Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fault Line (Ben Treven, #1)” as Want to Read:
Fault Line (Ben Treven, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fault Line (Ben Treven #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,899 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
In Silicon Valley, the eccentric inventor of a new encryption application is murdered in an apparent drug deal.

In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operator receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he is the next victim.

And on the sun-drenched slopes of Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley's nerve center of money and technology, old family hu

Kindle Edition, New Edition, 306 pages
Published March 10th 2009 by Barry Eisler
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fault Line, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Jessica You might like this series, yes, but, at least with this first book, it's much more overtly political than the Rain books. Rain comes back, by the…moreYou might like this series, yes, but, at least with this first book, it's much more overtly political than the Rain books. Rain comes back, by the way, in Treven #3, THE DETACHMENT, and there is a new, "eighth" Rain book, GRAVEYARD OF MEMORIES, now too. I haven't read INSIDE OUT, THE DETACHMENT, or GRAVEYARD OF MEMORIES yet myself though. I am rereading this book -- my least favorite of all Eisler's novels, though -- first.(less)
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick ForsythThe Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumThe Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
334th out of 696 books — 811 voters
A Clean Kill in Tokyo by Barry EislerThe Detachment by Barry EislerInside Out by Barry EislerThe Bourne Supremacy by Robert LudlumBalance of Power by Richard North Patterson
liberal/left wing thrillers
8th out of 14 books — 5 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
A pretty good thriller. I liked Ben, the hero, better than John Rain. Wonderful mystery & great ending, but pretty typical "shoot 'em up, bang, bang" as my boys used to call media of this type. Tough guy op, a gorgeous girl, & some real bad guys to whack. It's all that, but a bit more as well. Not everyone is as good or bad as they seem & there's a brother & old family history to contend with, too. Anyway, it was fun & relaxing. I think I'll read another. (Think potato chips. ...more
A exciting action,spy thriller and more politically realistic novel than i expected.

I would have rated it 4 stars because i enjoyed it very much but the action scenes it could have been better ,like his John Rain series.
Apr 05, 2009 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: suspence, thrill fans
A really superior thriller that grabs hold of you and takes you for a wild and satisfying ride. Unputdownable. Read it in a day.

Alex Trevian is a lawyer in California who has one client, who has invented a special technological project, but which also has a sub program inside it with a secret. Its a secret that some government and various nefarious people want to keep quiet permanently. The inventor is terminated with extreme prejudice is what looks like a drug killing. A patent officer employer
Aug 01, 2010 Rick rated it liked it
This is a fine rollercoaster formula thriller. By that, I mean you go on a ride and it's enjoyable and things turn out more or less as you'd expect. Eisler is a good enough writer that this is a decent book, but it's simply not up to his John Rain work.

The problems are multiple:

First, the characters re very 2D. Ben's the Special Forces guy, Alex is the High Powered Lawyer On His Way Up, etc. None of them ever steps outside of their stereotypes.

Second, the plot is predictable. There's a twist
Apr 27, 2009 Debi rated it liked it
I fortunate to pick up an ARC of Barry Eisler's new stand-a-lone novel Fault Line when I was at Bouchercon this year. You should know I adore John Rain, so I was a little miffed that Barry dared write about another character. I needed my Rain fix. So I'm biased.

His new character Alex Trevens, a patent lawyer at a prestigious law firm becomes involved in the murder of his client who wrote a new encryption program. As luck would have it Alex's big brother is a undercover operative who reluctantly
Raynar Ramsay
Mar 23, 2009 Raynar Ramsay rated it it was amazing
Fault Line departs from the John Rain series that Barry is famous for but nerveless the story is wonderful. This is one which I finished off in only a few sittings within a day and a bit. Barry has created new fresh characters all with their merits and flaws as human beings they different beliefs and conflicts that help builds up a brilliant plot and creates tension between all characters in the story, This book is filled with Espionage, assassins, sex. It is all in here. I would highly recommen ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, ebook, 2010
4.5 stars

POV: 3rd Person: Alex Treven, Ben Treven, Sarah Hosseini
Mystery: Above Average
Sensuality: Warm

First in a new series about Ben Treven.

Alex Treven lives a simple life. He wakes in the same house he grew up in, works as an ambitious lawyer, goes back home to sleep in his childhood house, and does it all over the next day. When the case of a lifetime drops into his lap, he sees himself becoming partner in his law firm. When his client winds up murdered and Alex's life is threatened, he call
Mar 24, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: military-thiller
Overall, Fault Line was a well-written thriller. The characters had depth, but I didn't personally care for their personalities--they were all rather self-centered and self-righteous for most of the book.

