Inside Out



Inside Out a January Magazine Best Book of 2010!

"Barry Eisler is this generation's tech-savvy new media incarnation of Graham Greene. The former-covert-CIA-operative-turned-novelist is fast emerging as one of the most important fiction writers in the military/covert ops/political thriller genre dominated by right-wing, prowar authors like Tom Clancy, Brad Thor and Vince Flynn. Eisler is a political progressive who, in a different life, personally worked on the dark side and knows his stuff."
   —Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

"A thriller as good or better than any of Grisham's."
   —Op-Ed News, David Swanson

"Competing government agencies, judicious leaks and public relations games packaged into a superior example of fast-moving entertainment... as the chase continues, Eisler's mission becomes a search for uncorrupted American idealism."

"Winner: Barry Eisler, for his splendid new novel, Inside Out—the first pro-gay, anti-torture C.I.A. thriller of the new millenium—a riveting page turner with a very unusual social-conscience."
   —Charles Kaiser, The Sidney Hillman Foundation

"Eisler, who spent a covert three years with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, drives this locomotive of a story full speed into the facade of the war on terror. Black ops soldier Ben Treven (last seen in Fault Line ) is sent to find a rogue specialist who stole 92 videotapes from a secret prison at Guantanamo Bay. Fast-action scenes alternate with Treven's education in the cynical arts of policymaking, and the quickening pace of the story culminates in a bombshell revelation. VERDICT: One sex scene fits neither the story nor the characters, and the violence may make even the most jaded reader uncomfortable, but this is a relentless and revelatory look into the human cost of those who torture on behalf of their country."
   —Andrew Smith, Library Journal (starred review)

"In the 'write what you know' sweepstakes, Barry Eisler is uniquely qualified to write spy novels....everything, the action the characters, and the prose is driven by a combination of practical and moral outrage. Torture does not work, no matter what Kiefer Sutherland says or does on the Tee Vee. Not only is it morally wrong, it is ineffective, in fact, it is actively counterproductive of any goal other than the satisfaction of sadistic desires. Eisler can say things with power in his fiction that he cannot in his blog entries and opinion pieces. He can put us in the minds of those being tortured. This is not a happy place to be, but it makes for a great ripping yarn with a powerful and to some unpalatable, political aftertaste."
   —The Agony Column, Bookotron

"The labyrinthine ways of governmental conspiracies—and how the dirty work is often carried out by those fueled by nothing more complicated than duty and patriotism—are areas where Eisler shines. He expertly knows how to implement suspense into such dark complications and allows us to experience the disorientation they create through the actions of such well-trained and single-minded characters like Treven and Larison. This is no more evident than when someone like Treven learns that political reality is far removed from the black-and-white emphasis of his training."

"Eisler's rock-solid sequel to Fault Line finds black ops spy/assassin Ben Treven dealing with anger management problems that have landed him in a grim Filipino jail. To the rescue is his old boss, Col. Scott "Hort" Horton, chief of Ben's secret unit, "the absurdly blandly named Intelligence Support Activity." [spoiler deleted]—in exchange for his release, Ben must hunt down fellow agent Daniel Larison, a rogue who's demanding $100 million worth of uncut diamonds in exchange for 92 secret tapes showing extreme torture, instigated and sanctioned by the office of the U.S. vice president. Caught in this rapidly escalating disaster are various high-level government officials, all of whom are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the tapes from being revealed. The open ending promises to unite Ben with Eisler's other series hero, John Rain, a matchup that should prove to be thriller gold for anxiously awaiting readers."
   —Publishers Weekly

"Complex characters, a fast and furious pace and nonstop action make Inside Out a fabulous read! Ben is a compelling hero with a dark psyche who fights his way out of tight situations through sheer will and ingenuity. The bad guys are truly evil, but their motivations are clear and convincing. Best of all, you're never completely sure who is on what side."
   —4.5 stars, Romantic Times Magazine

"Barry Eisler is known for his fast paced thrillers and while Inside Out (Ballantine) is that, it is also a non-apologetic look at policies of our government and agencies working for it. Black Ops soldier Ben Treven needs to perform a mission to keep out of some serious trouble. The job he has is to recover some tapes which will cause trouble for people up to the highest levels of Government and he is obviously not the only one looking for them. Edge of the seat suspense and a plot that feels like it's walking a tightrope Inside Out will entertain you and make you think. A great combination."
   —Crimespree Magazine

"Eisler reaches for the brass ring—the Olympian heights of John LeCarré and Graham Greene, the rara avis of auctorial talent in the service of literature that assumes the guise of thriller..."
   —David Gordon, The Deipnosophist

