Saturday, March 5, 2016

The God's Eye View

by Barry Eisler 
Thomas and Mercer     2016
416 pages     Thriller

Sometimes fiction is too much like reality—or is reality too much like fiction? In the case of The God's Eye View by Barry Eisler, it is both. It is a tale of espionage, government manipulation, hit men, conspiracies, whistle blowers and megalomaniac government executives. Pretty scary stuff but nothing that we haven't see recently in real life!

The story is set post-Edward Snowden, and the head of the NSA has developed a tool called the God's Eye View by which the government can monitor every mobile device, cell phone, and surveillance camera on the planet. Evie, the single mother of a deaf child, works as a programmer for the NSA. In her daily work, she realizes that Anders, the head of the NSA, is overstepping his bounds and has orchestrated some rather disturbing events around the world. She knows how to find the thumb drive holding the information that will expose Anders and his maniacal plan to control information. In exposing the plot and Anders, she puts herself and her son in incredible danger.

There is sex and murder, chases, clandestine appointments, evil henchmen, and everything else necessary for a great thriller.
Eisler has enough insider knowledge of CIA-style operations to make it all quite believable, and is a skilled enough writer to make it all move along very rapidly. Several times I thought I was going to quit because I'm not a big fan of espionage, but I couldn't let it go. Thus, I finished it and am glad I did.

Apparently I am into maniacal protagonists, lately. The Newsmakers, which I read last month, had a maniacal newspaper publisher.  One could argue that Richard Nixon, the protagonist of Being Nixon, had maniacal tendencies. I am currently watching Frank Underwood display megalomaniac presidential traits on House of Cards (Season 4), and I am also watching too much political machinations ala Donald Trump, megalomaniac in chief. 

So, if you want to read a political thriller way too close to the way the world is running right now, read The God's Eye View. It will scare the s—t out of you!

The God's Eye View is gaining good press and got a "starred" review in Publisher's Weekly.
Here's a very interesting interview with Eisler about his reasons for writing the book in the Huffington Post.

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