Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Cautionary Tale: The Night Trade by Barry Eisler

Livia Lone, the first in a series featuring the titular character, was my favorite mystery of 2017. I've been looking forward to The Night Trade since I finished Livia Lone. I loved Livia Lone so much that I also wanted to read Eisler's other books, and I read the first in his John Rain series, A Clean Kill in Tokyo, earlier this month. I knew from the blurb that Livia returns to Thaiand in this book, and I managed to wait until I was in Thailand to read it.

The Night Trade picks up shortly after Livia Lone, and, as should be expected, there are tons of spoilers from the first book. It's clear this series is not one that can be read out of order. Livia Lone is a critical foundation for both the characters and story of Livia. Eisler recaps the highlights well in The Night Trade in case you've forgotten, but there's no substitute for reading the book itself.

What I wansn't expecting in The Night Trade was Dox, a character from the Rain books. I didn't encounter Dox in A Clean Kill in Tokyo, so I'm not sure when he enters (and exits?) the series. Because I haven't yet read the Rain books, it's hard to tell how much of Dox's back story and references to things Rain has done will serve as spoilers. Having characters crossover is one of my favorite things about Michael Connelly's books, and I'm choosing to believe getting to know (and, yes, love) Dox in The Night Trade will make me excited to encounter him in the Rain books.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Trade. It's an immensely satisfying novel. It builds on Livia Lone, both in plot and character, beautifully. It feels like a continuation of Livia Lone in many ways, and not simply because it's the second in a series. In some ways, it feels as though the two books could be a single volume, and it left me immensely intriuged to see where Eisler takes Livia (and Dox) next. The Night Trade doesn't pull as many surprises as Livia Lone, but as a novel, it's an incredibly satisfying read and once again left me eagerly anticipating Livia's next appearance.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 316 pages
Publication date: January 23, 2018
Source: publisher

Want to read for yourself? Buy The Night Trade from Amazon (Kindle edition--only $5.99 or free with Kindle Unlimited.) 

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