John Rain Books

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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.

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Order of John Rain Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Rain Fall / A Clean Kill in Tokyo (By: Barry Eisler) 2003 Description / Buy
2 Hard Rain / Blood from Blood / A Lonely Resurrection (By: Barry Eisler) 2003 Description / Buy
3 Rain Storm / Choke Point / Winner Take All ( By: Barry Eisler) 2004 Description / Buy
4 Killing Rain / One Last Kill / Redemption Games (By: Barry Eisler) 2005 Description / Buy
5 The Last Assassin / Extremis (By: Barry Eisler) 2006 Description / Buy
6 Requiem For an Assassin / The Killer Ascendant (By: Barry Eisler) 2007 Description / Buy
7 Paris Is A Bitch (Short Story) ( By: Barry Eisler) 2011 Description / Buy
8 The Detachment ( By: Barry Eisler) 2011 Description / Buy
9 Graveyard of Memories ( By: Barry Eisler) 2014 Description / Buy
10 Zero Sum ( By: Barry Eisler) 2017 Description / Buy
11 The Killer Collective ( By: Barry Eisler) 2019 Description / Buy
12 The Chaos Kind (By: Barry Eisler) 2021 Description / Buy
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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

What Is The Next Book in The John Rain Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The John Rain Series. The newest book is The Chaos Kind and was released on October, 1st 2021.

1 thought on “John Rain”

  1. John Rain is an interesting character, for lack of a better term. He is very complex with an American mother and Japanese father, and lived in Japan and America. He is an expert in Judo, and his career as a professional hit man is “honorable”? as he only does men, not women or children. I’m not sure what to think of the character even after finishing the series. I didn’t know the series was made into a TV mini series, so I may look into that. Good books but left me scratching my head as to what to think of the main character.

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