The Bottom Line: Livia Lone proves why she’s Barry Eisler’s best protagonist yet.
Like many longtime Barry Eisler fans, my entry point was A Clean Kill in Tokyo. To be honest, I never truly loved Eisler’s John Rain, whose dispassionate outlook on life added little narrative thrust. But Eisler’s insider knowledge of spycraft was blatantly obvious on every page, and together with his ingeniously drawn landscapes, I was hooked anyhow.
With The Night Trade, Eisler’s second Livia Lone book, his heroine has finally outclassed John Rain completely. The sex crimes detective earns a position with a government anti-trafficking task force, returning to Thailand to look for evil-doer Rithisak Sorm. Livia’s pain is palpable, but never overly sentimental. It just works.
For added fun, Eisler has airlifted former Marine sniper Dox from his previous series and teamed him up with Livia.
This is a crime thriller at its darkest. Highly recommended.