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About Barry Eisler
I've been blessed with a variety of interesting jobs: a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations (now called the National Clandestine Service); attorney in an international law firm; in-house counsel at the Osaka headquarters of Panasonic; executive in a Silicon Valley technology startup.
But the best job by far has been novel writing, and who'd have guessed that my agency training, my time as a lawyer, my experiences in Japan, and a background in martial arts would form a good background for political thrillers? I get a lot of my material from actual US government craziness (assassinations, torture, indefinite imprisonment, bulk surveillance…you know, everything needed these days to to Keep Us Safe). As I like to say, what’s bad for America is good for thriller writers.
A lot of what I’ve speculated about turns out to be true: the kill list, or "International Terrorist Threat Matrix," I introduced in 2004 in Winner Take All, for example, came to light in 2012 and 2013 as the “Disposition Matrix,” courtesy of the Obama administration. The safety shortcomings of Japanese nuclear reactors I described in 2003 in A Lonely Resurrection were documented following the 2011 Fukushima catastrophe. And the pacemaker hack that kicked off my first book—A Clean Kill in Tokyo, in 2002—turns out to have been a real concern of Dick Cheney’s, as revealed in his memoirs (it also turned up in the second season of Homeland).
The books have won a bunch of awards and made various “Best of” lists, which is nice. If you want to follow what I’m up to beyond the books, Twitter’s a good bet—@barryeisler. And then there’s Facebook; the mailing list you can find on my website; and my blog, The Heart of the Matter.
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Titles By Barry Eisler
When the government offers a twenty-six-year-old former Marine a five-figure payday, there’s only one question: Who does he have to kill?
1991. A restless young man called Dox is back home in Texas. His friends have missed him, and his mother and sisters need him. But after four years as a Marine and another two as a CIA contractor fighting the Soviet Union alongside the Afghan mujahideen, small-town life in Abilene is a suffocating dead end.
Another secret war, this one in Southeast Asia, offers a big payday and the solution to his family’s troubles. But secret wars are never what they’re billed to be, and Dox is about to get the education of his young life. Among the lessons—the only thing more dangerous than war is falling in love with your enemy.
Previously published as Rain Storm and Choke Point
John Rain has disappeared in Brazil to escape the killing business and the enemies encircling him in Japan. But the CIA isn’t willing to lose its premier “natural causes” contract killer, and they force Rain to take on a high-risk assignment: eliminate a ruthless arms dealer operating in Southeast Asia.
The upside? Financial, of course, along with the possibility of moral redemption. But first, Rain will have to survive the downside: a second assassin zeroing in on the target; an alluring and dangerous woman with an agenda of her own; the possibility that the entire mission is nothing but an elaborate setup. From the gorgeous beaches of Rio to the glitzy casinos of Macau to the gritty back streets of Hong Kong and Kowloon, Rain becomes a reluctant player in an international game far deadlier and more insidious than any he has encountered before.
Winner Take All was previously published as Rain Storm in the US and Choke Point in the UK, the third in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
Previously published as Hard Rain and Blood from Blood
All John Rain wants is to get out of the killing business. But with his discretion, his reliability, and his unique talent for death by “natural causes,” no one is willing to let him just retire. So when an old nemesis from the Japanese national police force comes to him with a new job—eliminate Murakami, a killer even more fearsome than Rain himself—he can’t refuse.
Aided by an achingly desirable half Brazilian, half Japanese exotic dancer he knows he shouldn’t trust, Rain pursues his quarry through underground no-holds-barred fight clubs, mobbed-up hostess bars, and finally into the heart of a shadow war between the CIA and the yakuza. It’s a war Rain can’t win, but also one he can’t afford to lose—a war where the distinctions between friend and foe and truth and deceit are as murky as the rain-slicked streets of Tokyo.
A Lonely Resurrection was previously published as Hard Rain in the US and Blood From Blood in the UK, the second in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972.
Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan. To survive, Rain strikes a desperate deal with his handler: take out a high-profile target in the Japanese government in exchange for the intel he needs to eliminate his would-be executioners.
As Rain plays cat and mouse with the yakuza and struggles to learn his new role as contract killer, he also becomes entangled with Sayaka, a tough, beautiful ethnic Korean woman confined to a wheelchair. But the demands of his dark work are at odds with the longings of his heart—and with Sayaka’s life in the balance, Rain will have to make a terrible choice.
Previously published as Killing Rain and One Last Kill
After nearly dying while taking out a target in Hong Kong, Rain has a new employer, The Mossad, which wants him to fix a “problem” in Manila. He also has a new partner, Dox, whose good-ol’-boy persona masks a sniper as deadly as Rain himself. And he has a new hope: that by using his talents in the service of something good, he might atone for all the lives he has taken. But when Rain’s conscience causes him to botch the Manila hit, he finds out the next problem The Mossad wants fixed is him. Is Delilah, his Mossad lover, coming to help him? Or was she sent to finish him off?
Redemption Games was previously published as Killing Rain in the US and One Last Kill in the UK, the fourth in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
The assassins of Barry Eisler’s #1 bestseller The Killer Collective are back—and this time, it’s chaos.
Assistant US Attorney Alondra Diaz hates traffickers. And she’s determined to put one of America’s most powerful financiers, Andrew Schrader, in prison forever for his crimes against children.
But Schrader has videos implicating some of the most powerful members of the US national security state. To eliminate Diaz, the powers that be bring in a contractor: Marvin Manus, an implacable assassin whose skills have been forged in intelligence, the military, and the hardest prisons.
Enter former Marine sniper Dox and black-ops veteran Daniel Larison with an unusual assignment: not to kill Diaz, but to keep her alive.
A lot of players are determined to acquire the videos and the blackmail power they represent. But with Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, “natural causes” killer John Rain, and ex-Mossad honey-trap specialist Delilah, the good guys might just have a chance.
