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Tokio Killer (John Rain, #1)
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Tokio Killer (John Rain #1)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  6,726 ratings  ·  459 reviews
Previously published as Rain Fall (John Rain, #1)

Name: John Rain.
Vocation: Assassin.
Specialty: Natural Causes.
Base of operations: Tokyo.
Availability: Worldwide.

Half American, half Japanese, expert in both worlds but at home in neither, John Rain is the best killer money can buy. You tell him who. You tell him where. He doesn't care about why...

Until he gets involved with M
Published (first published July 22nd 2002)
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**4.5 stars**

This book blew me away.

I’m not fond of assassins as main characters so normally I wouldn’t have picked up this book. But it was on sale at Audible and I liked the narrator so I decided to give it a try. And oh boy, I’m so glad I did.

The story starts a bit slowly but then it gets tremendously exciting, extremely sad and very thought provoking. Why would a man like John Rain – who not a “bad person” – choose a life like this? The answer is not simple or even logical but it’s heartbrea
Mike (the Paladin)
I'm a little torn because 3 stars might indicate I like the book when it would be more accurate to say I don't intensely dislike it, thus 2. There are some interesting parts in this read. Unfortunately between these parts there a long sections that are not only fairly uninteresting but often have little or nothing to do with the story.

There are sections like "the surveillance was going nowhere so..." and we get a section where he sits in a coffee shop and "remembers". We need you see to get an
I enjoyed this book because I liked witnessing the main character, who is a skilled assassin, navigate the complicated plot and kill his enemies, usually with his bare hands...

Looking at that sentence now, I wonder if I shouldn't be disturbed by my sentiment. I mean, I just admitted to enjoying an account of a man who makes a living by killing other people. Ask me point blank if this is ok, and my answer is, No, of course not. You shouldn't go around killing people. So what makes this book ok?

(Audible download) According to the author's website, Eisler has a black belt (it shows in the books, Rain's fights are described in loving detail by judo and karate movement name), worked for the CIA (and must not like most of them, for , in this first of the series at least, the CIA does not come off well) and worked in Japan for several years (and has high respect for Japanese customs.)

One always feels guilty reading (listening, actually) to a book like this for the hero is just about as anti
I'm huge spy/assassin story fan so I have been looking forward to picking this up off my TBR pile. This is Eisler's first novel (from '02) and having read his most recent, Fault Line, I must say it's wonderful to see how far he's come as a writer. Not that Rain Fall is a poor first novel, far from it. I found this first book of the Rain series to be a solid, entertaining read.

Although the character's aren't overly developed (I would like to know a little more about Kawamura's daughter, Midori),
Lance Charnes
Jan 14, 2012 Lance Charnes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of espionage tales
Eisler's John Rain isn't a cop or private detective or even on the "right" side of the law: he's a highly-paid assassin, well into middle age, stuck between the Japanese and American cultures represented by his now-late parents. That you can find sympathy for a hit man -- even one with ethics -- is a tribute to how well Eisler sets up his hero and, more importantly, his world, which is if anything sleazier and more corrupt than is Rain himself. The picture of Japan presented here is massively un ...more
Rating 2.5

Recently I read somewhere, which said something like, "sometimes, to enjoy literature, pick-up a novel that you think you might enjoy and read it without judgement." So, I picked-up this one. It was hard at times not to judge it, but as I continued reading I could manage to be less skeptical of few things.

There were mainly 3 reasons for choosing this novel,
1. It has something to do with Japan and I was hoping it would give some insight into the mysterious Japanese society.
2. It has an
I wasn't expecting too much from this book, but it turned out to be a surprisingly complex and well-written thriller that never lost its forward drive. It stands out from other books in this genre because of the atmosphere that Eisler has captured with his strong sense of place, his authenticity, and his articulateness. There are a few images in this book that are stunning, such as his description of Japan's lights at night.

Eisler has also managed to fill this book with soulfulness while never
My eldest turned me onto this first of a series thriller over the Christmas holidays and I'm glad she did. Eisler is a soulful writer who takes his readers on an emotional roller coaster in this introduction to the primary antagonist John Rain.

As with most thrillers, this is not Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award material. Nevertheless, "Rain Fall" is a good little read and kept my interest throughout. The setting is unique as I don't recall ever reading anything from this genre that uses the
Ryan Sampey
The book Rain Fall by Barry Eisler is 363 pages, published in 2002 by Penguin Books Ltd. The genre is a little bit of mystery, thriller, romance, and realistic fiction. The story is a first person tale of John Rain. He's an ex-marine from the Vietnam era and a hit man who specializes in assassinations that look natural. What starts as a routine kill ends up in complete chaos. Rain falls in love with the daughter of his target and must face old enemies that are trying to control him. The book rea ...more
So... I was trying to think of how to eloquently state everything I was feeling after reading this, then I read my GR friend DG's review, and that pretty much sums it up. Beautiful, sad, exciting, poignant.

