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.
I have read the complete John Rain series. I am enthralled with Eilser's writing. The details, storyline, character development never lets me down. I admire his success in changing the names of his books and most of all doing his personal narration. He is one of the best narrators that I have listened to. I even downloaded the newer versions, with his narration, of the previously purchased old releases! I have now read the Ben Treven books! Thank you, Mr. Eisler and Audible for the new versions with personal narration.
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
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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
Life is too short to skip a great story, and ice cream.
This is my first book by Barry Eisler, and I am glad I read and listened to this first, even though it is the 8th book in the John Rain series. The book introduces the young protagonist John Rain; the story took place in Japan, where lots of new terms, places and culture are clearly but not tediously explained.
The writing is smooth, characters are well developed and all loose ends are tied nicely. Can be read as a stand-alone book all by itself. I feel that it is a good intro to the series. The story is interesting enough to grab my attention from Chapter1 with actions, contemporary espionage and a just-enough-love story. A good narration from the author himself helped to boost a wonderful listening experience. Looking forward to the rest of the series!
I thoroughly enjoyed this listen. I've listened to and enjoyed the other books in this series. This is a bit different because older John Rain is telling you about his earlier years and how he got into "the life." The older Rain points out ways the young Rain is not as observant or thoughtful of things that he is now. He also tells the reader about a woman with whom he fell in love and the things he learned from her that would be important later.
Another fun John Rain Story but this one takes place when he is 20 and just out of Vietnam. This book is a good stand alone to the series. I didn't like it as much as his others because the character being "young" didn't have much depth, didn't have any special tools, tech, or cool partners and such but it was still a lot of fun.
As always the character kills a bit to easily and often. You want to like him because he is not evil but his rush to kill to solve problems often eliminates "good guys" or civilians that make you feel the opposite. Barry Eisler makes it all feel to real plus he makes you afraid of the people that are supposed to be protecting us. Mr. Eisler does such a good job that he should be brought into questioning every time there is a unsolved murder in his vicinity.
Barry is also a great reader for his books. Great addition to his collection.
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