The world was fully realized and made me feel like I was there and this could really happen. In my opinion, raising awareness about the potential dangers we face and questions about the morality of certain secret operations was one of the strengths of this book. It really made me think. However,
Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 Joyce Lagow rated it did not like it
A LibraryThing Early Reviewer book.[return][return]A software developer, who has invented a major new program for encryption of data, is murdered outside his home in California. His Silicon Valley lawyer, Alex, learns that an old friend who had been helping informally with the patent application for the new program, has suddenly died for no apparent reason. Then Alex himself comes under attack in his home, all within 24 hours of the developer s death. Frightened, Alex calls his brother Ben, a hi ...more
May 18, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it
Richard Hilzoy and his attorney, Alex Trevan have arranged a meeting with Kleiner Perkins. A company who is considered to have the Midas touch. Richard is really excited to meet with the people of Kleiner as he has come up with a really great inventor. It is called the Obsidian, the world's most advanced encryption algorithm, that is it will be the world's most advanced as soon as he and Alex can seal the deal. Alex has been striving hard for the past few years to move up in the law firm he work ...more
May 21, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it
Brothers Alex and Ben Treven may have grown up in the same house, but they couldn't be any more different. Alex is a Silicon Valley lawyer who has found his fast-track at his firm when he allies himself with an eccentric programmer whose written a new encryption software. Ben in a special-forces operative, on assignment in the Middle East.

When the creator of the encryption software is killed and Alex narrowly avoids an attempt on his life, he's forced to reach out to his big brother for help. Be
May 27, 2009 Andi rated it really liked it
Yesterday, I had the privilege of reading Fault Line by Barry Eisler. Apparently, Eisler is quite well-known for his previous books, but to be honest, when I got asked to review the book, I had never heard of him (such is the life of an English professor, I suppose — too many literary novels, not enough thrillers). And a thriller this is. Set in Northern California (particularly Silicon Valley and San Francisco), the story pursues the life of Alex, a lawyer who has come upon the “hottest” softwa ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Pygmy rated it liked it
For some bizarre reason, this reminds me of what might happen if an action thriller author seized hold of a romantic suspense plot and had his way with it. Two handsome estranged brothers, one a smarty-pants do-good lawyer, the other the line-backer, Special Ops bad boy. Gorgeous 1st year lawyer gal is stuck in between, who works with the lawyer brother, but has a background the bad-boy mistrusts. Sparks fly as you would expect. Also, since this is an action thriller first and foremost, lots of ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Zora rated it really liked it
As always, good writing and more sophisticated politics than most thrillers. Being ignorant of the details of coding encryption software, I believed the Macguffin, and I suspect you'd have to be quite an expert before you felt like nitpicking about that.
Apr 26, 2015 Claudette rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicholas Lefevre
Apr 21, 2016 Nicholas Lefevre rated it really liked it
I've read almost all of the Barry Eisler novels which mostly feature the Japanese-American assassin, John Rain. This introduces another character with no connection to Rain, Ben Treven, and his brother Alex, a Silicon Valley lawyer. Set in Silicon Valley's Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and San Jose it was familiar territory to me, a retired Silicon Valley lawyer.

My law practice was nowhere near as exciting. A book about it would not be one you could not put down. This one I started yesterday evening an
Jan 28, 2016 LYes rated it it was ok
Picked this up after reading most of Eisler's Rain series...This was a complete disappointment - it doesn't have the tight, concise style of the latter, excellent! series, but is what I term "totally sub-standard sloppy" writing style that is accepted as the norm. Did Eisler want to cash in on his cache/popularity, and so succumbed to this sloppy, cheap tangent? The hitman Treven appears to be just "another" hitman, as are the other characters, the plot is average, and so is the requisite, rathe ...more
Dec 14, 2009 Quinn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009-books, action
Ben is a hired assasin for the U.S Government. He recieves a desperate email from his brother (Alex) telling him he is in trouble and that he thinks that maybe someone is trying to kill him. Ben once again must come to Alex's rescue just like when they were kids.

A good book and I am glad to see Eisler go away from his John Rain character, but it was not as good as the John Rain novels.
Apr 09, 2009 Bryn rated it it was ok
I enjoy the John Rain books, but this stand-alone (or perhaps the first in a new series?) didn't even remotely match up. It spend most of the book on the emotional disconnect between two brothers and the action was secondary. It also ended strangely, too easily wrapping up the plot. It was a bit like Eisler decided he was done with the book, so he finished it off as quickly as possible.
Howard Anders
May 16, 2013 Howard Anders rated it really liked it
I became a fan of Barry Eisler reading his novels about the assassin, John Rain. This new series, involving members of an "un-named government counterterrorist agency" is as good, or better, with all of Eisler's hallmark, meticulous attention to the details of trade craft, and believable close combat sequences. "Fault Line" is a great start to the series.
Tom Tischler
Apr 26, 2014 Tom Tischler rated it really liked it
In the Silicon Valley the inventor of a new encryption
application is murdered in an apparent carjacking. In Istanbul
an undercover operative receives a frantic call from his
younger brother. Alex Treven a patent attorney working for the
inventor is attacked in his home and he is convinced he is the
target of a conspiracy and his brother Ben is his only hope.
There is a family feud here though and they haven't spoken to
each other for years and now they must come together to find out
who is behind the
Jan 26, 2014 Ingo rated it really liked it
Started January 16th, 2014.
Lend this with Amazon Prime.
Reality factor: very high. Special Ops, Silicon Valley, Cryptography, Patents - all very plausible integrated in this thriller.
So why only 4 stars?
Somehow it was not the page-turner for me I anticipated. Some romance I could have done without, but nicely done and a short non-detailed sex-scene.
While it has no mistakes I noticed, and has a high standard of (american) english, it felt wrong, I cannot put my finger on the reason.
Very good, and
Kim Winklhofer
Dec 06, 2014 Kim Winklhofer rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed the first John Rain book I read. It was fun to see a nod to that character in this book. There's a lot to like--the spycraft, as before, is very polished and slick. However, I'm finding this book tedious.

