The Killer Collective (John Rain, #10; Ben Treven #4; Livia Lone #3)by Barry Eisler Published 01 Feb 2019
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|Publisher||Thomas & Mercer|
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A fast-paced, page-turning novel of betrayal, vengeance, and depraved secrets in high places from the New York Times bestselling author of the John Rain and Livia Lone series.
When a joint FBI–Seattle Police investigation of an international child pornography ring gets too close to certain powerful people, sex-crimes detective Livia Lone becomes the target of a hit that barely goes awry—a hit that had been offered to John Rain, a retired specialist in killings appearing to be from “natural causes.”
Suspecting that the FBI themselves were behind the attack, Livia reaches out to former marine sniper Dox. Together, they assemble an ad hoc team to identify and neutralize the threat: Rain; Rain’s estranged lover, Mossad agent and honey-trap specialist Delilah; black op soldiers Ben Treven and Daniel Larison; and their former commander, SpecOps legend Colonel Scott “Hort” Horton.
Moving from Japan to Seattle to DC to Paris, the group fights a series of interlocking conspiracies, each edging closer and closer to the highest levels of the US government.
With uncertain loyalties, conflicting agendas, and smoldering romantic entanglements, this group is hardly a team. But in a match as uneven as this one, a collective of killers might be just what they need.
"The Killer Collective (John Rain, #10; Ben Treven #4; Livia Lone #3)" Reviews
An Amazon First selection for me. I had decided to try something out of my "norm" and didn't realize I had landed in the middle of not one, but 2 series! But, it really didn't matter, I soon picked up on previous relationships and was able to thoroughly enjoy the story. Lots of intrigue, action, and a despicable storyline. Fun read.
This may be one of the best books I've read in the last (linear) year!
I devoured the book in a twenty-four hour period - something I haven't done in the last few years.
The Killer Collective brings together a bunch of Eisler's characters: John Rain, Livia Lone, Dox, "the angel of death" Larison, Ben Treven, Colonel Horton, Delilah (yay!)...
For me - having Rain, Dox, and Delilah together felt like seeing old friends, and adding Livia into the mix added to the book's complexity and emotion - as well as providing the impetus (based on real types of crimes) for the novel.
There are references to several of Eisler's previous novels, but even if you didn't read some of them, it wouldn't be a problem. There is great action, impressive gadgetry and weaponry, intrigue, and romance.
This book reminds me of a literary version of the Expendables, but deeper and with more heart!
While I could go on about the specifics of the book, I won't. I wouldn't want to spoil anything for anyone. :)
I will say that I would recommend this to pretty much anyone I know!
My review of The Killer Collective can be found at High Fever Books.
Ever since Barry Eisler’s newest series character Liva Lone appeared on the scene in her eponymous 2016 debut, I was waiting for the day she would cross paths with the author’s original creation, John Rain. Finally, that day has come, and the two — along with their many and various colleagues — share page space in The Killer Collective.
Like Eisler’s 2011 novel, The Detatchment, The Killer Collective brings together all of the various characters he’s written about over the years, Avengers-style. As such, this book wears a lot of hats and its characters have their own already-deeply established relationships and web of networks. The Killer Collective is the tenth John Rain thriller, the third in Livia Lone’s series, and the fourth Ben Treven book. Although Eisler gives enough information about each of these characters and their histories to make this an accessible introduction for new readers, long-time fans will likely find a lot more to appreciate given their built-in familiarity with the diverse and storied cast after having come to know all the different faces here over the last couple decades.
While investigating a child sex abuse ring Livia uncovers connections to several Secret Service agents, which quickly makes her a target for assassination. Needing her death to look natural, John Rain is contacted through a cutout, but he refuses to kill women and children and turns down the job. The inquiry, though, is enough to pique his interest and draw him out of retirement in order to find more information on who attempted to hire him. Soon enough, he’s drawn into Livia’s orbit thanks to a mutual acquaintance, his friend Dox, who also partnered with Livia in The Night Trade.
Given the large cast surrounding Livia and Rain, there isn’t a lot of time to develop deep emotional connections between the reader and the characters. However, those who have been with Eisler and his creations for the long haul already know these operatives and assassins intimately. It’s a handy shortcut to rely on, and it allows Eisler to focus hard on the action and keep the book moving at a rapid-fire pace.
