All the Devils (A Livia Lone Novel Book 3)
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer | Release Date: Sept. 24, 2019 | Pages: 364
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Livia Lone returns in All the Devils for her fourth grueling investigation, and third series-proper novel, after The Killer Collective saw her joining forces with Barry Eisler’s other series character, John Rain. And it just might be her biggest and most challenging case to date after Homeland Security agent B.D. Little finds new information surrounding his daughter’s disappearance that compels Livia to investigate.
Congressman Bradley “Boomer” Kane III is up for reelection when Snake, his old buddy from their Special Forces days, makes his way out of Leavenworth. The two reunite so that Snake can help Boomer deal with some pesky rape allegations being made by Kane’s old high school classmates, and reignite the bonds they forged in Iraq. Both men are serial rapists and the seven women they’ve disappeared all share a common signature, a fact that draws Livia into their orbit while hunting for Little’s missing daughter. Complicating things even further is Kane’s father, the vice-president of the United States, who is seeking to protect his own political career while saving Boomer from himself, by any means necessary.
Eisler, as usual, does a terrific job establishing credible and multifaceted threats and situations brimming with tension. It makes All the Devils a high-strung, pressure cooker read, one that grows increasingly tense the more Livia is backed into a corner. And fans of this series will know damn well that Livia is not the type of woman you want to back into a corner. She’s as complex, fierce, determined, and motivated as ever here, not to mention tough as hell. In addition to facing increasing scrutiny from the Seattle PD’s top brass over some unanswered questions from her involvement in The Killer Collective, Livia is forced to contend with an array of threats from a number of different directions, each seeking to take her down in their own various ways, either politically or through direct use of force. Thanks to her history and psychological make-up, there are times, too, where Livia may be her own greatest adversary.
All this makes for a complex and very timely story given the recent Jeffrey Epstein news and the #MeToo movement (interestingly, Livia was first introduced in 2016, nearly a full year before the hashtag’s popularity grew into a global phenomenon to speak out against and raise awareness of the prevalence of rape and sexual harassment and assault), but Eisler has a knack for delivering the plot in a straight-forward, easy to follow way. There’s a good amount of moving pieces here, and a good number of thriller layers, but it’s never overly complicated. All the Devils, though, does rely pretty heavily on being familiar with Livia’s past exploits, particularly Eisler’s series crossover novel The Killer Collective. Eisler brings readers up to speed capably, explaining the backstory for new readers, but you’ll have an easier time with it all if you’re at least familiar with his last release from earlier this year. All the Devils also closes the loop on several story threads introduced over the course of the last two Livia Lone novels, Livia Lone and The Night Trade.
Emotionally, Livia’s a tough nut to crack, and for good reason. The author’s exploration of her as both a killer, a cop, and a brutally damaged survivor is ridiculously compelling stuff. Eisler does a wonderful job exploring the human condition of this fractured soul and her attempts at not only making peace with herself, but with her attempts to heal and find her place in the world as something other than a revenge-driven killer. There’s a purpose to her mission, and even as she leaves a trail of bodies in her wake, it’s honestly touching to see her realize she’s not alone. She’s a vital heroine, particularly given the times we live in and, frankly, I wish there were more like her out there.
All the Devils offers up plenty of closure for fans who have stuck with this trilogy, and opens up some possible new avenues for Eisler to explore in future novels, should we be lucky enough to encounter Livia again. There’s still plenty more devils out there for Livia to contend with in her own special ways, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed this is not the last time we see her.