Hunted and finally cornered, John Rain faces his deadliest enemy ever: himself.
For Rain, “the most charismatic assassin since James Bond” (San Francisco Chronicle), getting out of the life was never going to be easy. But with a new identity in Paris, and the help of his lover, Mossad agent Delilah, he was beginning to leave the killing business behind.
And then he receives a message from rogue CIA operative Jim Hilger: We have your friend Dox. Do as we tell you, or he dies.
For a professional like Rain, the choice ought to be easy: do the job—a series of three hits—and save his friend and partner. But how does Rain know Hilger won’t kill Dox, anyway, once the assignment is complete? How does he know each of the hits isn’t simultaneously a setup for Rain himself? Most of all, how can he control the killing rage Hilger’s lethal game of extortion reignites inside him?
From the deceptively tranquil beaches of Bali, to the backstreets and boulevards of Paris, to the urban canyons of Silicon Valley and New York and the old killing fields of Vietnam, Rain must grapple with his age, his enemies, and, most of all, with the killer inside himself in a battle not even Rain can hope to survive intact.
The Killer Ascendant was previously published as Requiem for an Assassin, the sixth in the bestselling John Rain assassin series.
“Eisler is exactly my kind of writer and his deadly main character John Rain is exactly my kind of guy. Highly recommended.” —Lee Child
“With a mix of nifty black-ops scenes and moments of emotional explosiveness, Eisler proves himself to be as coolly efficient a writer as his protagonist is a killer.” —Entertainment Weekly
From the Author
Why have I changed the titles of the Rain books? Simply because I've never thought the titles were right for the stories. The right title matters--if only because the wrong one has the same effect as an inappropriate frame around an otherwise beautiful painting. Not only does the painting not look good in the wrong frame; it will sell for less, as well. And if you're the artist behind the painting, having to see it in the wrong frame, and having to live with the suboptimal commercial results, is aggravating.
The sad story of the original Rain titles began with the moniker Rain Fall for the first in the series. It was a silly play on the protagonist's name, and led to an unfortunate and unimaginative sequence of similar such meaningless, interchangeable titles: Hard Rain, Rain Storm, Killing Rain (the British titles were better, but still not right: Blood from Blood for #2; Choke Point for #3; One Last Kill for #4). By the fifth book, I was desperate for something different, and persuaded my publisher to go with The Last Assassin, instead. In general, I think The Last Assassin is a good title, but in fairness it really has nothing to do with the story in the fifth book beyond the fact that there's an assassin in it. But it was better than more of Rain This and Rain That. The good news is, the fifth book did very well indeed; the bad news is, the book's success persuaded my publisher that assassin was a magic word and that what we needed now was to use the word assassin in every title. And so my publisher told me that although they didn't care for my proposed title for the sixth book--The Killer Ascendant--they were pleased to have come up with something far better. The sixth book, they told me proudly, would be known as The Quiet Assassin.
I tried to explain that while not quite as redundant as, say, The Deadly Assassin or The Lethal Assassin, a title suggesting an assassin might be notable for his quietness was at best uninteresting (as opposed to, say, Margret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, which immediately engages the mind because of the connection of two seemingly contradictory qualities). The publisher was adamant. I told them that if they really were hell-bent on using assassin in a title that otherwise had nothing to do with the book, couldn't we at least call the book The Da Vinci Assassin, or The Sudoku Assassin? In the end, we compromised on Requiem for an Assassin, a title I think would be good for some other book but is unrelated to the one I wrote--beyond, again, the bare fact of the presence of an assassin in the story.
Now that I have my rights back and no longer have to make ridiculous compromises about these matters, I've given the books the titles I always wanted them to have--titles that actually have something to do with the stories, that capture some essential aspect of the stories, and that act as both vessel and amplifier for what's most meaningful in the stories. For me, it's like seeing these books for the first time in the frames they always deserved. It's exciting, satisfying, and even liberating. Have a look yourself and I hope you'll enjoy them.