Thriller Barry Eisler The Last Assassin

ISBN 13: 9780141032658

The Last Assassin

 
9780141032658: The Last Assassin

When freelance assassin John Rain learns that his former lover has been raising their child in New York, he senses a chance for reconciliation, perhaps even redemption. But Midori is being watched by Rain's enemies, and Rain's sudden appearance puts mother and child in mortal danger.

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From the Author:

Introduction to the New Edition

Most of the books I write seem to flow from a "what if" question. "What if a lone-wolf killer fell in love with the daughter of one of his targets, and had to protect her from his employers while concealing from her the truth of what he's done?" (A Clean Kill in Tokyo). "What if elements of the CIA brought in a contractor to take out a terrorist financier... who turned out to be protected by other elements of the CIA, and now the contractor is caught in the middle?" (Redemption Games). That sort of thing.

The "what if" question I found myself toying with as I set about writing Extremis was different. It was less about the operational, and more about the personal. That is, "What if a contract killer's Mossad lover became convinced the killer was going to leave her for an old flame? Would she be able to manage her insecurity, jealousy, and other unfamiliar emotions, or would she wind up using her professional talents for extremely personal reasons? (I think you can guess the answer...) I found myself intrigued by the possibility of putting characters with extraordinarily deadly skills onto unfamiliar emotional terrain, and seeing how they would react. If a normal person gets jealous, for example, there's only so much he can (or likely will) do. But if a trained killer or intelligence operative gets caught up in the grip of emotional tunnel vision, you can get a whole different range of outcomes. Hmmm...

So the basis for Extremis became an intensely personal situation that bleeds over into the professional lives of my cast of killers -- the reverse of what I usually work with, in fact, which is the professional bleeding over into the personal. We have Rain beset by the possibilities of newly discovered fatherhood, by the complications of the mother's knowledge of Rain's complicity in her father's death; by the dangers posed by Delilah's jealousy; and by the weight of the impending death of one Rain's closest friends and allies. I love moving Rain around the globe in these stories, and this was an opportunity to place him on an altogether different kind of dangerous ground.

There are a lot of things I love about this book. I'll mention just two I'm particularly proud of. The first is the sumo sequence in Wajima, Japan. Pitting Rain and Dox against two yakuza sumo assassins resulted in one of the most edge-of-your-seat and laugh-out-loud action sequences I've ever done. And—no spoilers—there's another scene that quite a few people have told me moved them to tears. It's not easy to get people to care so much about imaginary characters that they'll cry over them, and in Extremis I managed to turn the trick.

"Imaginary," I can hear Dox say with a snort. "We'll see who's imaginary, amigo."

Best not to argue with the man. I advise just reading the book and making up your own mind.

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.

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