rain_john_nv_lt Rain_John7 lone_livia_bk_tkc rain_john_nv_tkk rain_john_mv_rf Rain_John4 dr_sin_bk_is rain_john8 Rain_John1 Rain_John2 Rain_John3 rain_john_nv_piab rain_john_bk_zs Rain_John6 Rain_John5
Full Name: John Rain
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Freelance Agent

Creator: Barry Eisler
Time Span: 2002 - 2019


John Rain is a freelance assassin.

His specialty makes him a very desirable asset for any organization with homicidal tendencies: he can eliminate his objectives and make it look accidental. He charges a lot for it but he never misses. He does have three questions before taking an assignment, however. Is the target a woman or child, for he will not go against them? Has anyone else been hired for this job, as he does not want to be tricked up by someone else's mistakes? And is the target a principal?

Born in Japan to a Japanese father and a Caucasian American woman around 1952, Rain lived his early years as a Japanese, though he suffered considerably for being a half-breed. Upon the death of this father when he was becoming a teenager, he moved with his mother to America where he learned that the other side can be just a cruel.

During the Vietnam War, his ability to blend into surroundings, move quickly and quietly, and dispatch with considerable skill brought him training few others received. He learned not only how to kill but that he was very good at it.

After the war, a period of restlessness took him several years to resolve but eventually he ended back in Japan where small amounts of plastic surgery made it easier to blend in. And easier to take up a new trade.

As the series begins, Rain is no longer a young man and is starting to tire of his lonely profession. He doens't pine for a family and a normal life per se but just seems disenchanted with what he has. He knows he is very good at this work but he has a very nice nest egg put away and ponders what else he could do. As the series evolves, this loner becomes entwined with two other characters. First is the alluring Delilah, an Israeli agent who most definitely has her own agenda but who falls for Rain as he does her, and Dox, a colleague from his Vietnam days who presents a good old boy attitude while being one of the best snipers in the business. Both of these people play important roles in Rain's life.

And then there is Midori, the jazz musician daughter of one of Rain's victims, who he met, save the life of, fell in love with, created a child with, and then lost. Though she has long since moved with their child to New York to be away from him and his killing, she is still on his mind and still someone that others could and do use as bait.


Number of Books:10
First Appearance:2002
Last Appearance:2019

1 Rain Fall Rain Fall
aka A Clean Kill In Tokyo
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2002

The elimination of a target by induced heart attack while on a subway begins an adventure which would see John Rain turning on his employers in an attempt to save the life of a beautiful Japanese jazz musician, who just happens to be the daughter of the target.

2 Hard Rain Hard Rain
aka Blood From Blood, aka A Lonely Resurrection
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2003

Someone in the CIA would like to see John Rain dead. Someone else wants him alive and working for the agency. Rain wants to be left alone but an old friend in the Japanese FBI has a need for his services, too, and considerable power to see he gets it.

3 Rain Storm Rain Storm
aka Choke Point and Winner Take All
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2004

Having abandoned Japan for Brazil to be free from the demands from too many sides, John Rain “reluctantly” agrees to take an assignment in Macao. Between the actions of a rival assassin and a beautiful woman who is far more than she seems, Rain finds himself caught in one heckuva storm (sorry).
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4 Killing Rain Killing Rain
aka One Last Kill and Redemption Games
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2005

Finished with the Japanese FBI, the Yakuza, and the CIA, John Rain is hopeful he is free of the killing business. Until, that is, he is approached by the Mossad to do one simple job for them in Manila. Nothing is ever simple, however.
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5 The Last Assassin The Last Assassin
aka Extremis
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2006

Learning that his former love, Midori, is living in New York with his son, John Rain feels compelled to see them, if only from a distance. But they are being watched in the hopes that Rain will do just that.
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6 Requiem For An Assassin Requiem For An Assassin
aka The Killer Ascendant
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2007

An old enemy kidnaps John Rain's best friend as leverage to force a mission which is almost certainly a suicidal one.
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7 The Detachment The Detachment
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2010

Though he wanted to retire, the offer from an old enemy was too good, several millions of dollars to take out three targets planning to attack America. To pull it off, Rain must call upon old friends to help.
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8 Graveyard Of Memories Graveyard Of Memories
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2014

A prequel revealing the early days of John Rain working in Japan for the CIA while pretending to be a gofer delivering bribe money to Japanese government officials. Then Rain runs afoul of a Yakuza gang and things change quickly.

