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A Clean Kill in Tokyo: John Rain, Book 1 | [Barry Eisler]

A Clean Kill in Tokyo: John Rain, Book 1

Half American, half Japanese, expert in both worlds but at home in neither, John Rain is the best killer money can buy. You tell him who. You tell him where. He doesn't care about why… Until he gets involved with Midori Kawamura, a beautiful jazz pianist—and the daughter of his latest kill.
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Publisher's Summary

Name: John Rain.

Vocation: Assassin.

Specialty: Natural Causes.

Base of operations: Tokyo.

Availability: Worldwide.

Half American, half Japanese, expert in both worlds but at home in neither, John Rain is the best killer money can buy. You tell him who. You tell him where. He doesn't care about why… Until he gets involved with Midori Kawamura, a beautiful jazz pianist—and the daughter of his latest kill.

©2002, 2013 Barry Eisler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"Eisler provides a cracklingly good yarn, well written, deftly plotted, and surprisingly appealing… Thomas Perry and Lawrence Block need not retire their hit men quite yet, but Eisler is clearly a challenger." (Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (171 )
5 star
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4.1 (159 )
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4.3 (154 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tarike Ocala, FL, United States 03-16-14
    Tarike Ocala, FL, United States 03-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Flaws"

    The human mind is so complex, so vast, yet, so inherently primal. Barry Eisler captures this oxymoron in a very ingenious set of ways.

    This is the first audiobook that I have listened to that was narrated by the author, so I was a little skeptical at first. Eisler does a good job, not a superb one, but he nailed the protagonist, so in my humble opinion, that's all that really matters.

    The way the story is laid out takes you through the mind of an imaginary man that could be any one of us. Half american, half japanese, Eisler takes you through the struggles of being born of two cultures. Although the protagonist is mixed, his struggles are strikingly similar to any immigrant's story of living in two places, and having to adjust to both after living in one place for a while then returning to the land of their birth.

    Tons of action in this story, and the storyline has lots of coincidences, that in the end turn out to be beautiful flaws of not just the main character, but mankind in general.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 03-04-14
    Pamela Dale Foster Sykesville, MD 03-04-14 Member Since 2010

    I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plus A Lonely Resurrection"

    These two books are the start of a new John Rain series when he has grown older but not too much wiser.

    John Rain learned to kill when he served in Vietnam. He was chosen to run recon operations and did them well. He found that after his first kill in Vietnam, although he didn't enjoy killing the man, he had no remorse. John did not have the nightmares and PTSD that can follow the men home from war. John never grew to love killing as a sport but as a profession, murder for hire fit him perfectly.

    He had a Japanese father and an American mother. Until John's father's death he had lived in Japan. He was the kid bullied because of his mixed heritage. Upon moving to America soon after the death of his father, John once again became the odd kid out and the bullying started again.

    John started becoming involved kin the martial arts at a young age and learned to defend himself. He was no longer the kid who could be used as a punching bag. He turned around and fought only when someone tried to fight him. The boys started to leave him alone because of the new skills he was learning.

    John's mother died while he was in Vietnam and he went back to Tokyo instead of the states to live after serving his time.

    The first two books are centered around murder for hire and his inability to having an extended relationship due to his job. There are ideas that run around in his brain once in awhile and John considers retiring. However, when the last job is finished there is always someone else who needs his services.

    The stories are full of action and suspense. I don't think that there are good or bad guys. Maybe it's bad and badder guys. I've read the books in the original series and enjoyed all of them. I actually like John Rain and even feel bad for him at times. Although he does put himself in a jam in, A Clean Kill in Tokyo.

    The books are an easy listen and go fast. The characters in this series have been well developed from the original series. There are always new characters are they are well developed. The book does bring a new listener up to date throughout the book about what took place in John's earlier life and beyond.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony Miami, Fl, United States 02-26-14
    Tony Miami, Fl, United States 02-26-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A love affair with Toyko and an assassin"

    I enjoyed this more than I expected . The backdrop of Tokyo provides a complex and interesting background for a good, if not unique, storyline. I found it a little difficult to keep up with all the Japanese phraseology and names at first but after awhile it sort of sinks in and becomes familiar . The author is the narrator and his voice is a little sleep inducing. However, I liked him well enough to download the second book in the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L.W. Idabel, OK, United States 03-14-14
    L.W. Idabel, OK, United States 03-14-14 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!"

    This was a great introduction to Barry Eisler's writing and John Rains. I love these stories. This books are different enough to keep you interested. The stories suspenseful. I enjoyed every on of these books. John Rains is an a man of these times. Hero and Killer.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley P. Valentine 10-11-14

    Ears picking up the slack so my eyes can work.

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    "Pretty much a blast!"
    Any additional comments?

