John Rain has disappeared to Brazil to escape the killing business and the enemies encircling him in Japan. But the CIA isn't willing to lose its premier "natural causes" contract killer, and they force Rain to take on a high-risk assignment: eliminate a ruthless arms dealer operating in Southeast Asia. The upside? Financial, of course, along with the ongoing chimera of moral redemption. But first, Rain will have to survive the downside: a second assassin zeroing in on the target; the target's consort, an alluring and dangerous woman with an agenda of her own; the possibility that the entire mission is nothing but an elaborate setup. From the gorgeous beaches of Rio to the glitzy casinos of Macau to the gritty back streets of Hong Kong and Kowloon, Rain becomes a reluctant player in an international game far deadlier and more insidious than any he has encountered before.
©2004, 2013 Barry Eisler (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Originally published as Rain Storm in 2004
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Winner Take All was originally published as Rain Storm with Brian Nishi narrating. I listened to Rain Storm three years ago and rated it 4 stars, but did nor write a review. With Barry Eisler, the author, doing the narration (and also retitling the novel) it is a much better listening experience. Winner Take All is a solid 5 star John Rain novel with Eisler doing the narration. Eisler now narrates all of his own books.
Barry Eisler does a good job narrating his own books, I prefer his versions over the others. Rain is a fun hero character, and the stories are always exciting. It's easy to get tired of a series if you keep listening to the same one book after book, so I take breaks and go elsewhere, then return. This series is as entertaining as Mike Connelly, Vince Flynn or Brad Thor material, great authors but I can also tire of them. It's like anything else I guess. This idea targets a review that said Eisler's series was same old, same old. They all are after a while. Anyway, glad I found John Rain! If you like thrillers, give this a whirl, you won't be disappointed!
The author is a great story teller. The story unfolds at a speed someone would use to read a story that is new, to himself. The author is excited about his characters and that excitement is transmitted in the oration.
Among the best series I've read or listened to. Notice how inexpensive they are.
I wrote an enthusiastically positive and extended review for Book 1: "Clean Kill in Tokyo."
Eisler is a smart and accomplished guy. Checkout his website and his Wikipedia bio.
The personalities are developing well. Eisler is really making his central character rich, as well as all the recurring "cameos" that appear - whether in person or in his memories. Truly an interesting look into an interesting lifestyle.
The details were well reviewed. No "holes" in the story, leaving questions about "hey?! What happened to the man with the duck hat?" - I hate holes... (there's no man in a duck hat in this book).
He narrates his own books. How much closer can you get to hearing the intended voice of the author? SUPERIOR reading.
The part where all the spoilers are explained is usually my favorite :D (that's just a joke, calm down).
My title is just a head's up for people reading in sequence. There's a moment of "wait, what? How did THAT happen?" in the transition from the previous book. No worries, it's explained and nothing is wrong. Just keep moving forward, all is well.
I listen to this through Kindle Unlimited - so I can switch back and forth between my Kindle Book and the Audio ... it's SO well done and smooth, I can enjoy it seamlessly.
The John Rain novels are just getting better and better. I have them all, but have disciplined myself to slow down and savor them, like a seductive 35 year old single malt.
Barry Eisler, you are a genius as the narrator. I think I love you.
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