"Reads like an insider's worse nightmare... Inside Out is more than simply a thrilling novel. It's mandatory reading for anyone who cares about what this country has become in the wake of the 'War on Terror.'"
   —Reading and Reviewing, Christine Zibas

"Barry Eisler, the San Francisco Bay Area writer, spent three years in a covert position with the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations, and sets his eighth novel inside the intelligence community of the United States. The action begins when the new Director of Central Intelligence receives a telephone call, directing him to a Website containing footage of waterboarding and torture. He is told that unless one hundred million dollars in uncut diamonds are received, the footage will be released to TV networks. Competing factions of the U.S. government scramble to contain the damage. Colonel Scott "Hort" Horton believes the blackmailer is one of his own, a black ops veteran Daniel Larison, long presumed dead. Timely, intense, and frighteningly real, Inside Out is a thriller that could have only been written by a former CIA operative turned bestselling author. It is disturbing and will haunt readers long after the last page has been read."
   —The Tucson Citizen

"Inside Out is a thrill-seeker's book... Perhaps most interesting of all, the story is based on true events: 92 missing CIA interrogation tapes that allegedly included recordings of prisoners being tortured. Eisler's latest offering doesn't reinvent the genre, but it certainly pumps it full of adrenaline."
   —The Daily Beast

"Ben Treven is like a younger, less mature (in that he's young and still forming himself) version of Lee Child's wonderful Jack Reacher character... Eisler writes with a great pace, and makes everything very plausible. As he used to be a covert operative with the CIA himself, the details of surveillance, logistics and gunplay ring true. And the moral and philosophical questions that pervade the story-telling lift Eisler's work a notch above the bang-you're-dead kind of book usually found in this genre. In fact, the ending of the story (which we won't give away here) is a shocking cold-water-on-the-soul wake up call to anybody living in this country..."
   —Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

"Full of the twists and turns of a political thriller, Inside Out is a fast-paced page turner. Like all of Eisler's work, what makes this book stand out is its rootedness in power politics of the day..."
   —Two Hippos

"Inside Out is more than just an addictive, non-stop thriller. It is a microscope turned on the official policies of torture, extraordinary rendition, and the systematic ghosting of detainees. Through the dialogue of his engaging characters, Eisler insightfully conveys the incredible damage these policies caused our nation and the danger they pose to democracy and freedom."
   —Matthew Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq

"A white knuckle roller-coaster ride through the dark side, a truth so horrifying it can only be told in fiction. Eisler is a rarity, the ex-spook who turns himself into a great thriller writer."
   —Robert Baer, author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism

"Eisler turns on its head the old saw that to undersand all is to forgive all. His tight plotting and believable characters show us unforgivingly how counter-terrorism turns evil and counter-productive."
   —Juan Cole, President, Global Americana Institute, author of Engaging the Muslim World

"Inside Out plumbs, with absolute credibility, the darkest recesses of our recent public life, pulling back the curtain on the grim world of secrets—from extraordinary rendition to torture to extra-judicial killing—that looms behind our recent foreign policy. Which makes it not only compelling but, alas, essential reading."
   —Mark Danner, author of Torture and Truth and Stripping Bare the Body

"Eisler captures the unraveling of the human psyche in the face of torture: torturer and tortured, and the society that implicitly permits it. Sensitive to the domestic political context, he offers a perspective that can only be gained by experience. Inside Out synthesizes fact and fiction into a narrative that leaves you contemplating where one ends and the other begins."
   —Laura K. Donohue, J.D., PhD., Center on National Security and the Law, author of The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty

"Inside Out fills the gaps in what we already know of the Bush administration's 'war on terror' with a story that's all the more gripping because it rings so true. Challenging the myth of the 24 interrogator Jack Bauer that so impressed Bush-Cheney Republicans, Eisler's characters provide a striking and indelible portrait of the horrors that, through its torture tactics, the U.S. government has brought upon itself."
   —Daphne Eviatar, Human Rights First

"Eisler's new thriller is as smart, dark, and tough as his others. This one, however, is also all too real and all too close to home. After you read it, you will find yourself looking at political news in a very different way... and wondering why these facts are assembled more convincingly in a clever, entertaining suspense novel than they are in the supposedly factual media. Read it for scary fun, only to realize that the facts were the scariest things of all."
   —Charles Ferguson, Oscar-nominated writer, director and producer of No End in Sight

"Inside Out does what only the best thrillers can: illuminate the dark corners of hidden crimes in white-hot prose that is terrifying—and riveting—because it is so true to life. Ex-CIA agent Eisler puts black-ops veteran Ben Treven to work in a search for missing interrogation tapes that promise to answer a haunting question: How and why do our leaders use torture to force prisoners to endorse the fearful lies that keep them in power?"
   —Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning writer, director, and producer of Taxi to the Dark Side

