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Graveyard of Memories (A John Rain Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Barry Eisler
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

What makes a legendary assassin? For John Rain, it was the lessons of love, war, and betrayal he learned in Tokyo in 1972.

Fresh from the killing fields of Southeast Asia, Rain works as a bagman under the watchful eye of his CIA handler, delivering cash to corrupt elements of the Japanese government. But when a delivery goes violently wrong, Rain finds himself in the crosshairs of Japan’s most powerful yakuza clan. To survive, Rain strikes a desperate deal with his handler: take out a high-profile target in the Japanese government in exchange for the intel he needs to eliminate his would-be executioners.

As Rain plays cat and mouse with the yakuza and struggles to learn his new role as contract killer, he also becomes entangled with Sayaka, a tough, beautiful ethnic Korean woman confined to a wheelchair. But the demands of his dark work are at odds with the longings of his heart—and with Sayaka’s life in the balance, Rain will have to make a terrible choice.

Books In This Series (8 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Description

    About the Author

    Bestselling and award-winning author Barry Eisler writes black ops thrillers with the assurance of one who knows: for three years he held a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. Afterward, he became a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s thrillers have earned numerous distinctions, including the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year. He’s been on numerous “Best Of” lists, and his work—including the #1 bestseller The Detachment—has been translated into nearly twenty languages. When not writing novels, he blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 3912 KB
    • Print Length: 345 pages
    • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (11 Feb. 2014)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,858 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    A Note On The New Titles

    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.


    Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. To learn more, please visit Or Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The making of an assassin - John Rain 11 Feb. 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition
    First things first: do you need to buy this book? If you have read and enjoyed some of the previous John Rain adventures
    then you can simply hit purchase, sit back and enjoy a John Rain as you have never seen before. If you are new to the
    books or still in doubt, please, keep reading.

    John Rain is a killer, an assassin. He is precise, methodical, highly trained and lethal in hand to hand combat, and experienced in all things related to surveillance. But John Rain is also a man, emotional at times and not strange to love and suffering. In the previous books we had a clear glimpse of Rain's capabilities and flows, but the question of how he became the man he is now still remained.

    Graveyard of memories is the link between Rain's past and present. It portrays a young, impulsive an inexperienced John when he was only 20, immediately after his experience in Vietnam. At this time he is working as a bagman for the CIA in Tokyo. During one of the exchanges he gets attacked by a group of Yakuza and he kills one of the thugs. This, unknowingly to John, is the first step of a long path full of death that will make him the hitman we know and love (somehow).

    The plot is typical Eisler style: full of twists and turns, violence and love that keep the reader riveted to the book until it is all over.
    Eisler delves inside the past of John Rain, his relationship with parents, his traumas for the atrocities of the war that make him more at ease with violence than with talking to women.

    At the same time, as in all Eisler's books, the city of Tokyo and Japanese culture are equally protagonist of the story. John Rain's appreciation for some of the idiosyncrasies of Japan are clearly the result of Eisler's love for this culture.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Having read all of Barry Eisler's previous novels (including the less that stellar Treven series) and most of his short stories I would consider myself a fan. As with most authors some of his books are better than others, with the earlier Rain novels generally being stronger than the more recent efforts in my opinion. Graveyard of Memories continues that pattern by not being a bad effort but also not being amongst Eisler's better works.

    It has some obvious strengths, with its portrayal of 70's Tokyo being one of them. The book gives the reader a genuine feel for the city during that period of rapid economic growth just prior to the 80's boom. The action is also up to the usual high standards we expect of Eisler. It was also intriguing to meet the young, callow, ill-disciplined John Rain in his pre-uber-cool-assassin days and to get a better understanding of where he came from.

    Where the books falls down however, is in the plot, which I found both overly convoluted and not particularly involving. I have no problem with twisting, complex plots, full of betrayals and intrigue. I just prefer the convolutions to feel less forced than they do here. As for the lack of emotional involvement, whilst the danger Rain finds himself in feels genuine the fact that this is prequel to the earlier books he features in leave no doubt that he will survive and we never really learn enough about any of the other characters, good or bad, to care much about their eventual fates. Without an emotional involvement in the story as it unfolds I remained curiously detached throughout and found it easy to put the book down during even the most exciting passages.

    Even the token love interest sub-plot that Eisler throws in failed to generate any additional sense of genuine jeopardy.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! 15 April 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Great fiction, well researched, couldn't put tablet down, had to read to end, can't wait to read rest of series.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 3 April 2014
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    Later books in the John Rain series have not really been to my tastes. This is an easy book to recommend. Well written with a believable fallible "hero" who wouldn't need a zimmer frame.
    Best book by Barry Eisler in some time - just buy it.
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    5.0 out of 5 stars The Evolution of John Rain! 21 Feb. 2015
    Format:Kindle Edition
    What a read! "Graveyard of Memories" was just my second Barry Eisler Book after " A Clean Kill in Tokyo" But it certainly won't be my last! Again Eisler shows his ability to create suspision by combining a great story with some well placed action scenes and a formidable protagonist. John Rain is really someone, you can quite easily identify with, wich is somewhat remarkable considering he is an outlaw sssassin! This origin story only adds to that by showing us how Rain became the man, we first met 30 years later. To the usual amount of conspiracy, treason and intrigue, Eisler adds a truely unique love story. That said means something because it comes from me, a guy who is often annoyed by that kind of romance in this particular genre. It often feels forced to me, like some authors are struggling to put a love story in their peace because they think it would belong in such a novel. However this one feels different. I can not really explain it but it just feels real and so becomes one of two things, which are really setting the book above many other outings of this genre. The second thing is watching Rain learning his tradecraft step by step. Eisler does a great job by delivering Rain frome someone with unique but raw skills in someone, one can easily imagine will one day become the world's most gifted contract killer!

    So again, well done Mr. Eisler! I am really looking forward to any future Rain novels! But first, I will catch up with your other six.
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