John Rain is the main character in the John Rain series of novels authored by Barry Eisler. The first novel that featured the series’ title character was Rain Fall that was published in 2003 and later renamed A Clean Kill in Tokyo. The series of books may be classified as espionage novels.
Order of John Rain Series
|1||A Clean Kill in Tokyo||2002|
|2||A Lonely Resurrection||2003|
|3||Winner Take All||2004|
|6||The Killer Ascendant||2007|
|7||Paris Is A Bitch (Short Story)||2011|
|9||Graveyard of Memories||2014|
John Rain has had years of training when he served in the CIA, the Special Forces and as an assassin for hire. He displays a strongly rooted sense of paranoia, a drive to tie up loose ends (typically through killing his victims), and an inability to trust anyone.
Rain had served in the Vietnam War as a member of the Special Forces before he was later recruited by the CIA. The series of novels begins after he has quit the CIA, and is working as a freelance assassin for hire.
The novel A Clean Kill in Tokyo in which the character makes his first appearance, introduces the life of John Rain after he quit the CIA. His carefully crafted life is turned upside down when he falls in love with Midori, the daughter of his latest assassination victim. He tries to get out of the assassination life for good, since the relationship seems to have changed his entire outlook on life. Nonetheless, getting out of the business is easier said than done.
The combination of an assassin that is creative, detail oriented, capable, careful, and smart yet is gentle, charismatic, introspective, and emotionally vulnerable when it comes to Marida, makes for a good story. The combination of all of these characters and his evolution throughout the story shows the exceptional writing skills of Barry Eisler that won him the Gumshoe Award and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in 2005.
JOHN RAIN AWARDS
The John Rain series of novels has been the recipient of many awards over the years. The first novel in the series Rain Fall won the Gumshoe Award and the Barry Award for Best Thriller in 2005.
JOhn Rain BOOKS INTO TV/MOVIES
The first novel of the series has been adapted to the small and big screen. In 2009, the novel Rain Fall was adapted into a movie by the same name. It was produced by Sony Pictures Japan and starred Gary Oldman as John Rain. In 2014, the Directors of John Wick announced that The John Rain series would be made into a 10 episode television miniseries, with Keanu Reeves in the main role of John Rain.
BEST JOHN RAIN BOOKS
The multiple award winning Rain Fall is generally considered one of the best works of the John Rain series of novels.
The Killer Ascendant: The 6th novel in the John Rain series is one of the most highly regarded in the series. Barry Eisler writes quite an interesting story when John Rain is finally cornered and has to face an enemy deadlier than any he has ever faced – himself. While he had always known that leaving the business was not going to be easy, he now finds himself in a conundrum when he gets a message from a rogue agent – assassinate three targets or his partner (Dox) who has been taken hostage dies. He now has to battle within himself, whether to do the hits or just give it all up and quit that life, since he will never know if the rogue agent will kill Dox anyway.
Extremis: Another remarkable novel in the John Rain series is the 5th book of the series Extremis where John Rain finds himself in a love triangle. When Rain learns that his former lover Midori had immigrated to New York and was raising their child, he believes he may have one last chance at reconciliation. However, he soon finds that his enemies are watching Midori, hoping that he would appear on the scene. To get rid of them permanently, he has to enlist the help of Delilah a Mossad operative with whom he has always had a love hate relationship with.
OTHER BOOK SERIES YOU MAY LIKE
Many John Rain fans also like the “Jonathan Quinn” series of novels by Brett Battles. These novels are mystery detective series in which Quinn is a cold and calculating assassin that does freelance work for the Office a super secretive US intelligence agency.
If you enjoyed the John Rain series, you should also check out the “Bob Lee Swagger” series by Stephen Hunter. Bob Lee Swagger is a contemplative and highly intelligent man that works as a sniper, detective, and strategist for the US intelligence services.