Barry Eisler has given us a new hero - Japanese-American John Rain, the cynical, romantic, conscientious assassin - one of the most clever and vibrant protagonists we've seen in years. In this new novel, Rain has fled to Brazil to escape the killing business and the enemies encircling him. But his knack for making death seem to have been from "natural causes" and his ability to operate unnoticed in Asia continue to create unwelcome demand for his services. His old employer, the CIA, persuades him to take on a high-risk assignment: a ruthless arms dealer operating in Southeast Asia." The upside? Financial, of course, along with the continued chimera of moral redemption. But first, Rain will have to survive the downside: a second assassin homing in on the target; the target's consort, an alluring woman with an agenda of her own; and 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.
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Introduction to the New Edition
Rereading the books for this rerelease of the series has made me acutely aware of the degree to which whatever most interested me at the time I was writing surfaces in the story. I had left the CIA shortly before beginning A Clean Kill in Tokyo, for example, and I can see now how much surveillance, countersurveillance, and other aspects of tradecraft were still on my mind at the time. A Lonely Resurrection includes Osaka, where I lived from 1995 to 1997 after moving from Tokyo. And now I see how much the plot of Winner Take All is informed by the way 9/11, and more specifically America's overreaction to 9/11, was increasingly on my mind when I wrote it.
This is what I came up with when I was working on the manuscript in 2003:
"All right. Belghazi is part of a list. A hit list. Of course, it's not called a 'hit list.' Even post-nine-eleven, no one would use a description like that."
I raised my eyebrows, thinking maybe the geniuses who had once named an email sniffing program "Carnivore" had finally taken a class on marketing.
He took a sip of coffee. "The list is officially called the 'International Terrorist Threat Matrix,' or ITTM, for short. Unofficially, it's just called 'the list.' It was created and is continually updated by the Agency, in our capacity as central clearing house for all intelligence produced by the community. Its purpose is to identify the key players in the international terrorist infrastructure. Like the FBI's Most Wanted List, but broader. You know, a Who's Who..."
"The list existed before nine-eleven, but it's been substantially revised and expanded since then. And, since then, it has also doubled as a hit list -- a nice, deniable hit list, because it's really just a wiring diagram and has been around in one form or another for a long time. So no one had to worry about giving the order to draw up a brand new list that might make for riveting testimony in front of a hypocritical Congressional committee some time down the road..."
He took a sip from his cup. "Look, some of the individuals in question enjoy a lot of political protection. Some of them, in fact, are technically U.S. citizens."
What has been revealed since?
The New York Times, May 29, 2012
"SECRET 'KILL LIST' PROVES A TEST OF OBAMA'S PRINCIPLES AND WILL
The Washington Post, October 23, 2012
PLAN FOR HUNTING TERRORISTS SIGNALS U.S. INTENDS TO KEEP ADDING NAMES TO KILL LISTS
And if you had any doubts about Kanezaki's claim that the list includes American citizens, the government's subsequent actions should reassure you.
Salon, September 30, 2011
THE DUE-PROCESS-FREE ASSASSINATION OF U.S. CITIZENS IS NOW REALITY
Salon, October 20, 2011
THE KILLING OF AWLAKI'S 16-YEAR-OLD-SON
So what was posited as fiction in 2003 is proven as fact less than a decade later. What might have been dismissed as conspiracy a little while ago is now no more than the news of the day.
For those who share Rain's aversion to euphemisms, by the way, it's doubly endearing to know the Obama Administration has named what in Kanezaki's world was known simply as "the list" as the "Disposition Matrix," instead.
The Guardian, October 24, 2012
OBAMA MOVES TO MAKE THE WAR ON TERROR PERMANENT
All of which perhaps suggests that thriller writers are slightly ahead of the establishment media -- and that the government is slightly ahead even of thriller writers. If so, I hate to think about what's next for America when I consider the plot of the seventh Rain book, The Detachment.About the Author:
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations. After leaving the CIA, he lived and worked in Japan, where he earned his black belt from the Kodokan International Judo Center. The Rain books-Rain Fall, Hard Rain, Rain Storm, and Killing Rain-have won the Barry and Gumshoe awards, been translated into nearly twenty languages, and been optioned for film by Barrie Osborne, the Oscar-winning producer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110141017635