The Killer Collective moves hard and fast as Rain and his reassembled detachment go on the offensive to target those who have put them in the cross-hairs, and the action sequences are delightfully large-screen in their scope. Between helicopter attacks, pinpointing a sniper’s den, and becoming embroiled in a massive shootout at a French bar, neither the reader nor the detachment have a lot of room in which to breath and slowing down isn’t an option.
While the book moves along a frenetic pace, Eisler’s depiction of action and tactics is as sharp as ever. He cleanly portrays violence, letting you see every step of the assault, inside and out. The action is high and mighty violent, but also psychologically complex. He gets us into the heads of these operators as they stage an execution or prepare a counter-offensive assault, understanding the mental and emotional components to their physical actions, how it will make their targets feel instinctively and how those feelings can be further leveraged to achieve their goals.
The characters are also deeply aware of their comrades subtexts, thanks in part to their long relationships or because of their own inclinations. As I said earlier, I’d been waiting to see how Livia and Rain would get on, and in fact it’s nicely subdued. Both recognize elements of themselves in the other and understand the natural boundaries that exist around them. They’re damaged loners, but also deeply professional and aware of the deep, unspoken currents residing in the other’s psyches, even if they don’t know each others actual histories very well. Ultimately, their relationship is one built upon mutual respect, and I dug that aspect a lot. It’s hard to say if they’ll ever meet again, but as a one-off it’s a satisfying exploration and the inciting elements that bring them together are nicely, chaotically staged.
The Killer Collective is not as deeply emotional as prior books in Eisler’s oeuvre, particularly the grueling debut of our latest series heroine in Livia Lone, but it does have plenty of other rewards and more than its fair share of thrills. And when it comes to staging and exploring violence from the head-space of trained killers, nobody does it better than Barry Eisler. The Killer Collective is an adrenaline-fueled marathon run of action and conspiracy from beginning to end, filled with plenty of combat and movie screen-ready violence that’s more satisfying than ten of Hollywood’s biggest summer blockbusters. Now…when’s the next one releasing?
The Killer Collective was nice and action-packed. It's flaw was that there were too many protagonists.
EISLER is a skilled author that in this Killer Collective brings together main characters from his other series books. I have read all of the Livia Lone books and just love Dox! I have not read any of the John Rain books but he showed himself to be a complex character and no doubt why there are nine others in his series. "A copy of this book was provided by Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion." A book that has both the Good Cop - -Bad Cop theme. Also mentioned his other book the God's EYE which I have read and loved.
First there was Livia and she was all kinds of badass. Here was a character of integrity I could totally get behind.
Then there was the pairing of Livia and Dox/Carl, the charismatic Texan sniper, which was genius. Who doesn't love to laugh with and at good ole Dox? Apparently even Livia gets this big oaf's charm and is uniquely qualified to understand his "je ne sais quoi".
But I spent the last two books in the Livia Lone series aching to get a glimpse of John Rain. Yeah, yeah, he's retired from "the life", but surely we can't keep him away from all the fun in another kill-before-you're-killed race against (yet again) both time and sickeningly powerful men.
"Is this what you call retirement? Danger and intrigue and killing?"
In The Killer Collective, John finally arrives, collected together with all my favorite major players from Eisler's world of vigilante justice and contract killing.
YES, THE WHOLE GANG IS FINALLY TOGETHER.
This time our endearingly damaged, but highly effective, collection of misfits bands together to tackle a particularly vile group of US government employees indulging in the child sex ring, Hurtcore. Just like with the Nazis, it's hard to find someone who wouldn't be willing to step up to out anyone participating in such an evil and disturbing global organization, one that violently damages children physically and breaks them emotionally to get their jollies.
(A quick Google shows this is no fabrication on Eisler's part. Hurtcore is real and even more nefarious than he lets on. Props to the author for not indulging in details, because these pedophiles are sicker than sick. If only OUR world had the powerhouse of Rain-Livia-Dox and The Killer Collective to take down these darkweb deviants in real life.)
I can never get enough of the nonstop action that always finds John Rain, Dox, Livia, Delilah and the rest of these noble badasses. If these books ever stop, I don't know what I'll do, except reread myself silly through the series again and again. And again.
But there was enough foreshadowing at the end to assure me there will certainly be a Livia Lone #4. My money says it'll be called, or at least themed, "The Reckoning". Bad guys beware -- retaliate against Livia and she will most certainly take you DOWN.