Review

The Last Assassin

by Barry Eisler



Fans of Barry Eisler in general and his creation John Rain in
particular need not worry --- THE LAST ASSASSIN is indeed a John
Rain novel, notwithstanding Eisler's break with his practice of
incorporating the word "Rain" in the titles of this indelibly
written series. Nor does the title herald an end to what gradually
has become one of the most eagerly awaited ongoing sagas in the
thriller genre. What we get in THE LAST ASSASSIN is what we come to
expect from Eisler: edge-of-the-seat spy craft set against the
informed backdrop of exotic locales, in which the sins, errors and
omissions of the past cast a dark, long shadow upon the
present.


Rain has been described elsewhere as "a contract killer with a
conscience," and indeed the contradiction in terms echoes
throughout the series. Rain's conscience collides head-on with his
world in THE LAST ASSASSIN when he learns that Midori, his former
lover, has given birth to his child. When Rain confronts Midori,
her feelings toward him are mixed, but her ultimatum is not: if he
wants to be in her --- and their son's --- life, he must give up
his shadowy, dark and deadly world. Rain is conflicted, being
pulled by the love of his son --- and possibly Midori --- and by
Delilah, the beautiful and exotic Israeli intelligence agent with
whom he is beginning to fall in love.


This is a triangle so sharp that inevitably it will draw blood. One
of the sharks it attracts is none other than Yamaoto, Rain's
longtime nemesis, who is watching Midori and using her as an
unwilling stalking horse to get to Rain. Dox, Rain's friend, is
there to help, his laid-back persona hiding his talent as a
dangerous and deadly sniper. Eisler keeps Rain on a knife's edge
throughout the book, deftly creating a situation whereby Rain's
personal life causes a distraction, and danger, within his
professional life. For THE LAST ASSASSIN, the best that he can hope
for, ultimately, is a draw.


Eisler is at his personal best here, creating a work that is both
almost instantly accessible to new readers and continuing the
evolution of a character who in a relatively short period has
become the objectification of the best of the thriller genre.
Highly recommended.


   








Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 30, 2010

The Last Assassin
by Barry Eisler

  • Publication Date: June 1, 2006
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult
  • ISBN-10: 0399153594
  • ISBN-13: 9780399153594