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The Killer Ascendant (John Rain #6)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  3,850 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
Previously published as Requiem for an Assassin

Hunted and finally cornered, John Rain faces his deadliest enemy ever: himself.

For Rain, "the most charismatic assassin since James Bond" (San Francisco Chronicle), getting out of the life was never going to be easy. But with a new identity in Paris, and the help of his lover, Mossad agent Delilah, he was beginning to leave th
Kindle Edition, New Edition, 350 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Barry Eisler
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Andrew Smith
Nov 17, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth John Rain book and I have to say that far from getting tired of the format I’m growing ever more appreciative of how Eisler has grown the character and has developed the stories into something much more, much deeper than a simple action yarn. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. For those yet to meet Rain I’ll just say that he’s an American/Japanese Vietnam war veteran who now plies his trade as a self employed hit man. His speciality is making his victims appear to have died o ...more
Jan 15, 2008 Cami rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: my dad if he'd read the first one I gave him
Wow! This book is amazing!
Mr. Rain's best friend Dox is kidnapped by Rain's(and the world's) old enemy Hilger and is forced to make 3 hits to save Dox's life.
Rain is fighting with himself throughout as those who care about him are making him care about them and the walls he has built are crumbling around him, making him less numb, less of the killer he doesn't want to be, but needs to be to stay alive.
It made me laugh and it really made me cry and with the f-word at a higher ratio than ever bef
Oct 04, 2008 Andreea rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a strong stomach
Shelves: reviewed, 10th-grade
Honestly, I chose this book because it had a cool-sounding title and I was looking for an action book. It did not let me down in the "action" department. The main character, John Rain, is a paranoid assassin trying to get out of the business while destiny itself seems to be against him. His best (and only) friend, Dox, is kidnapped and in order to save him, Rain has to do three jobs. Feeling he has no choice, he starts stalking his victims, knowing that the third job may well be a setup for hims ...more
Oct 03, 2016 Wesley rated it liked it
An ok John Rain thriller. Hope they get better because this one just fizzled out part way through. Picked up toward the end, so just ok.
Oct 10, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it
Seriously, these John Rain books keep getting better and better. I am sad that I have reached the end of the series as it now stands, but hope that Eisler is busy writing installment #7. In this one, Rain's best (and perhaps only?) friend Dox has been kidnapped by Rain's enemy Hilger. In order to get him back, Rain must assassinate three men. But, of course, Rain knows that it won't be that easy. There's no guarantee Hilger won't kill Dox once the assassinations are complete. And, even more tric ...more
Oct 20, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Thriller fans,
How does one humanize an assassin? Elmore Leonard does it in the "Hitman" series with humor and a light touch. Barry Eisler takes a darker road and introduces self-doubt and introspection as a way of showing us John Rain's human side.

In this, possibly the last book in the series, Rain regresses to his "iceman" personna when forced to kill two strangers in order to save the only man he trusts, Dox. In the process he is forced to trust additional people, his lover, Mossad operative Delilah, her as
Sep 23, 2009 Horizon rated it really liked it
The 6th and perhaps final or next-to-last John Rain book. By far the most emotional, Rain is fighting a more and more dangerous inner conflict between the man who wants out and the "iceman" that keeps him alive. The cracks in his hard exterior are beginning to show and he has gone from an absolute loner in the first couple of books, to a man who will risk it all to save his friend and partner, Dox. He is falling harder and harder for Delilah, and she may be the only thing that keeps th...more T ...more
Jodi Langston
Nov 12, 2011 Jodi Langston rated it really liked it
One of the few books I finished this year. This is my first John Rain and I have a feeling it won't be the last. The story had an interesting plot, with plenty of action to keep me engaged.
Some say there's too much angst, but I think it was what made him believable for me and kept me reading. He's an unusual man, an assassin who longs to be normal, to have what everyone else has. We often look at our lives in retrospect as we age.
I loved Dox, you always need some humor to the liven up the stoic
Aug 15, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
John Rain is a professional assassin who is trying to retire and lead a somewhat normal life. However, to force him to come out of retirement, rogue CIA operative Hilger kidnaps Rain’s best friend Dox. Hilger knows that Rain is an expert assassin. To save his friend, Rain agrees to do the jobs Hilger asks. Following Rain as he plans and accomplishes his missions with precision is fascinating. He travels around the world, Saigon, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, rents cars, melds into whatever e ...more
Oct 03, 2007 Timothy rated it it was amazing
I have now met Barry Eisler on two occasions and each time I refuse to be one of 'those' fans...
You always see them at book signings or events hanging on and hoping for one last word with the author, or hoping to ask some asinine question... usually they look a little suspect to begin with....

