Sunday, November 20, 2011

Book Review: "The Detachment" by Barry Eisler

Into everyone's life, a little John Rain should fall. John Rain is the deadly yet sensitive assassin who has been the protagonist in six of Barry Eisler's previous novels. He finally returns after a hiatus of several years, during which Eisler wrote two stand-alone novels. Happily, Rain—and Eisler—are at the top of their form yet again.

After deciding to get out of the life as an assassin-for-hire, Rain has returned to Tokyo and resumed his old habits of martial arts training, listening to jazz, and enjoying fine scotch. But when black ops veteran Colonel Scott "Hort" Horton tracks Rain down and tries to convince him to take out three targets in the national security realm in order to prevent a coup which could essentially suspend the U.S. Constitution, Rain finds the offer too dangerous, and too good, to refuse. He enlists the services of his old ally, Dox, and joins forces with two of Hort's men, Treven and Larison, each of whom has their own secrets to hide. And then Rain discovers that Hort might not have been completely truthful when laying out the rationale for the planned assassinations...and at least one member of Rain's team has plans for some sidework that might have dangerous repercussions.

Barry Eisler is a terrific storyteller, and even though the world he has created for John Rain and his other characters is nothing like I can imagine, he quickly engrosses you in nonstop, crackling action, suspense, and exceptional character development. I always find myself rushing through these books, pushed along by the plot, fascinated by the details that Eisler includes, and transfixed by the fact that he has been able to make a deadly assassin with a conscience a realistic and sympathetic character. If you like this type of thriller, you won't go wrong with any of the John Rain novels—each one reads like a movie, but they're better written. Hope the next one comes sooner!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent book. Although I'd recommend to readers that they read some of Eisler's earlier John Rain books and Fault Line, and Inside Out in order to familiarize themselves with John Rain and Ben Treven. Great review.