Monday, February 6, 2006

Read: "Killing Rain" by Barry Eisler

Killing Rain by Barry Eisler

Good book.

A thriller set in Manila, Hong Kong and Bangkok. This is part of the Rain series with continuing characters and storylines. I didn't give a rip about the parts where past storylines were touched on but those parts did provide nice background about the characters. Main character John Rain is an international murderer for hire.

Rain works for various governments and takes an assignment from Israel to kill a bombmaker in Manila who sells his expertise to terrorist organizations. When Rain is about to kill the mark (standing right behind the guy and about to break his beck) Rain thinks about the victim's son and freezes up. After the resulting shootout with the bombmaker's bodyguards Rain and his partner flee to Thailand and eventually track and kill the bombmaker in Hong Kong.

Rain has been doing this work for about 30 years and his ingrained paranoia has kept him alive that long. The novel focuses a lot on that paranoia and the mental and psychological tactics that Rain and the other characters use. The characters are always analyzing each other and planning ahead. Their body language, choice of words, vocal inflection, personal appearance are all purposeful. This is not much of a shoot-em-up or international thriller. Even though the contract killings and characters' actions have an international impact Killing focuses on a handful of individuals with the international results of their actions lending importance to the plotline.

Rain is a very human and very ruthless character. Rain's interaction with his "sorta" girlfriend and new partner cause internal conflict because of his intense paranoia and distrust of anyone. Rain has to adjust to having feelings and affection for his new friends after his years of self isolation; not unsimilar to Dexter in the novel llisted below.

Three annoyances: ONE - the assumption that all necessary knowledge can be gained through a Google search. Baloney. TWO - "Inside Contacts" will share all the information they have and that information will always be accurate. THREE - they have the dough, duplicate passports, and empty airline seats to fly across the Pacific at will and stay at all the high end hotels.

I will likely try another title in the series.

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