I liked how instead of all the usual guns and knives and bloody violence, John was straight forward and simple and if you needed killing he snapped your neck and was done with it. It seemed more realistic that all the flash. All the complicated particulars of his traveling around the city and
Julie Davis
#25 - 2010.

Recommended by Matt. American born, half-Japanese, John Rain is a professional hit man with a strict set of rules for his targets: no women or children, only principles in a dispute. He specializes in "natural causes" deaths and has just pulled one off while giving us a bit of back story. Interestingly as the story goes on through fascinating twists and turns, we are not asked to find John a sympathetic character. We learn more of his story so that his life's work makes more sense but
A pretty good mystery & thriller, although there's a bit too much angst for me. Reminds me of David Morrell's characters a lot in that way. Good, but not inhumanely so. Rain gets his ass handed to him occasionally & there's nothing magical about his situations or solutions. Good logic. There weren't any of the huge plot holes that so often accompany books of this sort. Also, it's the start of a pretty good series. I actually read the 3d book first & didn't have any trouble going back ...more
I purchased this book, "A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain, #1)" by Barry Eisler to read on my Kindle based on the recommendation of a Goodreads member. Not knowing really what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. The novel has a little bit of everything to please all tastes; mystery, thriller, romance, and espionage.

John Rain, the protagonist, is an assassin, an ex-marine from the Vietnam era and a hit man who specializes in assassinations that look natural. John had combat experience and a me
Gerald Sinstadt
This is an ambitious first novel that suffers as such endeavours often do from wanting to say too much. This is, after all, a thriller (maybe a bit too violent nevertheless) and it is a thriller with a devilishly clever plot and a setting that is fresh and intriguing, strongly conveyed. It earns its four stars.

John Rain, the central character, is a Japanese-Ameriican plying a shadowy, not to say shady, trade in Tokyo. He becomes romantically involved with the daughter of a murder victim (to say
Is it wrong to like the assassin?

I liked John Rain more than I liked the story. Well, no. I liked John Rain and I liked the story. But it took a long time to tell it. Willing to give the next in the series a try.
Casey Hampton
Book #1 in the John Rain series. The action is tight, the writing is refreshingly refined, the characters possess depth, and the Tokyo backdrop provides just the right balance between grit and shine. Barry Eisler is a good writer, and a standout narrator. His character John Rain is an assassin specializing in making death appear to be attributed to natural causes. As antiheros go, Rain is one of the best I've encountered. Beyond this, it is as a character that John Rain stands apart from many of ...more
Nikki Wilde
Rain Fall is definitely not a book I'm used to. It was a bit... political, if that's the right word, for me. That being said, I fairly enjoyed this novel. I started Requiem of an Assassin and realized that it was book 6 in a series. I needed to stop and find book 1.

Basically, John Rain is an assassin for hire. His specialty is making it look natural. When the daughter of his last kill becomes his new target he's unsure of what to do. He has a policy of no women. John goes against his employers
John Rain is a political assassin in Japan. He is half Japanese (his father) and half American (his mother). He sees himself as a perpetual soldier, a samurai, a warrior loyal to his overlord and carrying out his commands, fighting his battles. Personally, I think John Rain is full of s... er, self-delusion. But then maybe we all are to some degree.

I have a few problems with this book. First of these is, what is the time frame? If we were ever explicitly told, it must have been in a part that I
It is a successful piece of "men's formula fiction". There is a bit too much exposition of the nefarious plot. The anguished protagonist with a troubled past, but a good heart....hmmm yeah. The surprising twists are not so surprising. [SPOILER ALERT} Did I mention the whole, I killed your father and now take you as my lover thing? How about the way that the damsel in distress drops from public view when she has a semi-public career as a jazz pianist? Doesn't it seem like someone would be looking ...more
João Carlos
“Tokyo Killer” é um thriller protagonizado por um ex-agente secreto dos EUA no Cambodja e Vietname – Jack Rain – um assassino profissional, meio americano, meio japonês; frio, sádico, cruel e desprovido de emoções, mas que tem um singular código de ética: "nada de mulheres ou crianças, nenhuma actividade contra terceiros e nenhum outro fornecedor contratado para resolver o problema em mãos..."
Uma emocionante “história” que tem como cenário a cidade de Tóquio, cosmopolita e exótica, povoada por
I must confess, the main reason I picked this series to start reading was that I saw a recent pic of the author and he's hot.

Maybe that should be my new indicator for books because I really enjoyed this one. It was published in 1985 (CORRECTION: 2002 so maybe I dreamed that original date) so a little dated but still good.