The conflict between the two brothers is annoying. There is scene after scene of them rehashing the same emotional baggage, expressing the same internal thoughts, making the same judgements about each other. Alex was an idiot that didn't have the survival instinct God gave liza
Ingrid Spera
Nov 22, 2015 Ingrid Spera rated it liked it
I "read" this book via audio book in one sitting and I'll admit that it took me quite awhile to be able to get into because the narrator was awful. Eisler should stick to writing and leave reading to the professionals. Anyway, I finally shoved the narration flaws aside and found the storyline. True to most of Eislers books, this one was a multidimensional suspense novel that has just enough intrigue and action to keep you interested. Out of the three main characters, I despised two. Thankfully, ...more
Narrator: Rob Shapiro

This was, at first, a 3-star book, became 3.8 then 4 but when I finished it and checked some parts in the Kindle, which I missed in the audio, I came across the author's note in the paperback edition. That completed my overall feel for this book, the first of a series I already know I'm going to enjoy.

Read some other reviews if you want more details about the plot and events (though I rarely write those type of synopsis-"reviews", I do find
Kimberly Bower (gladeslibrarian)
After listening to The Detachment (John Rain Thrillers), I was curious about Ben Treven. I wanted to know more about what made him tick. I already knew from The Detachment that Ben was my kind of character. What's not to like about an assassin?

Ben is self-assured in public yet privately he struggles with the morality of his choices. He also struggles with the rationalizations he employees to get from one job to the next. With shifting alliances, he's not sure who he can really trust. Add the wei
Dec 17, 2011 Dariosk rated it did not like it
Not a drop of imagination.
Characters out of a cardboard box.
For such a smart writer, this is hard to understand.
May 03, 2014 Matt rated it it was amazing
Sat down and couldn't put it down. Read it in one sitting.
Apr 10, 2009 Shawn rated it it was ok
not a bad read......a little hokey ending but entertaining enough.
Jan 25, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
#1 in the Ben Treven series. Author Eisler departs from his professional assassin John Rain series to give us U.S. Army assassin Ben Treven. After two entries in this series, Eisler returned to John Rain.

Ben Treven series - Alex Treven is a patent lawyer who finds himself out of his depth when his client, the inventor of a new cryptography algorithm, is murdered and their contact at the Patent Office dies unexpectedly on the same day. When Alex is attacked he reaches out to his estranged brother
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Deceived (Jonathan Quinn, #2)
  • The Protector (Cavanaugh #1)
  • The Death Trust (Vin Cooper, #1)
  • The Traitor (Jake Grafton Universe, #12)
  • Rules of Betrayal (Jonathan Ransom, #3)
  • Second Skin (Nicholas Linnear, #6)
  • The Gray Man (Court Gentry, #1)
  • Hit and Run (Keller, #4)
  • Innocence (Scott Finn #2)
  • The Skorpion Directive (Agent Micah Dalton, #4)
  • The Midnight House (John Wells, #4)
  • Once a Spy
  • The Expediter (Kirk McGarvey, #13)
  • The Lisbon Crossing (Jack Teller, #2)
  • Camouflage (Nameless Detective, #35)
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous " ...more
More about Barry Eisler...

Other Books in the Series

Ben Treven (2 books)
  • Inside Out (Ben Treven, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.” He supposed it had been just another empty slogan from another lying politician. They were all liars, actually. The left was naïve, thinking you could follow the niceties and still fight effectively against the kind of fanatics America was up against. And the right was hypocritical, thinking you could take off the gloves and still occupy the moral high ground. Yeah, the left couldn’t understand the nature of the fight; the right couldn’t accept its true consequences.” 0 likes
“You’re just like the politicians, Alex. You want something done but you won’t let people do it right. You think you can pick up a turd from the clean end? It doesn’t work that way.” 0 likes
More quotes…