10. Rain Fall (John Rain Series) by Barry Eisler. 376 p. Published July 2003.
I figured it was about time to review the best espionage thriller series out there.
Meet John Rain, half American, Half Japanese Vietnam Vet. Oh, and all around bad-ass assassin. The book opens with John and his tech-savvy partner Harry shadowing Yasuhiro Kawamura, a career politician. As Kawamura gets onto the Tokyo subway, John follows. At the behest of the gangster who hired him – John kills Kawamura in the middle of a packed rush hour train with no one the wiser. You see, there is a reason people pick John for their wetwork – he’s an expert at making deaths look totally natural.
Or so he hopes. Because now three people are on his trail, looking for the proof of widespread corruption that Kawamura was holding: Benny, the yakuza boss who hired him; Tatsu, a friendly rival in the Japanese FBI; and William Holtzer, a CIA operative that betrayed Rain back in Vietnam. And now they’re all after Midori, Kawamura’s daughter. John must get to Midori, innocent and unaware of the danger she’s in, before they do. But, of course, there’s a catch (there’s always a catch), as John finds himself falling for Midori. Now Rain must protect the daughter of the man he killed while trying to find a way out of this international mess.
Eisler manages to combine the finest elements of blood pounding, heart gripping thriller writing with amazing detail of Japanese life. From the first page, the reader is soaked in operational and tactical detail gleaned from years of Eisler’s covert experience in the CIA. The intermittent Japanese dialog and frequent use of actual locations (my friends in Japan have been to these places) lend Rain Fall unparalleled authenticity. And if that wasn’t enough, Eisler imbues John Rain with his own detailed knowledge of martial arts and good whiskey.
This series is a must read. For the last 5 years, Rain Fall is the one book I have consistently recommended to any one who asks for a good read. The only issue any of them have ever come back with is how fast they managed to read through it.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Other Reviews of Rain Fall: TracyReaderDad