up that continues even today.

This is the propulsive thriller that only former CIA operative turned bestselling novelist Barry Eisler could write.

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 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.
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About the Book
  • Published:
    Jul-2010 (Hardcover)
    Aug-2011 (Paperback)
  • Formats:
    Print / eBook / Audio
  • Pages:
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Time Period
  • Contemporary


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Ben Traven is in a Manila jail when his old boss, Scott Horton, manages his release. Hort needs Ben for a vital mission.

Rogue agent, Daniel Larison feels betrayed by the government and has stolen ninety-two torture tapes from the CIA. He is blackmailing the government and will release the tapes to the news media unless he gets his payoff.

Other agencies are after Larison and Hort wants Ben to locate him.

Ben gets a lead from Larison's former wife, Marcy, that Larison might be in Costa Rica. When he leaves Marcy's house, two FBI agents who had been watching her home, try to force Ben to accompany them, to be questioned. The agents end up in the hospital. However, petite, young black FBI agent, Paula Lanier, gets the drop on Ben and persuades him that they should work together to get Larison.

Like many thrillers, there is competition between government agencies and when outside operatives from Blackwater are brought in, they don't seem to have any field smarts. Larison is able to spot them, overcome a tranquelizing dart and eliminate twelve of them without much effort. This disregard for American lives left me cold.The fact that Ben was ordered to observe them apprehend Larison and did little to prevent their massacre seemed inconsistent with what an honorable agent would do.

The novel also had a romance scene. It was almost as if the author felt that he had to add this. The rough sex action added nothing to the plot and was unnecessary.

I found the characters stereotypical, the plot didn't hold my attention as well as it should have and the conclusion was unsatisfactory.

On the plus side, the author can tell a suspenseful story, he did good research about the torture tapes but after reading his excellent John Rain novels, this novel disappointed.
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