A Book Spy Review: ‘Livia Lone’ By Barry Eisler

barry-eisler-livia-loneBarry Eisler’s latest thriller, Livia Lone, is dark, compelling, and flat-out hard to put down. 

Labee’s horror story began at just thirteen years old, when she and her sister, Nisan, were abducted from the streets of Thailand by a group of men. It wasn’t until later on that Labee learned the truth, which is that her parents sold her to human traffickers. 

Protective of Nisan, who is only two years younger, Labee offered herself as a sex slave to try and save her little sister. When men wanted to take something, she made sure it was from her. Until one day, of course, they had grown tired of her and began eyeing the younger girl.

Two sisters, victims, broken together and enduring hell on earth.

Many years later, Labee, now a detective with the Seattle police department, goes by Livia. She’s gone from victim to heroine. Using her brutal, horrific experiences, Livia has dedicated herself to protecting other children and putting the monsters who abuse them either behind bars or in the ground. 

As a cop, Livia is a smart, over-achieving detective who takes each case personally. But things don’t always go the way they should, and justice isn’t always provided for those who deserve it. For that reason, Livia also leads a second life as a vigilante, where she acts as judge, jury, and, more importantly, executioner. 

In order to fully understand who Livia is, you have to understand her past–what happened to her, how she got to America. To do this, Eisler writes flashback scenes that fill in the gaps, revealing more about Livia as the plot moves along. 

In addition to hunting child abusers, both legally as a cop and outside of the law as a vigilante, Livia also continues her search for Nisan and her captors. Without any knowledge of what happened to her sister, she vows to connect the dots and longs to see her again. That’s another driving force behind Eisler’s new protagonist, shaping and molding her into the fascinating, powerful character that she is. 

Barry Eisler has written a handful of really great books. God’s Eye View, which came out earlier this year, lacked the emotional punch readers have come to expect from his novels. He makes up for it with a double-dose here, no question.

While some readers may find the scenes explaining what Livia and other children have gone through a bit graphic, it’s important to note that this dark underworld does exist in real life. The realism that Eisler writes with is necessary, and it’s impossible not to root for Livia to clean the streets of these sick, troubled human beings. 

Darker than the black of night, Livia Lone is a compelling thriller that will tug at your heartstrings, get your adrenaline pumping, and keep you thoroughly entertained. 

Book Details

Author: Barry Eisler
Series: Livia #1
Pages: 358 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1503939669
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: October 25, 2016 (Order Now!)

 

 

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