What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972.
Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan. To survive, Rain strikes a desperate deal with his handler: take out a high-profile target in the Japanese government in exchange for the intel he needs to eliminate his would-be executioners.
As Rain plays cat and mouse with the yakuza and struggles to learn his new role as contract killer, he also becomes entangled with Sayaka, a tough, beautiful ethnic Korean woman confined to a wheelchair. But the demands of his dark work are at odds with the longings of his heart - and with Sayaka’s life in the balance, Rain will have to make a terrible choice.
©2014 Barry Eisler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
This is the back story concerning how John Rain became a hired assassin. To be fully appreciated, the reader needs to have knowledge of Rain's methods and later life which will only be gained from reading several of the earlier books in the series.
This book deftly guides the reader through Rain's earliest development as an assassin. It puts in perspective his relationship with Tots, his need for emotional distance (his first true love), Rain learning to be proactive and brutal and the "rules" under which he accepts assignments. Rain's relationship with Tots as well as his first love experience creates a very complex character who is at once a brutal killer but also a man with great empathy and a longing for a different life. Maybe a bit of Dexter as an assassin rather than a psychopathic serial killer. The story integrates very well with the other Rain novels. It ends leaving the reader to wonder about the decade between the events of this novel and Rain's later emergence as a for hire killer. I hope Barry Eisler writes a book about the decade as a mercenary. This is an enormously entertaining book.
What a wonderful surprise. Unlike so many other authors who have developed a series and decide to go back and do a prequel or retrospective of a character Eisler actually has the character looking back on his early life vs writing as if the story is being told as a current event.. Not only is this a new perspective but it is so well done – WOW. If you are a John Rain fan you must listen/read this one. It fills in history and helps you see how Rain became the in control lethal assassin he is in the novels we have all come to enjoy. And Eisler does an excellent job of reading his own work and helping us 'see' and 'hear' the characters as he envisioned as he wrote it.
Young John Rain
Seeing his young self through the eyes of the much older Rain.
Killing the CIA guy
In this prequel, we get to meet the young John Rain, and learn how he got his start. In many ways, this is the most likeable Rain, before the physical and mental wear and tear. Eisler's read is nuanced and more enjoyable given that he literally put the words in the character's mouths.
Probably the best Eisler yet, and a great place to get acquainted with him and Rain if you haven't had the pleasure before.
I read all of Barry Eisler Books, this is definitely up there in terms of interest, violence and story. I enjoyed it very much and finished in two days. Keep them coming.
I bought John Rain Book 5 it was great. Return to buy more and this is one of the books in my personal marathon. I have thoroughly enjoyed these stories. Wonderfully suspenseful, surprising. Interesting and captivating. Thank you.....You are a wonderful narrator.
Audiuble books I have bought and listened to are missing.
And it's really pissing me off.
The listing is still in my library.
Only gone from my ipad .. Just befor I killed it I discouvered all the files were still avalable on my iphone... So some apple upegrade on my ipad is blocking some of my books. This is even more pissing offf.
Rain's early years.
The narration. Having the author read his own words is pretty amazing and Eisler does a fantastic job.
So many! Maybe the setting up of the hit in the bath house. It showed how detailed Rain can get t make a hit look like natural causes.
I laughed a lot! Some of the lines were just hysterical.
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