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by Barry Eisler
Thomas & Mercer, February 2016
454 pages
ISBN: 1503951510

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Even before the revelations of Edward Snowden, author and former CIA operative Barry Eisler had begun work on this timely thriller, THE GOD'S EYE VIEW, about a secret NSA tool that could listen, watch, and collect data on anyone, anywhere.

The story centers on loyal NSA employee Evelyn Gallagher who loves her government IT job and needs the salary to keep her deaf son in private school. However, when the suicide of an NSA employee is discovered, something doesn't sit right with her. She raises the issue with her boss, head of the department, but even though he reassures her it's just a tragic accident, she can tell he's lying to her.

Soon she stumbles on video surveillance of a secret meeting between a member of the US intelligence community in Turkey and a journalist. When she brings the issue to the director's attention, more bad things begin to happen. The spy is killed in a car crash, and the journalist is taken hostage by a group affiliated with ISIS. Evelyn's own doubts have turned to fear.

Soon, she too is being carefully watched. Will she join the whisteblowers, or is there another solution to protecting herself and her son? Can she trust the new man who's recently come into her life, even though he seems to be protecting her and has brought her son out of his shell?

This edge-of-your seat thriller has a great combination of sympathetic characters, non-stop action, insight into recent headlines, and more than enough reality to scare readers sufficiently. To bring even more fright to the table, the author has included an extensive bibliography of additional resources on technological advancements in the world of surveillance that could keep any reader up all night.

Even without this support, Barry Eisler has created a memorable story, with food for thought that lingers long after the book is finished.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, November 2015

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