The God's Eye View
By: Barry Eisler
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 2/2/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars
Knowledge is power…and they know everything.
NSA director Theodore Anders has a simple goal: collect every phone call, email, and keystroke tapped on the Internet. He knows unlimited surveillance is the only way to keep America safe.
Evelyn Gallagher doesn’t care much about any of that. She just wants to keep her head down and manage the NSA’s camera network and facial recognition program so she can afford private school for her deaf son, Dash.
But when Evelyn discovers the existence of an NSA program code-named God’s Eye, and connects it with the mysterious deaths of a string of journalists and whistle-blowers, her doubts put her and Dash in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins: Delgado, a sadistic bomb maker and hacker; and Manus, a damaged giant of a man who until now has cared for nothing beyond protecting the director.
Within an elaborate game of political blackmail, terrorist provocations, and White House scheming, a global war is being fought—a war between those desperate to keep the state’s darkest secrets and those intent on revealing them. A war that Evelyn will need all her espionage training and savvy to survive. A war in which the director has the ultimate informational advantage: The God’s Eye View.
A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. (also purchased audio)
Get ready for some delicious non-stop ACTION thrills, on steroids! Barry Eisler, delivers an (over-the-top) bold, innovative, and sophisticated top-notch riveting suspense thriller-- The GOD’S EYE VIEW, a Top Political Thriller of 2016! (ripped from today’s headlines)
From sex, danger, conspiracy, whistleblowers, journalists, meta data, media, crime, assassins, denial, threats, suspense, mystery, blackmail, terrorists, spies, hitmen, government intelligence, politics, surveillance, NSA, FBI, an insider, interconnectivity, hackers, violence, bombs, espionage, murder, sabotage, cover-ups, security breaches----shall I go on?
Impeccably researched, and brilliantly crafted, you will find yourself extending your reading for days, bookmarking numerous references. More frightening, even though a fictional tale, the events are fairly close to the frightening reality. "Our government is watching and controlling our every move."
General Theodore Anders is the director of the National Security Agency (NSA), and he will do anything to protect God’s Eye. He collects everything on everyone. Spying on citizens. This is all he cares about. Everything else was negotiable. As the book opens there has been a breach. He has to find the leak, holding all data and secrets. A murder, a plan. A diversion. Hitmen.
In the meantime, meet Evie Gallagher.
A NSA analyst. A thirty-five- year old divorced mother with a young deaf ten- year -old son, Dash currently in private school, a father in an assisted living, and a dead beat husband. She needs her job and cannot afford to risk her financial and career status.
She stumbles upon a covert government program with code name of “God’s Eye.” An extensive government surveillance program. Soon thereafter she makes connections to mysterious deaths of journalists and whistleblowers.
What she sees is scary, threatening. . . who will she tell? There is a backstory, which is very interesting—you will sympathize with her situation, and her younger son. Can you imagine discovering something of this nature—what to do with dangerous and incriminating privileged information? Everyone knows what happens to whistleblowers?
An insider threat . . . She has to go. The thumb drive.
Then there is Manus. He is also deaf (hearing impaired). A hitman? A connection. Can she trust Manus? Some hot action and sex between the two, until they realize they are caught up in the middle of this nightmare. Evie, Dash and Manus are in the crosshairs of a pair of government assassins (they will get the thumb drive no matter how many people they need to kill).
Readers are going to love Marcus and Evie. (nice character development). Intense. The author grabs you from the first page to the last.
Inspired post Edward Snowden, former CIA infrastructure analyst (fascinating), and if you have kept abreast of programs such as PRISM, etc…you are going to love Eisler’s writing. Even though I received an ARC, could not wait to listen to the audiobook. (highly recommend both). You need the digital or hardcopy for reference; however, the audiobook is exceptional. Eisler narrates his own book— (a clever move) --no one could have delivered such an explosive performance with the same intensity.
If you enjoyed the book, highly recommend reading, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, by Glenn Greenwald. (love the audio)
As the author has reiterated in his interviews regarding the novel, the CIA and FBI have used multiple means of surveillance (nothing new) over the years to discredit and derail movements even back in the sixties and earlier. Of course today, technology has many advances with sophisticated and intrusive tools at the government’s disposal—you can only imagine how easy it would be to facilitate. Nothing is private. You are being tracked. From phone to internet, emails, chats, spying, mapping connections, IP addresses, etc. Monitor and Control.
