Barry Eisler’s “The Detachment” brings back killer John Rain and former Navy sniper Dox from Eisler’s first six popular novels and pairs them with the undercover operator and hero of Eisler’s last two books, Ben. Treven, and the deadly Larison from Eisler’s latest “Inside Out.” These four, all skilled and experienced operators and assassins, come together to form a detachment to stop a coup that is being launched on American soil. Veteran Colonel Scott “Hort” Horton from previous novels Black Ops gathers the four together for the mission, but it’s up to the four to figure out what the mission is, if they can, before they die or kill each other. The premise makes for an exciting, fast-paced thread that’s fun to read and has you wondering what’s what and who’s who at all times.
I am friends with Eisler and was looking forward to her writing about Rain and Dox again. As a former army sniper, I have a soul mate with the former marine. I really liked his role in this story, and it was great to see him in action again, as well as providing some comic relief when the going gets tough. Who says a tough guy can’t have a sense of humor? The way the four men interacted with each other kept the conversation going well, and the trust, or lack thereof, element of the story kept it interesting. Sometimes these interactions were as “action packed” as actual action scenes, just of a different kind. The way the characters have developed throughout the series and the camaraderie between them, and a look at their psyche, allows the reader to better understand these men, their lives, their pains, their insecurities, as well as their strengths. .
As a writer, Eisler did something else that I found interesting. When focusing on Rain, the narration is in the first person, but when writing about Dox, Treven, and Larison, it is in the third person. I found this interesting, and it really makes the story a John Rain thriller as the title suggests, rather than a Ben Treven book. And Rain is the main character, although everyone else plays important roles. Eisler, as always, is in tip-top shape writing about covert ops and keeping his locations accurate and realistic. Your experience and research pay off.
“The Detachment” is a fantastic thriller with John Rain and Dox back in action. The addition of Treven and Larison added to the excitement and I’m looking forward to seeing where this detachment of special ops professionals goes.