Saturday, February 2, 2019

Book Review: The Killer Collective, by Barry Eisler

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

She took a deep breath and eased through the doorway. The door had spring-loaded hinges, and she slowed it down with her free hand to make sure it closed quietly. Then she moved left, keeping her back to the brick building, the Glock in a two-handed grip now, tracking left and right in sync with her gaze. She paused and listened. She heard the hum of an electrical transformer, the drip of water from a leaking gutter. Nothing else. She moved left again, logging a puddle in her peripheral vision and stepping over it. A duct ahead of her was spewing steam. She moved forward to get an angle past it, and–

A man slipped around the corner less than six feet from her, a pistol in his right hand alongside his thigh. Holding the gun for concealment, not in the expectation of immediate engagement. He saw her and froze, his eyes widening.

Livia thrust her arms forward, putting her sights directly on his sternum, and shouted, “Drop the weapon!”


While this book hints at stories from previous books for several of the characters, I felt I knew enough of what was going on to really enjoy this book and its plot and characters. It was an entertaining read as a stand-alone book, and I’m sure it would really enhance the two series that feature its characters.

Official synopsis:
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 “natural causes.”

Suspecting the FBI itself was behind the attack, Livia reaches out to former Marine sniper Dox. Together, they assemble an ad hoc group to identify and neutralize the threat. There’s Rain. Rain’s estranged lover, Mossad agent and honeytrap specialist Delilah. And black ops soldiers Ben Treven and Daniel Larison, along with their former commander, SpecOps legend Colonel Scot “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, these operators will have a hard time forming a team. But in a match as uneven as this one, a collective of killers might be even better.


The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler was an engaging action/adventure book that rang of truth. The characters were well-developed. This is the third book in the Livia Lone series, and the tenth book in the John Rain series. Each of these primary characters brought their friends to the book this time, for an interesting conglomeration of relationships between friends and hired killers. Having not read any of either series previously, the background given was adequate that I felt acquainted enough with all the characters in the book to follow the intriguing plot.

Adding to the believability, the author included footnotes, of a sort. At the back of the book, Eisler cites different articles and videos he’s seen that he credits with some of the ideas his characters use, sorted by the chapter in which the ideas were mentioned. I loved this!

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the characters and the exciting storyline. I’d give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.




Becki Bayley is a wife, mother, direct-seller, lunch-lady and blogger at SweetlyBSquared.com. She also enjoys doing laundry and dishes every day to keep her household running.

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