The main character, John Rain, grew up in Japan and the US but felt out of place in both as his Father was Japanese and his Mother was American. Apparently, back in the 50s, 60s
Stacy Bearse
The city is Tokyo, where government, yakuza and construction industry leaders are knit together in a web of corruption. Central character John Rain - a tough guy with scruples - finds himself snared in the deadly tangle, and struggles to understand why his life is suddenly turned upside down. Eisler's novel is scrupulously researched, expertly plotted, generous in detail and rich in color. He has created a torrent of action that transported this reader from cover to cover with timeless celerity.
Jerry Hooten
Rain Storm again

I always enjoy Eisler stories. fast moving, very well written, and interesting insights. John Rain is a complex character in a complex setting. Mr. Eisler always gets me hooked in the first chapter and I have a hard time putting the book down.
Scott E
Almost gave this a 5-star. The story sticks to the action, even when it is flashing back to Rain's Vietnam service...however, there is still enough room left for character backstory....all nicely done. The hero is not one of the myriad politically correct heroes of most crime/spy fiction. This guy eliminates targets for money (his few rules include no women or children).

The setting is Tokyo and Eisler takes pains to give rich details of the areas John Rain visits. There is quite a bit of surveil
Joel Judge
Having lived in Tokyo I really wanted to enjoy this book and to a certain extent I did. The descriptions of Tokyo were good although I got a bit sick of all the references to the Tokyo Train/Subway system. The explanation of post WWII Japanese politics was interesting although I already knew about the construction industry corruption.

My main gripes with the book were threefold. One - I had no sympathy for the main character ( a trained, cold blooded assassin), two - the love interest and the coi
This is my first "John Rain" novel and I must admit, I liked it enough to read more! The 'damaged but honorable' lone-hero style reminds me a lot of Lee Child's "Reacher" series, but without all the sentence fragments (thankfully)! Plus,I love anything that deals with culture and identity, and Rain's Japanese/American duality adds a dimension to him which causes a certain amount of unrest, and I found that really interesting. Also, the story itself moved at a good, quick pace, and held my attent ...more
Joseph Grinton
Barry Eisler is a very intelligent man and is very well qualified to write a political thriller set in Japan but I was a bit disappointed by this book, which is a thriller by numbers, without heart or soul. You don't capture a place by naming its streets and subway stations. You don't redeem a cold-blooded assassin by giving him a taste for whiskey and jazz or by making him fall in love with the beautiful daughter of one of his victims. The story held my interest and I wanted to like it but in t ...more
Wayland Smith
This is a thriller about a specially trained killer in Japan. Half-American, half-Japanese, he grew up with a lot of prejudice, feeling at home nowhere. Later, he ended up in Veit Nam, and became part of the Special Forces.

After the war, he becomes an assassin, specializing in "natural causes." John Rain lives in the shadows, hiding from everyone, until one job changes everything.

This book had some great points to it. The action was well handled and believable. The author clearly knows martial a
S.C. Warin
This is a solid and engaging thriller. Beyond the basic action/plot of the story, which I liked, there were a lot of extra things to like about this book. The author puts in a lot of information about Japan, about judo and fighting, and spy techniques (some really cool and creative stuff there!). I found this information added to my enjoyment of the story, which isn't always necessarily the case.

The tone of the story was very realistic, with a lot of supporting details that made it feel authenti
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Which version? 1 22 Feb 06, 2014 10:26AM  
  • The Cleaner (Jonathan Quinn, #1)
  • The Hunter (Victor the Assassin, #1)
  • The Gray Man (Court Gentry, #1)
  • Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger, #1)
  • The Last Spymaster
  • The Faithful Spy (John Wells, #1)
  • The Butcher's Boy (Butcher's Boy, #1)
  • Kill Zone (Kyle Swanson Sniper, #1)
  • The Protector
  • The Perfect Assassin (David Slayton, #1)
  • Black Site (Delta Force, #1)
  • Hard Knocks (Charlie Fox Thriller #3)
  • The Accident Man (Samuel Carver, #1)
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 Lonely Resurrection (John Rain, #2)
  • Winner Take All (John Rain, #3)
  • Redemption Games (John Rain, #4)
  • Extremis (John Rain, #5)
  • The Killer Ascendant (John Rain, #6)
  • The Detachment (John Rain, #7)
  • Graveyard of Memories (John Rain, #8)
A Lonely Resurrection (John Rain, #2) Redemption Games (John Rain, #4) Extremis (John Rain, #5) Winner Take All (John Rain, #3) The Killer Ascendant (John Rain, #6)

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“I wandered the earth a mercenary, daring the gods to kill me but surviving because part of me was already dead.” 12 likes
“A monk awoke from a dream that he was a butterfly, then wondered whether he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man.” 1 likes
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