Review

Requiem for an Assassin

by Barry Eisler

REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN is by far the best of the six John
Rain
novels and easily Barry Eisler's most ambitious work. In
retrospect it is obvious that Eisler, over the arc of the five
previous installments in this series, has been building slowly
toward the events that come to pass in this latest book, namely
what happens when Rain attempts to leave his deadly life --- and
part of himself --- behind.

Rain is just coming to grips with the fact that he may be able to
achieve a level of happiness with Delilah, his lover, when he
receives a cryptic call from an old adversary, telling him that Dox
--- perhaps Rain's only true friend --- will be killed unless Rain
agrees to complete three assignments. Without hesitation Dox walked
away from a fortune in cash to save Rain's life; Rain, therefore,
can do no less.

After abruptly leaving Delilah, Rain embarks on a whirlwind mission
that takes him from one end of the United States to the other, and
around the world. He commits two seemingly unconnected murders, but
is unaware that his own death is the third task. Meanwhile, Dox's
life hangs in the balance. Rain discovers that, in order to rescue
Dox, he must save himself as well, even as the dark side of Rain's
personality threatens to overwhelm him. How can he abandon his
deadly persona when he needs it to survive?

As always, Eisler is a stickler for detail, painstakingly showing
how the tradecraft involved in surveillance and assassination is
carried out in the sunlight and in the shadows. He also continues
his practice of taking his readers into the nooks and crannies of
the world's greatest cities, wandering off the beaten path a bit to
describe exotic locales from a native's point of view. And
suspense? You'll be doing a balancing act on the edge of your chair
from the first page practically to the last.

However, REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN is much more than an exquisitely
written spy thriller. It is also, as with the best work of the
genre, a psychological study, an up-close-and-personal illustration
of the battle between light and darkness that is carried out on
scales large and small on a day-by-day basis. This novel has
something for everyone, and is required reading for Summer
101.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

Requiem for an Assassin
by Barry Eisler

  • Publication Date: May 22, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0399154264
  • ISBN-13: 9780399154263