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The Last Assassin

Barry Eisler
In Print
Putnam (2006)

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This entry created 3 October 2012. Last revised on 5 September 2016.

2,669 hits since 3 Oct 2012
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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The Last Assassin

A John Rain Novel

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star (9.00)

339 pages.

Sequel to Killing Rain, which I have previously reviewed.

For best enjoyment, read this book after the others in the series, as this novel builds on so much of what has gone on before.

In Rain Fall, assassin John Rain squared off against Yamaota, a power-behind-the-scenes in Japanese politics and yakuza boss. Rain arguably won that battle, but was forced to leave Japan for his safety; he also parted with his lover Midori, a jazz pianist who moved to New York, and believed John was dead.

In Hard Rain, Rain forged a new alliance with Japanese FBI official Tatsu, and again battled Yamaota's criminal network. Midori suspected Rain was alive and returned to Japan, accidentally tipping Yamaota off, reuniting with Rain, only to leave him once more (she can't live with the fact that he killed her father). Rain destroys Yamaota's hit-men organization, but his friend Harry is stalked and executed by Yamaota's men.

In Rain Storm, Rain begins the slow process of learning to trust a new partner - the assassin Dox - and a new lover - the Mossad agent, Delilah.

And at the end of Killing Rain, Rain learns from Tatsu that Midori has given birth to Rain's son - and that Yamaota has them under surveillance by Chinese triad operatives in New York.

Bringing all of these threads together, Rain realizes that he must destroy Yamaota if his lover Midori and infant son are ever to know peace. (Yet he realizes crafty Tatsu is manipulating him once again, knowing the consequences of revealing the news of the son to Rain.) He also realizes that he owes payback for the death of Harry. Meanwhile, Rain is yearning to leave the assassin game and wonders if he and Midori can ever settle down (or if she can ever forgive him for assassinating her father)... yet he's just been establishing a serious relationship with his Israeli lover, Delilah. Plus Rain will need help once more from his friend Dox... and maybe even Delilah, but will she help him if it means Rain gets back with Midori?

All of which leads to an action-packed, surprisingly emotional adventure ride that includes drug trafficking, triads, the CIA, ex-sumo wrestlers, yakuza, more deaths by "natural causes," and an exclusive club where wealthy Japanese can seek "companionship."

The usual warning applies: violence by gun and in close combat; some sex; and one topic I can't reveal as it would be a spoiler, but let's say it's not something for younger readers.

My only gripe is the switching from first-person (Rain's sequences) to third-person (other characters) throughout the book. But I'll live with it...

For wargamers, there are two major fight scenes that could inspire scenarios.

This novel is one of the best in the series - highly recommended.

Reviewed by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian.