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A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  9,238 Ratings  ·  590 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
Kindle Edition, New Edition, 363 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Barry Eisler
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Ken NO- not in the story. only change I remember is an addition to the introduction explaining the HOW & WHY the title had been changed and warning…moreNO- not in the story. only change I remember is an addition to the introduction explaining the HOW & WHY the title had been changed and warning us~~(DIE HARD John Rain fans___and those soon to join the club!) that many of his novels are being renamed.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Andrew Smith
Feb 19, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it really liked it
Having previously read a mid-series book, it was a relief to go back to the start. My first experience of John Rain in Extremis showed me a rather one dimensional man - a hired killer, cold and efficient but not much else. However, this book brings the character alive, drawing out his background and the key events that shaped the man. The first half of the book is my favourite part as Rain shows himself to be a rather complex dude with a lot to offer, over and above his propensity to induce ‘the ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Feb 04, 2014 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was ok
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
Sep 21, 2015 Gary rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book a few years ago and I've read it about 4 times and I still can't get the story out of my mind. john rain an Assassin with a gift he makes his kills look like natural Causes Half American, half Japanese he can blend in anywhere to get the job done. 5 out of 5 stars
L.A. Starks
Nov 06, 2015 L.A. Starks rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the John Rain series. I really enjoyed the Japanese setting of the story, and the "stuck-between-two-cultures" battle of Rain. I am looking forward to reading other books in the series.
Apr 10, 2016 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, audiobook

An interesting opening novel to a series I'll be happy to continue with due to a number of interesting factors. This is the first time I've read a novel about an assassin outside of the western world which opens up a whole new playing field and there was enough background information for the lead to make him an interesting but not unique character worth reading about.

I loved the Japanese setting for this, I don't know that world having never been there but I felt the book was described well
Jun 22, 2016 Jim rated it liked it
I've been wanting to read this series, but so much time has gone by I realized I needed to reread this book. Unfortunately, I don't remember it at all.

Now I know why. Too much angst. While the rest of the series is supposed to be good, I really don't want to read another right now. Otherwise, my review remains the same, although I'm dropping this to 3 stars.

October2012 Review: 4 stars - A pretty good mystery & thriller, although there's a bit too much angst for me. Reminds me of David Morrel
Pam (E.P. Scott)
Apr 10, 2015 Pam (E.P. Scott) rated it really liked it
It had a slow start, but I suppose that is to be expected with the first book of a series. The slow pace didn't last long before I was plunged into John Rain's covert world.

He is a complex character, John Rain. He is a Vietnam veteran who did unspeakable things and didn't fit well into society upon his return, as did so many veterans, I suppose. To add to his situation, he is half Japanese, half American - a half breed, he calls himself and this mixtures caused, and still does, problems from bot
Sep 05, 2011 Daniel rated it liked it
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?

Sep 14, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
Aug 03, 2010 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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
João Carlos

Tokyo by night

“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
Nov 09, 2014 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-and-next, wcls
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.
Feb 01, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
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
Jan 29, 2014 santropy rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-reads
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
Mar 26, 2009 rogue rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 11, 2011 John rated it really liked it
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
Apr 25, 2012 Ryan Sampey rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 17, 2012 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 15, 2010 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
#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
Oct 12, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
4.5 stars

John Rain is awesome! He is a highly skilled assassin who lives and works in Tokyo's underworld.

The story is fast-paced and excellent - love all the little details that make John untouchable and super effective.

I would recommend the audio version as it is read by the author and you can hear how all the Japanese is pronounced.

Looking forward to reading more of these!
Gerald Sinstadt
Nov 05, 2014 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
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
Feb 12, 2009 Skip rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Good story about a half-Japanese, half-American assassin, who falls for the daughter of one of his targets. Great details about Tokyo.
Oct 04, 2015 Jemir rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jemir by: 24
John Rain is the kind of assasin that internet conspoiracy theories are made of. He's not the kind of guy to stab and shoot his targets (though he's more than capable of that) but to poison a target over time so that his/her death seems to from natural causes (to use just one example). Plotwise the beats that make up the story (job goes wrong, protagonist finds out it was a set up, protagonist sets out to find out who set him up, uses too-cool-for-words martial arts skills to work his way up {or ...more
Casey Hampton
May 18, 2014 Casey Hampton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kernschatten
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
Jul 28, 2015 Gary rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, so much that I started it this morning and finished it this afternoon.
A thriller with a difference, the main character is an assassin working in Tokyo. The author makes the assassin likeable and very intriguing in a fast paced thriller.
I am interested to read that many of the reviewers on Goodreads consider that this series gets better so I intend to read more.
Leon Aldrich
Feb 28, 2012 Leon Aldrich rated it really liked it
All assassin novels are compared against The Day of the Jackal or Shibumi. And while this one didn't quite reach the 5 star bar, I'll continue the series.
Oct 07, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2012
Great fast-paced, action-filled thriller with a kick-ass assassin as protagonist and set in Japan - what's not to love? Currently re-reading the first few books of this series before finally moving on to the ones I haven't read yet.
Jul 24, 2016 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this one. Made a hit-man look human. This is a good one for the UN challenge as Tokoyo is intimately detailed. The social nuances of Japanese culture is also good. I did have a bit trouble keeping up with the Japanese names.
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Which version? 1 29 Feb 06, 2014 10:26AM  
  • The Cleaner (Jonathan Quinn, #1)
  • The Hunter (Victor the Assassin, #1)
  • Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger, #1)
  • Sensei
  • Hard Knocks (Charlie Fox Thriller #3)
  • The Protector (Cavanaugh #1)
  • Dark Men (Silver Bear, #3)
  • The Gray Man (Court Gentry, #1)
  • The Accident Man (Samuel Carver, #1)
  • The Ninja (Nicholas Linnear, #1)
  • Pursuit
  • The American (Ryan Kealey, #1)
  • Remote Control (Nick Stone, #1)
  • Secret Sanction (Sean Drummond, #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)

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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.” 19 likes
“A monk awoke from a dream that he was a butterfly, then wondered whether he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man.” 2 likes
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