Barry Eisler writes spy books. I read a bunch of them, which are listed here, because I don’t have much to say about them except they are a good distraction for me. I did write up two books The God’s Eye View and Paris Is A Bitch.
Eisler self-publishes. He also bought back the rights to all his books, cleaned up the titles, and republished them. I read those versions. I respect that about him. He has an interesting pedigree: Cornell law degree, CIA operative, tech lawyer, Matsushita lawyer, and then a startup. He practices judo which figures into his novels.
His books are about assassins, but they always have a moral code of some sort. They defend the underdog. They don’t hurt women and children. He obviously gets some tech advice so there are curious devices in his books. (There are some errors in the way he writes about tech, but few will notice.) Like many spy books, he hammers the points home. I guess that’s good in a way, but it can get annoying at times. I just skip when it gets too pedantic. It’s nice that he tries to have political and moral themes.
What follows are the books where I highlighted some text. I must have read them all, but I didn’t want to bother tracking that down.
Zero Sum (A John Rain Novel)
[k64] What makes humans special is our need to rationalize our actions, rather than just accept them.
Graveyard of Memories [Kindle in Motion] (A John Rain Novel Book 8)
[k79] It’s funny to consider how important things like that felt to me then. Proving people wrong. Fighting stupidity. Wanting formal recognition. It took me a long time to learn that proving people wrong is purposeless, fighting stupidity is futile, and formal recognition prevents people from underestimating you–and thereby from ceding to you surprise and other tactical advantages. I turned left under the elevated tracks just as a JR train went by overhead, its roar rattling shop windows and obliterating the din of the crowd.
[k3990] “Well, the reasons are important, too.” “Up to a point. But everyone believes his own reasons are good ones. In the end, it’s the limits that separate men from monsters.”
Livia Lone (A Livia Lone Novel Book 1)
[k272] The last time Livia had seen Tyler, he had been one of her captors.
Inside Out (Ben Treven Book 2)
[k155] “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?”
Fault Line (Ben Treven Book 1)
[k9] In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent drug deal. In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operator receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he is the next victim.
The Night Trade (A Livia Lone Novel Book 2)
[k110] She’d read somewhere that if you walked up and said a person’s full name three times, that person couldn’t help but smile.
[k312] You couldn’t fairly blame a man for acting in accordance with his nature. You could only remember your own mistake so as not to repeat it next time.
[k927] Or better yet, just lose your cell phone entirely. It’s less convenient than having one, but it beats dying. I learned that from a friend of mine. Very smart man who’s lived longer than most in a dangerous business in part because he eschews convenience in favor of security.”