They’re not going to play by anyone else’s rules. They’re not going to play by any rules at all. They want a different kind of fight. The chaos kind.
Previously published as Rain Fall
Name: John Rain.
Specialty: Natural Causes.
Base of operations: Tokyo.
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 Midori Kawamura, a beautiful jazz pianist—and the daughter of his latest kill.
A Clean Kill in Tokyo was previously published as Rain Fall, the first in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
Returning to Tokyo in 1982 after a decade of mercenary work in the Philippines, a young John Rain learns that the killing business is now controlled by Victor, a half-Russian, half-Japanese sociopath who has ruthlessly eliminated all potential challengers. Victor gives Rain a choice: kill a government minister or die a grisly death. But the best route to the minister is through his gorgeous Italian wife, Maria, a route that puts Rain on a collision course not only with Victor but with the shadowy forces behind the Russian's rise to dominance—and the longings of Rain's own conflicted heart.
It's a battle between kingpin and newcomer, master and apprentice, a zero-sum contest that can only end with one man dead and the other the world's foremost assassin.
A search for a pair of serial rapists leads Livia Lone down the darkest and most dangerous trail of her life in a pulse-pounding thriller by New York Times bestselling author Barry Eisler.
Ten years ago, the daughter of Homeland Security Investigations agent B. D. Little vanished into thin air. So did seven other girls—the crimes all bearing the same signature characteristics.
Now the disappearances have begun again. And Agent Little’s efforts to investigate are being blocked by forces far above his pay grade. Desperate, he turns to Seattle sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, the most obsessive hunter of predators Little knows.
Livia will need that obsessiveness, and a lot more. Because the two men Little is pursuing are fearsome. Both Special Forces veterans with a dozen tours in Iraq between them. Both sadists and serial rapists. And one, the congressman scion of the vice president of the United States—a man who will use all his power to protect his son’s secrets and further his own ambitions.
The conspirators have all the assets and all the angles. And every reason to believe they’ll evade justice, as they always have before.
They don’t understand that for Livia Lone, justice is only a guideline. Revenge is the rule.
Previously published as The Last Assassin
Even for an average citizen, a love triangle is dangerous business. For assassin John Rain—”one of the most compelling lead characters in the genre” (USA Today)—it’s going to be downright deadly.
When Rain learns that his former lover, Midori, has been raising their child in New York, Rain senses a chance for reconciliation, perhaps even for redemption.
But Midori and the child are being watched by Rain’s enemies, and Rain’s sudden appearance puts them in terrible danger. To save them, Rain is forced to use the same deadly talents he had been hoping to leave behind. With the help of Tatsu, his one-time nemesis in the Japanese FBI; and Dox, the former Marine sniper whose good ol’ boy persona masks a killer as deadly as Rain himself, Rain races against time to bring his enemies into the open and eliminate them forever.
Extremis was previously published as The Last Assassin, the fifth in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
From New York Times bestselling author Barry Eisler…Livia Lone is back.
For sex-crimes detective Livia Lone, a position with a government anti-trafficking task force is a chance to return to Thailand to ferret out Rithisak Sorm, the kingpin behind her own childhood ordeal.
But after a planned takedown in a nightclub goes violently awry, Livia discovers that she’s not the only one hunting Sorm. Former marine sniper Dox has a score to settle, too, and working together is the only way to take Sorm out.
Livia and Dox couldn’t be less alike. But they share a single-minded creed: the law has to serve justice. And if it doesn’t, justice has to be served another way.
What they don’t know is that in threatening Sorm, they’re also threatening a far-reaching conspiracy—one involving the highest levels of America’s own intelligence apparatus. It turns out that killing Sorm just might be the easy part. The real challenge will be payback from his protectors.
In Istanbul, a cynical undercover operator receives a frantic call from his estranged brother, a patent lawyer who believes he is the next victim.
And on the sun-drenched slopes of Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley’s nerve center of money and technology, old family hurts sting anew as two brothers who share nothing but blood and bitterness wage a desperate battle against a faceless enemy.
Alex Treven has sacrificed everything to achieve his sole ambition: making partner in his high-tech law firm. But then the inventor of a technology Alex is banking on is murdered… and the patent examiner who reviewed it dies… and Alex himself narrowly escapes an attack in his own home. Off balance, out of ideas, and running out of time, he knows the one person who can help him is the last person he’d ever ask: his brother.
Ben Treven is a Military Liaison Element, an elite undercover soldier paid to “find, fix, and finish” high-value targets in America’s Global War on Terror. Disenchanted with what he sees as America’s culture of denial and decadence, Ben lives his detached life in the shadows because the black ops world is all he really knows—and because other than Alex, who he hasn’t spoken to since their mother died, his family is long gone.
But blood is thicker than water, and when he receives Alex’s frantic call, Ben hurries to San Francisco to help him. Only then does Alex reveal that there’s another player who knows of the technology: Sarah Hosseini, a young Iranian American lawyer who Alex has long secretly desired… and who Ben immediately distrusts. As these three radically different people struggle to identify the forces attempting to silence them, Ben and Alex are forced to examine the events that drove them apart—even as Sarah’s presence, and her own secret wants, deepens the fault line between them.
Emotionally charged and politically timely, FAULT LINE centers on a conspiracy that has spun out of the shadows and into the streets of America, a conspiracy that can be stopped only by three people—three people with different worldviews, different grievances, different motives. To survive the forces arrayed against them, they’ll first have to survive each other.
“The first blogosphere thriller... Eisler’s novel, which turns entirely on a super-secret assassinations program, is looking less like fiction and more like the work of someone who has a firm grip on what’s really happening.” —Scott Horton, Harper’s Magazine