So each time I have seen him i refuse to linger and be a hanger on... That being said I love this guy's writing and his signings... he knows how to work a crowd and truly enjoys answering questions about hi
Brian Rueger
Aug 16, 2012 Brian Rueger rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
I have been pretty pleased with Mr. Eisler technical knowledge up until this edition of John Rain.

John was commenting how how good the photos from Google Earth were and said something like "used to be Keyhole would have never been available to the public." Google Earth photos are great, but they are from commercial satellites.
**4.5 stars**

WOW! WOW! WOW!!! I'm so overwhelmed right now that I don't know what to say. The story was so psychologically complex and the narration was brilliant. The conversation with the Ice Man was chilling (for a lack of a better word.) I'm in freaking awe of Mr. Eisler.

Luke Hammond
Mar 03, 2014 Luke Hammond rated it really liked it
I came across these books a year or two ago and I'm so glad I did. I love John Rain. I've really enjoyed these books. For me, they are not as good as the Mitch Rapp series, but definitely a close second. An assassin who enjoys high end scotch...I mean, what's not to like.
Temple Dog
Aug 18, 2014 Temple Dog rated it really liked it
Eisler truly hit all of the thriller pre-requisites, intrigue, spy craft and unbridled excitement with Requiem for An Assassin.

This is the first in the series where Eisler took Rain to locales that were wholly unfamiliar to me, Amsterdam and Saigon. Initially, I had my doubts. The essence of Eisler’s previous Rain installments has been that Eisler has traveled to parts near and in many cases dear to the travel geek in me. As a result, I have been able to relive my experiences in those locales th
Alex Cobb
Oct 05, 2015 Alex Cobb rated it really liked it
I found this book in great condition at a thrift store in Coastal NC. At a .50 price tag and with a compelling synopsis, I figured I couldn't lose, even if it was not a life-changing read.
John Rain is a captivating protagonist, and the fast-paced plot mixed with assassinations, torture, and lots of action kept me enthralled. Not to mention the supporting cast is, for the most part, a riveting bunch (the womanizing Dox, the ex-patriot turned domestic terrorist Hilger). I'll definitely be reading
TJ Creamer
Mar 21, 2015 TJ Creamer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Previously published as "Requiem for an Assassin")

I so enjoyed Tom Wood's series with Victor, that I went looking for another to feed my fix/need.

I stumbled across Barry Eisler and have read the entire 8-book series. And was very pleased. As such, this is the same review for all 8 books.

The author reads his own work, and after listening to Tom Wood's series with Rob Shapiro as the wonderful narrator, this took me a while to adapt to the reading style.

But don't let that dissuade you. Barry Eisle
Jan 13, 2013 melissa rated it it was amazing
This one was called requiem for an assassin back when I read it. Eisler has since become his own publisher and renamed all of his books so it's a bit confusing to those of us who've read them prior to the change.
I thought this was the best of the series but really they're all good.
If you're an audiobook junkie, I highly recommend that you grab the kindle or paperback and read the earlier books in the series because the narrator will ruin it for you.
If you've never read Barry's books you should
Stacy Bearse
Jan 26, 2015 Stacy Bearse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Author Barry Eisler tends to get lost among the crowded horde of self-promoting writers who specialize in contemporary thrillers. Fact is, his work stands head and shoulders above most of the bombs-and-guns, blood-and-guts stuff that passes as literature these days. Requiem has the requisite action of an international thriller, but also deals with a tortured main character struggling to calibrate his moral compass. Eisler's plotting continues to grow in sophistication and inventiveness. The prec ...more
Thomas Arvanitis
Jun 25, 2014 Thomas Arvanitis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good thriller, fast paced and, although thoroughly-researched and detailed, hardly ever boring. John Rain is an assassin that you grow to care about and root for over this series of books. Eisler has a knack for making all Rain's feats plausible through training, experience and common sense. All in all, a worthwhile addition to the series.
Larry Hoffer
Jul 25, 2011 Larry Hoffer rated it really liked it
Love these John Rain books. And while I dread hearing they're making a movie out of a book I really like, it would be kind of cool to see how they translate everything to film...and who they'd get to play some of the characters.
Aug 13, 2015 Tulay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rain is another Bond.