"Inside Out achieves what only the best works of fiction can: it imparts profoundly insightful commentary on the most pressing political controversies of the day within a riveting dramatic plot. Eisler's unique talent is weaving together exciting story-telling with provocative headline-based truths, and he reaches all new heights with his latest novel."
   —Glenn Greenwald, Salon, author of Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics

"Inside Out takes us on a tour of the darkest crevices of the new National Security State. It's a brilliant work of fiction—but is it really so fictional? Eisler's plot lines move dangerously close to real life; they are animated by a reality behind the headlines."
   —Scott Horton, Contributing Editor, Harper's Magazine

"Inside Out is a modern Heart of Darkness, with Special Ops veteran Ben Treven taking a rip-roaring ride through jungle shoot-outs and up a sinister Potomoc into a world of assassination and torture, made more frightening because it's all too real. The book combines exciting entertainment with an almost encyclopedic summary of the torture scandal of the past decade, including a sly nod to the growing impact of the blogosphere. If you want to know where policies of war, torture, and assassination have taken this country, read this book."
   —Jeffrey Kaye, Invictus

"Eisler's novels have always provided readers with fascinating glimpses of the arcane nature of intelligence operations and cleverly drawn composites of the personalities populating that world. In his new work, Inside Out, he goes one step further to accurately capture the zeitgeist of the past decade's dark war against terrorism, offering the reader a very real—and very compelling—rendering of the juxtaposition of personal interests, confused ethics, and misguided patriotism that led the country off a moral cliff. Not long ago, few would have accepted the possibility that the U.S. Government would sanction a program of coercive interrogation practices; now, that reality provides the factual background for an exceptionally well-crafted work of fiction."
   —Col. Steven Kleinman, Intelligence Officer and National Security Strategist

"The unexcelled author of beautifully crafted, politically charged, and highly entertaining novels, Barry Eisler has now given us Inside Out, which I read at a single sitting, unable to put it down. Its post-9/11 characters in U.S. intelligence, whom Eisler draws from the inside, their often horrific worldviews, and their explosive actions become uniquely fixed in one's memory—and fears."
   —Walter LaFeber, author of America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945-2006

"Inside Out does a masterful job of braiding together what we thought we knew about the decline of the rule of law after 9/11, with all we are still afraid to imagine. With his deftly drawn characters and breakneck plotting, Eisler holds up a dark mirror, forcing us to consider the moral and ethical compromises we have made in order to feel safer in America. It's impossible to put down and, thankfully, also impossible to dismiss as mere fiction."
   —Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor, Slate

"Inside Out is a fantastic thriller! What le Carré and Clancy did for the Cold War, Eisler does for the shadow government of politicians, corporations and spies that continually sacrifices America's core values in the name of national security. Like the best thrillers, Inside Out delights readers while helping them appreciate real world dangers."
   —Roger McNamee, Managing Director, Elevation Partners

"Inside Out grips you from the very beginning, drawing you deep into the mindset that brought torture back to the US. It takes us where we may yet end up. It could not be more topical or devastating."
   —Philippe Sands, author of Torture Team: Rumsfeld's Memo and the Betrayal of American Values

"Eisler paints a scary parallel universe of conspiracy, misguided policy, totalitarian politics, and ethically bankrupt 'patriots,' then holds it up like a mirror to reflect our own sad reality. Inside Out is a great read in its own right, and—let's hope—a call to action for policy change and accountability."
   —Chris Shipley, Co-founder and Chairman, Guidewire Group

"The book is extremely well researched, and what Eisler posits as fiction feels terrifyingly like fact. It's about time fiction began to reflect the reality of rendition, detention and torture, rather than forever promoting the myths of the neocon right, as Jack Bauer twists the thumb screws to achieve the goals of democracy. Inside Out is a gripping thriller, but it also serves an important purpose."
   —Clive Stafford Smith, founder of Reprieve, author of Eight O'Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice In Guantanamo Bay

"The evils of the program of 'extraordinary rendition' and torture initiated by the Bush administration in the wake of the 9/11 attacks are brought vividly to life in Barry Eisler's topical new thriller. This is violent, disturbing stuff, page-turningly addictive, and all the more shocking because its characters are caught up in a plot that owes as much to the realities of modern-day America as it does to the author's imagination."
   —Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files: The Stories of 759 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison

"As our once trusted leaders took the nation to the 'dark side' with policies akin to those of Mafia consiglieri, Barry Eisler lights up their dungeons with blazing insights packed in his thrilling narrative. Inside Out is must reading regardless of one's political persuasion if truth still matters and integrity is valued."
   —Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D., author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil