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Requiem for an Assassin (John Rain, No. 6) Hardcover – May 22, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399154264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399154263
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Eisler's predictable sixth thriller to star half Japanese, half American assassin John Rain (after 2006's The Last Assassin), Rain's longtime rival, rogue CIA agent Jim Hilger, kidnaps Rain's sniper friend Dox and threatens to kill Dox unless Rain murders three people Hilger wants dead. Despite his ambivalence about his chosen trade, Rain carries out the hits with little remorse. Rain's adventures take him to the usual glamorous locales—Paris, London, Amsterdam—while throughout he remains nostalgic for his Japanese heritage. In a subplot, Rain's Mossad agent lover, Delilah, enlists some Israeli colleagues in an attempt to foil a major terrorist plot. The revelation of why the three murder victims were selected comes as the book's one real surprise. 150,000 first printing; author tour.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Pity John Rain. All the Japanese American contract killer wants to do is retire and live happily with his girlfriend, a beautiful Mossad agent. But little things keep getting in the way. For instance, his close friend and sometime partner, Dox, has been kidnapped. The abductor is Jim Hilger, a CIA agent whose schemes have been foiled by Rain a few times in the past, and who is now looking to use Dox's life as leverage to force Rain to commit a series of assassinations. But Rain is nobody's fool: he knows he can't trust Hilger to live up to his end of the deal, and there's only one way to make sure Dox stays healthy. Readers may wonder how many stories there are to tell about a hit man who wants to get out of the life, but so far Eisler hasn't run out of believable scenarios. This one is as good as its five forerunners, and here's hoping the author has a few more stories to tell. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

There's plenty of action and character development.
D. K. Gaston
This was a real treat... I've read all of the John Rain novels written by Barry Eisler.
Thomas Duff
I actually had to finish the book in one reading late into the night.
Georgia A. Golden

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Bradley VINE VOICE on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For those of you who might have stumbled on this book without knowing the full scope of things, you will want to start the John Rain series from the beginning. The books in order are: Rain Fall, Hard Rain, Rain Storm, Killing Rain, the Last Assassin, and now Requiem for an Assassin. All are outstanding reads. If you pick up in the middle or here at the tail end, you will really be doing yourself a disservice. Get to know the characters in the same order as Barry Eisler did.

I'm a big John Rain fan. The books have done an excellent job of addressing a previously unfilled niche - not since Lustbader's early works anyway. John Rain, the protagonist, is the cool international ex-CIA operative, half Japanese, half American - patriot, father, and remorseless killer. Trained in classical Japanese Judo, and master of assassination via accidental causes. The killing style is unique and different - comparable to what Trevanian brought to Shibumi with his killing with common items (e.g. ballpoint pen, cards, etc.).

The latest installment is in my mind an improvement. I've really enjoyed all the books, but I felt the Last Assassin had a bit too much drama and fell slightly short of high-octane action seen in early books. In one review, it was compared to Desperate Housewives... unfair but funny. Fortunately, Requiem remedies that complaint in high fashion. I definitely can't agree with any "wussification" claim, because Rain is as ruthless and brutal in this Requiem as any of the pevious ones. That said, there is clearly a struggle between his "iceman" killer self and a softer emotionally-reachable person. But I in no way found that to detract from the character.

Like most good stories, John Rain is the reluctant actor.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on June 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Harboring excessive emotional baggage, a by product of his lucrative profession, affluent, elite assassin John Rain is attempting to retire from his trade. He's struggling acclimating himself to a peaceful existence living with his gorgeous girlfriend Israeli Mossad agent Delilah in Paris. Any notion that his stressful former lifestyle can be put behind him is suddenly shattered in Barry Eisler's latest outstanding novel "Requiem for an Assassin".

The anitsocial Rain is alerted that one of the few people in the world he considers a friend, burly, wisecracking ex-Marine sniper and former associate Dox has been kidnapped. His captor, former nemesis Jim Hilger, a rouge ex-CIA agent is now running his own private intelligence enterprise. Hilger and his well trained cabal snatched Dox to coerce Rain into performing three assassinations which will assure his trusted friend's release upon completion. Not certain of the veracity of the deal, Rain however must play along after receiving a proof of life.

Rain is conflicted in sharing his burden with the few people he trusts but ultimately must recruit the aid of Tom Kanezaki, a Japanese FBI agent and protege of Rain mentor, the now departed Tatsu. His lover Delilah convinces him to ally himself with lethal Mossad agent Boaz who also has no love for the deceitful Hilger. With all these additonal resources Rain hopes to discover the location where Dox is being held before he completes the three sanctions.

Rain after completing two of the killings realizes that he himself will actually be the third victim. Being a cool calculating tactician, Rain is able to decipher the reason that Hilger is forcing him to kill.
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83 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The first four novels featuring the cold-blooded, nihilistic, contemplative Japanese/American assassin John Rain were true page turners. Rain was a killing machine, his specialty arranging murders that looked like "natural causes". He free-lanced, working for any client who met his flexible standards. He had only one rule: no women or children. But even that had a little leeway. Rain was a superb character: remorseless, nihilistic, but thoughtful and contemplative. He was a loner with only one or two people that might be called "friends" and even then Rain was always suspicious.

In the fifth novel, Rain discovered paternal love for the child he had conceived with Midori, a Japanese singer whose father Rain had assassinated. Rain started developing a conscience, a desire for another life, one where murder wasn't the order of the day. Rain, frankly, started losing his allure. The action that made the first four books pulse-pounders ebbed away.

In "Requiem For An Assassin", author Barry Eisler has effectively killed John Rain and it doesn't look like natural causes. In fact it looks like hubris. Barry Eisler apparently has bought into his own publicity.

Eisler hasn't lost his skill with words. He is still readable and a newcomer to Eisler and John Rain might very well find this book a passable read. Anyone familiar with John Rain may find this novel very disappointing. It took me more than six sessions to make my through this, often wondering why I was bothering. I hoped that Eisler would redeem himself in a successive chapter, but he didn't.

The plot is simple and can be described without spoiling it for anyone else.
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More About the Author

A Note On The New Titles

Why have I changed the titles of the Rain books? Simply because I've never thought the titles were right for the stories. The right title matters--if only because the wrong one has the same effect as an inappropriate frame around an otherwise beautiful painting. Not only does the painting not look good in the wrong frame; it will sell for less, as well. And if you're the artist behind the painting, having to see it in the wrong frame, and having to live with the suboptimal commercial results, is aggravating.

The sad story of the original Rain titles began with the moniker Rain Fall for the first in the series. It was a silly play on the protagonist's name, and led to an unfortunate and unimaginative sequence of similar such meaningless, interchangeable titles: Hard Rain, Rain Storm, Killing Rain (the British titles were better, but still not right: Blood from Blood for #2; Choke Point for #3; One Last Kill for #4). By the fifth book, I was desperate for something different, and persuaded my publisher to go with The Last Assassin, instead. In general, I think The Last Assassin is a good title, but in fairness it really has nothing to do with the story in the fifth book beyond the fact that there's an assassin in it. But it was better than more of Rain This and Rain That. The good news is, the fifth book did very well indeed; the bad news is, the book's success persuaded my publisher that assassin was a magic word and that what we needed now was to use the word assassin in every title. And so my publisher told me that although they didn't care for my proposed title for the sixth book--The Killer Ascendant--they were pleased to have come up with something far better. The sixth book, they told me proudly, would be known as The Quiet Assassin.

I tried to explain that while not quite as redundant as, say, The Deadly Assassin or The Lethal Assassin, a title suggesting an assassin might be notable for his quietness was at best uninteresting (as opposed to, say, Margret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, which immediately engages the mind because of the connection of two seemingly contradictory qualities). The publisher was adamant. I told them that if they really were hell-bent on using assassin in a title that otherwise had nothing to do with the book, couldn't we at least call the book The Da Vinci Assassin, or The Sudoku Assassin? In the end, we compromised on Requiem for an Assassin, a title I think would be good for some other book but is unrelated to the one I wrote--beyond, again, the bare fact of the presence of an assassin in the story.

Now that I have my rights back and no longer have to make ridiculous compromises about these matters, I've given the books the titles I always wanted them to have--titles that actually have something to do with the stories, that capture some essential aspect of the stories, and that act as both vessel and amplifier for what's most meaningful in the stories. For me, it's like seeing these books for the first time in the frames they always deserved. It's exciting, satisfying, and even liberating. Have a look yourself and I hope you'll enjoy them.

*********************

Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA, 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 "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. To learn more, please visit www.barryeisler.com. Or Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

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