Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Detachment: The Avengers of Assassination

Barry Eisler is one of my favorite thriller writers. I aspire to create characters and mood the way he does. He is one of the few modern authors that has mastered everything that is attractive about the spy thriller while avoiding all of the clich├ęs. The Detachment is a climax of various storylines, but it stand up as a compelling thriller in its own right.

As I was reading the last few stories in Mr. Eisler's universe (Lost Coast, Paris is a Bitch and Inside Out) the parallels between his mega plot and a trend in popular films became very clear. In the current spate of summer blockbusters from the company I used to work for (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk) each had films that will culminate in the composite Avengers film. Eisler works a similar concept in his universe. The only difference is that he's writing about assassins instead of Avengers.

The best part of the story is that you see each main character from the external view of the other characters and from their own internal perspective. Each one appears as an antagonist in relation to the others when seen from the outside and a struggling protagonist in their own head. No one's motives seem artificial or far-fetched. It is these dual perspectives, when added to the elaborate tactics, high level of detail and engrossing dialogue that has always been a part of the Rain series makes for a very enjoyable listen. By the middle of the book, you'll be sure they will all kill each other and you might not be able to decide who's side you're on.

I don't know if these all four of these characters should ever be in a book together again, but I hope they are.

Have fun.

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