AUTHOR: Barry Eisler
The fourth book to feature John Rain, freelance assassin. I love this series. Eisler knows his stuff and this book, as are the others, is full of details of place, as well of methods of killing and tricks of the espionage trade. It's the little insider details that move this series above many others in the suspense genre.
In this one, Rain, a Japanese American who has had plastic surgery to appear more Japanese, has been hired by the Israeli Mossad to arrange the death of an Israeli selling arms to anyone with the funds. Working with a former sniper buddy, Dox, Rain botches the assignment and while he tries to fix things, also finds himself now the Mossad's target.
The book builds on what's come before, but Eisler provides enough background that you can read this alone. However, it would give away some details that might spoil the earlier books, so I would read them in order. That will also make it clearer how much Rain has been changing emotionally over the series thus far as he finds himself becoming almost a social creature.
There isn't a lot of surprise or suspense in this. We know Rain will survive because the next book, The Last Assassin, is excerpted in the back of the paperback. But there is always some doubt about the survival rate of the people Rain starts to feel close to and whether or not he'll fully succeed in his mission. To make it easier to root for a man who kills for a living, his victims usually deserve it, though there are often other deaths that aren't so clearcut, for which self-defense could be argued. Still, a lot of questions about morality are brought up by this series, giving it an extra element that many thrillers don't have.
Bottom line? I'm eagerly awaiting the next book's appearance in paperback.
And yes, I know I haven't answered my own meme yet. Been busy, but will try to get to it this weekend. I actually came up with questions I need to think about!