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Fault line : a novel / Barry Eisler.

By: Eisler, Barry.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2009Edition: First edition.Description: 308 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780345505088 (hbk.).Subject(s): Inventors -- Crimes against -- Fiction | Conspiracies -- Fiction | Brothers -- Fiction | High technology -- FictionGenre/Form: Thrillers (Fiction) | Action and adventure fiction. | Psychological fiction.Subject: In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent carjacking. In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged younger brother. When Alex Treven, a patent lawyer who has been working for the inventor, is attacked in his apartment, he is convinced he is the target of a conspiracy, and his brother, Ben, is his only hope. Setting aside their differences, Alex and Ben come together to find out who is behind the attacks. They soon learn that forces in America and abroad are involved in a high-stakes struggle to take hold of the technology, and now both of their lives are in danger.
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Includes bibliographic references (p. [307-308].

In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent carjacking. In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operative receives a frantic call from his estranged younger brother. When Alex Treven, a patent lawyer who has been working for the inventor, is attacked in his apartment, he is convinced he is the target of a conspiracy, and his brother, Ben, is his only hope. Setting aside their differences, Alex and Ben come together to find out who is behind the attacks. They soon learn that forces in America and abroad are involved in a high-stakes struggle to take hold of the technology, and now both of their lives are in danger.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Chapter One Looking Up The last thing Richard Hilzoy thought before the bullet entered his brain was, Things are really looking up. He was on his way to the Silicon Valley offices of his lawyer, Alex Treven, who had arranged a meeting with Kleiner Perkins, the Midases of venture capital who could increase a company's value a hundredfold just by offering to invest. And now Kleiner was considering writing a check to him, Richard Hilzoy, genius, inventor of Obsidian, the world's most advanced encryption algorithm, destined to render all other network security software obsolete. Alex had already applied for the patent, and if things worked out with the VCs, Hilzoy would be able to rent office space, buy equipment, hire staff--everything he needed to finish commercializing the product and bring it online. In a few years he would take the company public, and his shares would be worth a fortune. Or he'd stay private, and become to security software what Dolby was to sound, raking in billions in licensing revenues. Or Google would buy him--they were into everything these days. The main thing was, he was going to be rich. And he deserved it. Working for chump change in an Oracle research laboratory, drinking Red Bull after Red Bull late at night and shivering in the deserted company parking lot for tobacco breaks, enduring the taunts and laughter he knew went on behind his back. Last year his wife had divorced him, and boy was the bitch ever going to be sorry now. If she'd had any brains she'd have waited until he was rolling in money and then tried to shake him down. But she'd never believed in him, and neither had anyone else. Except Alex. He walked down the cracked exterior steps of his San Jose apartment building, squinting against the brilliant morning sun. He could hear the roar of rush hour traffic on Interstate 280 half a block away--the whoosh, whoosh of individual cars, trucks grinding gears as they pulled on from the entrance ramp at South Tenth Street, the occasional angry honk--and for once, having to live like this, right on top of the freeway, didn't bother him. Even the cheap bicycles and rusting barbecues and stained plastic garbage containers crammed together against the side of the adjacent building didn't bother him, nor did the reek the autumn breeze carried from the overflowing parking lot Dumpster. Because Alex was going to get him out of this sewer hole. Oracle was a client of Alex's firm, and Hilzoy was Alex's contact on patents there. Hilzoy hadn't been overly impressed initially. He'd taken one look at Alex's blond hair and green eyes and figured him for just another pretty boy--rich parents, the right schools, the usual. But he'd recognized soon enough that Alex knew his shit. Turned out he wasn't just a lawyer, but had degrees from Stanford, too--undergraduate in electrical engineering, same as Hilzoy, and a Ph.D. in computer science. He knew at least as much programming as Hilzoy, maybe more. So when Hilzoy had finally worked up the nerve to pull him aside and ask about patenting Obsidian, Alex had gotten it right away. Not only had he deferred his fees, he'd introduced Hilzoy to a group of angel investors who had put in enough money for Hilzoy to quit his day job and buy the equipment he needed. And now he was poised to take money from the biggest swinging dicks of all. All in the space of a single year. Unbelievable. Of course, there were aspects of Obsidian that the VCs might not like if they knew about them. They might even have found them scary. But they wouldn't know, because there was no reason to tell them. Obsidian could protect