Came back to these series about Rain, because of action. It's like watching 007/Bond movies, but Rain has only one girl. Radical Islamist Hilger, dirty bomb and control of oil prices. Author narrated book himself and makes it better.
Jul 16, 2013 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Rain has been trying to leave his life as an assassin behind, but when his friend Dox is kidnapped by an old adversary, his lethal skills are very much needed once again.
I've loved these books from the start, but this one was clearly the best in the series so far IMO!
Jun 18, 2009 Skip rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Dox is kidnapped to get Rain's assistance in assassination. Rain needs the help of his Israeli, Japanese and Israeli friends to avoid his own and Dox's death.
Oct 08, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great action read with some deeper conspiracy thrown in and a bit of emotion.
Michael Sova
It's always interesting when the hero of the story is a cold blooded killer. It becomes even more interesting when that same hero struggles against an unbreakable moral code, fierce loyalty and his own tortured soul. In Requiem for an Assassin (also titled The Killer Ascendant) by Barry Eisler, the sixth novel in a series featuring Joe Rain, a half Japanese, half American assassin who specializes in making his victims appear to have died from natural causes, Rain is thrust back into the life of ...more
Jul 03, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
I love this series, but I am a bit concerned (and maybe even annoyed) because over the last couple of books Rain seems to be ready to quit the assassin business. As we begin this story, our hero has a new identity in Paris with his lover, Mossad agent Delilah. It looked like he was beginning to leave the killing-for-hire behind. But then Rain received a message from rogue CIA operative Jim Hilger that he had kidnapped Rain's only real friend, the sniper, Dox (short for unorthodox). Hilger wants ...more
All right, so I appear to be hunting for a specific character: from Jack Reacher (Lee Child), to Jonathan Quinn (Brett Battles), onto John Rain (Barry Eisler). From ex military, to cleaner, to assassin.

How do we as readers gain empathy for a killer? Simple enough, join John Rain in his voyage from assassin for hire to conscientious killer (kill bad guys) to wanting to get out of the business...but unwilling to leave his perspective of the world (no worries, this transformation takes place acros
Scott Bagley
May 31, 2013 Scott Bagley rated it liked it
More like a 3.5 star book.

This is the first in this series that I have read, and I like that the author gives the reader enough back story so that the other volumes are not necessary to read first...with one exception. The parts about the Ice Man I felt needed some explanation. I definitely got the gist of what was going on, but it was a little vague.

A good action thriller, with pretty good but not great characters. I saw what was coming at the very end (and I won't give anything away here), a
Sep 23, 2009 Robert rated it really liked it
The 6th and perhaps final or next-to-last John Rain book. By far the most emotional, Rain is fighting a more and more dangerous inner conflict between the man who wants out and the "iceman" that keeps him alive. The cracks in his hard exterior are beginning to show and he has gone from an absolute loner in the first couple of books, to a man who will risk it all to save his friend and partner, Dox. He is falling harder and harder for Delilah, and she may be the only thing that keeps the "iceman" ...more
Bernard Mcdonnell
Sep 22, 2012 Bernard Mcdonnell rated it liked it
An assassin with an inner conscience, The iceman vs. a man who might care about life. A struggle for a soul and a deadly search for a friend. John Rain is a bewildering character. We often get to peer into his conscience and what I see troubles me. What a way to walk through life. Always on guard and having to analyze your every move for fear of being killed. John Rain is a brilliant killer and his mind is like a steel trap when preparing to do his work; however, on the emotional side he is a sh ...more
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Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous " ...more
More about Barry Eisler...

Other Books in the Series

John Rain (8 books)
  • A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain, #1)
  • A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain, #2)
  • Winner Take All (John Rain, #3)
  • Redemption Games (John Rain, #4)
  • Extremis (John Rain, #5)
  • The Detachment (John Rain, #7)
  • Graveyard of Memories (John Rain, #8)

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“We could go from bliss and harmony to anger and recriminations as fast and with as little warning as a tropical storm. What made it bearable, what made it good, was that the foul weather would pass with equal suddenness, usually leaving something glorious in its wake.” 1 likes
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