Can you say connection and interconnectivity? The government can hack into anything or anyone’s life. From the internet---corporate, airlines, cars, etc.
“And of course, there's news about breaches, which means foreign organizations, criminals, and blackmailers can gain access to that confidential information, as well. You can name your villains--either in reality or in fiction--Russians, Chinese, Iranians, or any mafia organization. If there's a back door to this classified information, these organizations will be there to open and exploit it.”
As a whistleblower, you have to decide do you want to turn the other way, or bring forward the misconduct and prepare for the fight of your life. What is the result?
A huge political and crime thriller fan, THE GOD’S EYE VIEW crosses many genres to satisfy a wide range of readers. Fans of Lee Child, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Harlan Coben, and Michael Lewis’ The Big Short (book/movie tie in) will delight.
Ideal front cover and title. A winner. (loved the research and liberties taken). Ideal for Big Screen--I want a front row seat.
On a personal note: “For the Whistleblowers!”
As a former whistleblower (SOX Sarbanes-Oxley 2002); corporate accountability, pales in comparison to the magnitude (biggest security leak in US history) of Edward Snowden, and our US surveillance state, today. Hats off to him, and the many other government security whistleblowers, as well as all the courageous reporters, and journalists—risking their lives and families, to protect others. (as depicted here in the fictional version)—all so true. Thank you, Barry for the awareness and dedication to whistleblowers, everywhere.
About the Author
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. He then worked as a technology lawyer and start-up executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way.
Translated into nearly twenty languages, his bestselling thrillers—including the #1 bestseller The Detachment—have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year and have been included in numerous Best Of lists.
When he’s not writing novels, he blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read More
PRAISE for Barry's Books
Publishers Weekly: "Best of the Year" Amazon.com: "Top Ten Mystery" News-Press: "Best of the Year" San Francisco Chronicle: "Recommended Book" Deadly Pleasures Barry Award winner: "Best Thriller of the Year" Mystery Ink Gumshoe Award winner: "Best Thriller of the Year" San Jose Mercury News: "Best of the Year"
January Magazine: "Best of the Year"
"Eisler's expert knowledge of spy craft and hand-to-hand combat combine with his ultra-deep distrust of government intelligence to propel this suspenseful yarn into the front ranks of paranoid thrillers." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Boxed Review
"Piercingly plausible...will have readers perched on the edge of their seats from page one. Beyond being exciting and entertaining, the book serves as a profoundly disturbing cautionary tale." —San Jose Mercury News
"More than just a page-turner, the book is clearly inspired by the Snowden revelations, and not only does it have tons of little Easter Eggs for people who have followed the surveillance debate, but it also includes at the end details of how many of the 'crazy' and outlandish spy programs and tactics described in the book are actually happening today..." —Techdirt
"When Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove was having its run, service people left the theater muttering, 'That wasn't a satire. That's what they're like.' So it is with Eisler's fine thriller..." —Don Crinklaw, Booklist, Starred Review
"One of the best books I've read on what goes on at the NSA. The buildup of the plot and the various scenes throughout keeps you connected. A must-read book!" —Night Owl Reviews
"An engaging tale about a serious issue. Read it and squirm." —Kirkus
“The God’s Eye View is a delicious, thrilling read about a deep state surveillance program that even Edward Snowden did not unearth…This page-turner is replete with references to real-life voices of truth and transparency, and shows how easily and quickly democracy can be subverted by government secrecy and unchecked
—Jesselyn Radack, lawyer for Edward Snowden
"Read this book because it's wildly entertaining. Respect it because it paints a portrait of America that is more timely, terrifying, and relevant than anything gracing the bestseller lists. This is fiction that thrills, makes you think, and makes you consider the surveillance state that is fast becoming our daily lives. What more can a novel aspire to do? The God's Eye View is one of the most important books that will be published this year." —Blake Crouch, author of Wayward Pines