9 Zero Sum Zero Sum
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2017

The year is 1982. The location is Tokyo. John Rain has moved there after a decade of working as a mercenary in the Philippines and he wants to get a job as an assassin. He is offered a trial run with the choice of killing a government minister or dying himself.
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10 The Killer Collective The Killer Collective
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2019

Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone is the target of a hit, one that had been offered to John Rain. Worried that the FBI might be behind it, she appeals to Dox to help her out and he, in turn, looks to Rain and to Ben Treven and Daniel Larison to assist.
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Number of Stories:4
First Appearance:2011
Last Appearance:2014

1 Paris Is A Bitch Paris Is A Bitch
short story
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2011

In Paris for a date with Delilah, John Rain is there when a hit squad arrives at the restaurant to pay Delilah back for her latest mission to the Middle East. It does not go well for the assailants but dinner is ruined.
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2 The Khmer Kill The Khmer Kill
short story
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2012

A Dox tale. Dox is working alone, this time in Cambodia for what should have been a simple long-distance sniper hit but the people Dox has to deal with are never simple and seldom very nice.

3 London Twist London Twist
Written by Barry Eisler
Copyright: 2013

A Delilah tale. The Mossad owes MI6 a favor. They call it in asking for Delilah to infiltrate a London based terror group planning poison gas attacks. The person she is supposed to charm to get inside is a woman who is just as cagey as Delilah. [Rain is mentioned several times.]
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4 Decisions, Decisions Decisions, Decisions
Written by Barry Eisler, M. J. Rose
Copyright: 2014

Contained in the collection In Session: "John Rain forces Dr. Snow out of her own comfort zone, and into the world of a former patient's worst nightmare."
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Number of Movies:1
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2009

1 Rain Fall Rain Fall
Director: Max Mannix
Writers: Max Mannix, Barry Eisler
Actors: Kippei Shiina as John Rain, Gary Oldman as William Holtzer, Kyoko Hasegawa as Midori Kawamura, Misa Shimizi as uko
Released: 2009

John Rain falls hard for Midori and when he learns she is a target for the CIA, he is determined to protect her, even from himself because he is the man who killed her father and put her into danger.


I hate to sound too gushy about any series. Objectivity, however, is hard to maintain when you are reading such excellent work as Mr. Eisler has produced.

The character of John Rain is a fascinating one. He has his do's and don'ts about assassination. He loves single-malt scotches and knows which bars have the best selection. He is a huge jazz fan who is at home in both large and small venues. He makes a considerable living killing. He is so obsessed with anonymity that he has foregone any serious friendships so he is a lonely man despite his successes.

Beyond the man himself, however, is some fantastic writing with incredibly tight, cohesive plots, more than you could hope for descriptions of locales, and dialogue that is completely believable. Whether Rain is in Japan, Brazil, or Macao, you are too and the places are brought to life so much that you feel you are walking down the street with Rain.

I had truly come to believe that the upper echelon of spy-related characters had been filled long ago. Modesty Blaise, Quiller, Sam Durell, Matt Helm, George Smiley, and Paul Bannerman stood together on the upper rung. They have a new member of their elite club. John Rain belongs there as well.


My Grade: A+

Your Average Grade:   A+


Sir Gerald A+ 5/9/2012 12:39:08 PM

Summation as above - I wrote it before I registered.

A+ 5/13/2012 2:51:16 PM

The character in the first three books is A+.

Vadernator A+ 12/28/2012 11:18:06 AM

So i just finished this series after having a "summer of Reacher". I really enjoyed this heavily conflicted character. As I spent a year in Japan, I was thrilled with knowing the locations! Rain now lives in the stratosphere closely behind Allon.

David A+ 4/19/2014 10:36:57 PM

This more than deserves gushing. This series and Eisler simply blew me away. Not just one of the best current series, but one of the all time greats.

simibond A+ 2/29/2016 8:35:22 AM

great series .. I am at nr 5 and he is great ...

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