networks, and there wasn't a Fortune 500 company out there that wouldn't pay out the wazoo for that. That's what VCs understood. The rest . . . well, that wou Excerpted from Fault Line: A Novel by Barry Eisler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Death by hit men isn't what Silicon Valley attorney Alex Treven had in mind when he agreed to sponsor a young inventor's piece of network-security software. But when the inventor and the patent office handler die in quick succession, Alex has enough survival sense to call his estranged big brother, Ben, a special-ops agent. Ben reluctantly comes to Alex's aid and finds himself entangled in something more sinister than a lucrative new invention would suggest. Beautiful, tech-savvy law associate Sarah Hosseini inadvertently gets caught up in the deadly situation and adds a touch of romance to this cyberthriller. The brothers have suffered greatly since tragedy destroyed their suburban family when they were teens; now they must overcome long-simmering resentments and band together, using their talents to outwit their unknown hunters. Intricate plotting and tech details make this thriller zip by. Eisler, who has training in covert operations and is well known for his John Rain series (e.g., Requiem for an Assassin), presents a winning first stand-alone work. Recommended for all popular collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/08.]-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Eisler fans may miss the sleek, moody tone that distinguished his John Rain thrillers (Requiem for an Assassin, etc.) in this highly readable first in a new series introducing another assassin hero. Ben Treven, who's been assigned to Turkey in the war on terror by his secretive U.S. military unit, returns home to Silicon Valley when his younger brother, Alex, a patent lawyer in Palo Alto, gets caught in the deadly tug-of-war between the inventor of a new software encryption device and the forces of national security. The plot moves sluggishly as the author establishes character, backstory and the bitter relationships in the Treven family, but the larger problem is the novel's predictability. The brothers tangle, reconcile, romance the same woman, then the threat is neutralized-all on schedule. As a leading man, Ben Treven lacks John Rain's personal panache and professional aloofness. Still, Ben's warmer side gives him potential. 10-city author tour. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Eisler fans looking for the return of John Rain won't find him here, but they won't be disappointed. Silicon Valley patent lawyer Alex Treven is counting on a big payday when he closes a potential multimillion-dollar deal with the inventor of an encryption program, but his prospects change quickly when the inventor is murdered and Alex is attacked in his home. To uncover the truth of the murder and survive himself, Alex will need to call in the services of a man he never wanted to see again: his estranged brother, Ben, who works for a secret anti-terrorist military organization but agrees to fly from Istanbul to San Francisco to help and immediately becomes a target. Also involved is another lawyer, an Iranian American woman who also knows about the encryption program and may or not be trustworthy. Rich characterizations and family dynamics blend seamlessly with gripping action scenes. Eisler has himself another winner.--Ayers, Jeff Copyright 2009 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Vanilla thriller about a race to nab software capable of shutting down cyberspace. On the heels of six John Rain thrillers, Eisler (Requiem for an Assassin, 2007, etc.) turns to a stand alone with a fadeout that suggests it won't be standing alone for long. The author brings on a familiar cast, with each character raising a question that nudges along the plot. There's Richard Hilzoy, about to patent Oracle, "to security software what Dolby was to sound." But Hilzoy withholds from his buyers something vital about the software. Perhaps that's the reason someone rubs him out. Then there's Alex Treven, the bland, blonde, blue-eyed lawyer who hopes landing Oracle will make him a partner at his firm. More flamboyant is Alex's brother, Ben, at the start a hired assassin about to kill two Iranians in Turkey. In awkward flashbacks, Eisler details the family trauma behind Alex and Ben's estrangement. Asked to drive his sister Katie, a high-school senior, home from a party, Ben, besotted with a woman at the fete, asks someone else to do the honors. The substitute driver crashes, killing Katie. Ben shirks responsibility, turning, somewhat implausibly, into a cold, ruthless killer. Will he melt and reconcile with his brother? The chance to do that comes when Alex seeks his help after it appears someone is ready to kill anyone with anything to do with Oracle. Ben grudgingly agrees to help, though he distrusts Alex's assistant, Sarah Hosseini, largely because she's Iranian. For her part, Sarah has never experienced an orgasm. Will she and Ben combust? Eisler ticks off answers to his questions. He reveals the tricky and surprising story behind Oracle. He turns Ben and Alex's rehash of the past into several second-drawer Arthur Miller confrontations. And he signs off as Ben and Sarah heat up. As for color in the telling, clichs abound: "destiny was like a freight train"; "He was a needle in a haystack, a drop in the ocean." Sure to set the pulse steadying. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.