As of this writing, the great author Barry Eisler has written exactly 8 books in the John Rain series – including a few short stories.
The latest book, Zero Sum will be released in the Summer of 2017.
I’ve read every single book in the John Rain series and they’re all great I have to say. However I wanted to narrow it down to the Top 5 books in the John Rain series.
You can check out all of the books in the John Rain series by clicking this link to view the Barry Eisler Books.
And without further ado, my opinion on the top 5 books in the John Rain Series:
#5: The Detachment
The Detatchment was a really cool book as it wasn’t just Rain working alone. You have other characters who he has to work at to complete his mission. I always love something different like that and to be honest I’m always a fan of Dox. A great character and a nice different change of pace than the usual.
#4: Extremis / The Last Assassin
A more personalized book dealing with Rain, his former lover and their child. It was different than the usual plots in that sense. After being in foreign lands I did enjoy the fact that Rain is working his way through New York. Not sure why that is but I always find a character on “familiar territory” – living in North America myself – to help my enjoyment.
It’s also a solid book in the evolution of the character John Rain. Only 5 books in but he’s so different than the previous ones – yet it’s a natural growth.
#3: A Lonely Resurrection / Hard Rain
The second book in the John Rain series. Always interesting seeing how an author follows it up and Eisler came through in spades here. Some great character building for Rain and a great exploration of the city of Tokyo. Honestly that was one of my favourite parts of the book – just this look and understanding of the Japanese society and culture. The paranoia which Rain has to deal with is excellent too and I found myself looking over my own shoulder when I read it.
#2: Redemption Games / Killing Rain
Also titled as One Last Kill this was the 4th book in the series. This is an interesting one because it has Rain working for the Mossad. He’s hired for a simple kill however there’s nothing simple about it. It all goes wrong unfortunately.
It was a very interesting book because it had Rain working with someone else when he’s used to working by himself. Was a different take on things and it was cool just seeing the psychology in regard to Rain and how his history is catching up with him mentally. In terms of the entire series, this was probably the most important John Rain book purely for character development.
#1: A Clean Kill in Tokyo / Rain Fall
The first book in the series which you may know as Rain Fall. I mean there’s a reason this book won the Best Thriller Barry Award back in 2005. It’s an incredible introduction to the character John Rain.
I’ve always felt that’s what makes the John Rain books the best – the character himself. He’s just a character you want to read more about. He’s very complex and a lot different than your usual “spy thriller” genre type of book.
This is in my opinion the best book in the series.
Updated: June 1, 2017