Livia Lone by Berry Eisler

Livia Lone
Barry Eisler
Thomas & Mercer

ISBN: 9781503939653

In his crime novel titled after the protagonist, “Livia Lone,” Barry Eisler spins a disconcerting plot around people involved in human trafficking and its victims.

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“This electric thriller . . . keeps you riveted to the end.”

Lone, skilled in jiu-jitsu, a Japanese form of martial arts, is a female police detective who sets out to put “rapist scumbags” behind bars or take care them in her own way.  

Livia and her sister, Nason, sold by their Vietnamese parents, are singled out from other children transported in crates from Vietnam and sexually assaulted by their guards. Upon arrival in the United States, Lone is rescued in a police raid but Nason disappears. 

Fredrick Lone and his wife, a prominent couple who live in an obscure Idaho town, adopt Livia using political connections by Lone’s brother, a U.S. Senator widely recognized for his efforts to combat sex trafficking. But something in Livia’s new life is troubling: “Livia looked at Mr. Lone, not trusting him, not liking him,” Eisler writes.

The novel actually begins as Livia, now a sex crime detective in Seattle, is more determined than ever to locate her sister and the men responsible for sex trafficking. The search prompts her to work in the shadows outside the law, where she uncovers a surprising link between her stepfather and the sadistic traffickers who commit sex crimes against children.  

Eisler, who worked for years in the CIA, spins a story around that with which he is familiar. He also holds a black belt in the martial arts, as does Livia, which also lends authenticity to the plot. This electric thriller is not only timely with its focus on human trafficking but also one that keeps you riveted to the end.


Reviewer: Kate Padilla