    I got curious. I’m a big Jack Reacher fan, but I don’t usually read book series like these other than Reacher and McGee. I’m not big on mysteries and these kinds of characters, al of them John or Jack, always kind of annoy me, like I’m just reading the author’s inflated secret/alter--ego. I have many other books to read, so i don’t usually even try these blind. BUT. I got curious after hearing Keanu Reeves is developing John Rain as a big deal cable show. I always wanted Reacher to go to a cable series, not movies. Anyway, I like Keanu Reeves movies, such as John Wick. I took a chance on Barry Eisler and I’m glad I did. I’m already on the third book (in just a few days) and I’m having a blast. Yeah, there are a ton of cliches in the format of the plot. But Eisler is aware of the cliches. And he plays offense on brining freshness. John Rain is a Reacher/McGee type, except initially sort of a lost bad guy who is pushed by his code to being a good man, which is something he’d rather avoid being. It means unnecessary risks, and that means death. I like his goodness or badness is only an issue when other people confront him about it. I think that’s how most people are -- it makes Rain more believable. He doesn’t worry about virtue...so far the most I’ve seen is worrying over potential awkwardness with a girl if she found out what role he has played in her life (no spoiler!). Though I should reiterate that John Rain (so far) always ends up on Team Virtue, if that is an issue for you as a reader. It’s just that the way he gets there may or may not be virtuous.
    It’s impossible for me not to imagine him as Keanu Reeves via John Wick, which I actually don’t mind. I suspect other new readers may have that issue. Considering the producers of that film are the ones who are developing John Rain as a series, that might be just as well.
    Eisler is a strong writer in the genre. Like I said, he instinctively tries to keep his stories grounded as much as possible and when he does grapple with cliche or genre convention, it seems like it’s a concession to keep the novel tight and from going off track. There are also flashes of almost poetic description of Tokyo and the details that make up the city. I get the feeling he could follow Don Winslow’s lead on Power of the Dog or even Dennis Lehane and jump to meatier storytelling if he wanted if he ever grows restless in the pulps.
    The best thing about the books are that I feel like i LEARN things, ha. That may sound silly, I know. I suspect the TV show Burn Notice followed Eisler’s example in these novels because John Rain tells us the ABC’s of his craft as the story goes along, much like the show did. Not just about spy craft or hitman stuff, but I feel like I know a lot more about Japan than I did before (granted that isn’t saying much). Aside from the storytelling being quite gripping in its momentum, it’s really the feeling of complicity Eisler creates between the reader and John Rain that keeps me listening for as many hours as I do. Normally I listen a couple times a day for maybe an hour. This week, I’ve actually blown off my routine to keep going. I have your back, John Rain! haha

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Apopka, FL, United States 05-09-14
    Steven Apopka, FL, United States 05-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Best Black-Ops/spy novels ever...!"
    Where does A Clean Kill in Tokyo rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my first audio book where the author is the reader and his voice is perfect for his novels and his passion for them is obvious. I loved the entire series and sad I have finished them…! His writing style is very exciting, articulate, and moving. On my list, the John Rain series is the best black ops/spy series ever, and I have read most of the others, if not all.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Clean Kill in Tokyo?

    The entire novel


    Have you listened to any of Barry Eisler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    All of them


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    His writing style


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend the entire John Rain series…!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    larry 04-20-14
    larry 04-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thought I was getting something new. Not new!"
    What disappointed you about A Clean Kill in Tokyo?

    Duplicates!

    A Clean Kill in Tokyo, previous published as Rain Fall (2002)
    A Lonely Resurrection, previously published as Hard Rain in the US and Blood from Blood in the UK (2003)
    Winner Take All, previously published as Rain Storm in the US and Choke Point in the UK (2004)
    Redemption Games, previously published as Killing Rain in the US and One Last Kill in the UK (2005)
    Extremis, previously published as The Last Assassin (2006)
    The Killer Ascendant, previously published as Requiem for an Assassin (2007)
    The Detachment (2011)(w/ Ben Treven)
    Graveyard of Memories (2014)


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointed. Heard that.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the John Rain Series. I even have the DVD. Not enough for twice.


    A Clean Kill in Tokyo, previous published as Rain Fall (2002)
    A Lonely Resurrection, previously published as Hard Rain in the US and Blood from Blood in the UK (2003)
    Winner Take All, previously published as Rain Storm in the US and Choke Point in the UK (2004)
    Redemption Games, previously published as Killing Rain in the US and One Last Kill in the UK (2005)
    Extremis, previously published as The Last Assassin (2006)
    The Killer Ascendant, previously published as Requiem for an Assassin (2007)
    The Detachment (2011)(w/ Ben Treven)
    Graveyard of Memories (2014)

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 06-02-14
    Richard 06-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shame on the publisher!!!"
    What disappointed you about A Clean Kill in Tokyo?

    This is not a new book. All the books narrated by the Author have been published under a different title prior to this "New John Rain series". I already had the books in my library and thought I was downloading a new book...NOT NEW!


    What was most disappointing about Barry Eisler’s story?

    Previously published under a different title.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Barry Eisler’s performances?

    Not unless I could be assured it's a new book...not just a reprint under a different title


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Definitely disappointed. The publishers of these newly titled John Rain books have joined the ranks of Beau LaAmour and trying to sell old titles as new stories.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly dislike being deceived by the presentation that I'm buying a new storyline simply by changing the title of a formerly published title.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara 04-25-14
    Cara 04-25-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cheap Shot, Barry-"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I really enjoyed the Rain series - the first time. I purchased seven. When I saw all new titles, I was delighted and purchased five more! Until I realized they were the same books, Mr. Eisler just decided to rename them. A dishonest way to sell books, in my book! I'm done with Barry Eisler.


    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
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