The Ultimate Guide To Reading John Rain Books In Order

Barry Eisler is the creator of the fictional character John Rain.

He is an assassin available for hire and he is present in 14 of Eisler’s novels. He specializes in ensuring that his victims appear to have died of natural causes. 

John Rain Series In Order

Barry Eisler, who was born in 1964 is a fantastic American novelist. He has written two successful thriller series.

The John Rain series was very successful and it marked the start of his full-time writing career. The first novel in the series was published in 2003 named Rain Fall.

John Rain is the reason that the novels became so successful as everyone was fascinated with this assassin who is only willing to serve a client on his own terms.

One of his main terms is that he won’t carry out any hits on women or children.

Rain is one of the top assassins in the world, and the novels leave people wanting to hear more about this fascinating character.

About The John Rain Series

About The John Rain Series

John Rain is a fantastic fictional character. He is a very successful assassin specializing in ensuring his assassinations look natural. 

The character of John Rain has a very fascinating backstory, as he is a Vietnam War veteran who has worked with the Special Forces and the CIA.

Rain has three rules when he accepts clients. He accepts no women or children, he doesn’t allow any secondary team to work on the same assassinations as him and he only carries out hits on principal actors only.

This means he won’t carry out any assassinations designed to send a message. 

The series follows this character on his interesting journey.


Rain Fall

This novel is the first in the series. In this novel, the audience is introduced to the Japanese-American assassin.

You learn his work ethos and his specialization which lies in ‘natural cause’ killings. 

In this novel we see Rain become falsely connected to a government official’s murder. In this novel, Rain sees some complications as he is attracted to the victim’s daughter.


  • A great introduction to the series.
  • Involves romance, mystery, and lots more.
  • This novel has been made into a movie.


  • Some of the storylines can be quite heavy.

Hard Rain

Hard Rain by Eisler, Barry [Signet,2004] (Mass Market Paperback)

In this novel we see John Rain trying to end his career as a hired assassin.

He goes underground and into hiding but he is later approached by a Japanese FBI agent named Tatsu. 

Tatsu approaches him because he is hoping to eliminate a sociopathic killer. This killer holds potential danger as he could change the balance of power in Japan.


  • You see some raw emotion in this novel.


  • The novel contains some very long descriptions.

Rain Storm

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In this novel, John Rain reluctantly takes an assignment with the CIA.

He has been set to take out an arms dealer who has been supplying arms to a Southeast Asian criminal group. 

This assignment isn’t a straightforward one as the job becomes compromised by a rival assassin.

It is also compromised for Rain by the dealer’s girlfriend and a few other obstacles.  


  • The storylines are very exciting in this story.


  • Some readers have found it to be quite long-winded.

Killing Rain

Killing Rain by Eisler, Barry (June 6, 2006) Mass Market Paperback

In Killing Rain, the Mossad is John Rain’s new employer. The Mossad wants Rain to assassinate Dox.

He is a dangerous man who has a sniper that is just as deadly as Rains.

He is hoping to use his talents to achieve something good as he is hoping to atone for some of the lives that he has already taken. 

Rain’s conscience gets in the way in this novel.

Delilah, the alluring Israeli agent who he was in love with comes back into his life and the readers are left wondering whether she’s there to help him or to finish him off!


  • The storyline is interwoven and very interesting.


  • Some readers find the descriptions too long-winded.

The Last Assassin

The Last Assassin

In this novel, John Rain learns some interesting information about his previous lover, Midori.

She has been raising his child in New York and he is hoping to be reconciled with them both.

He sees it as a potential chance for redemption, too. However, Midori is in danger because Rain’s enemies are keeping a close eye on his child and their mother. 

If Rain shows up suddenly, both mother and child may be in danger, so he has to figure out how to play it.


  • A very exciting story that is very raw.


  • Quite slow to get going.

Requiem For An Assassin

By Barry Eisler - Requiem For An Assassin (Reprint) (2008-05-21) [Mass Market Paperback]

In this novel you see John Rain experiencing blackmail. He has a choice to see his best friend murdered or carry out three assassinations.

Rain struggles with this moral dilemma and he is very reluctant to take either of these paths. 

Rain also worries that the whole thing is a setup, and he considers what this could mean for them both.

This novel takes you through lots of different settings, from Bali to Paris, New York to Vietnam. 


  • This is a very raw story.


  • Some of the descriptions are very long-winded.

Paris Is A Bitch

Paris Is A Bitch -- A Rain/Delilah Short Story (A John Rain Novel)

Delilah and John Rain attempt a romantic dinner for two on the Ile Saint Louis, but nothing is easy for this couple.

When Rain notices some men working outside the restaurant he realizes that he may have ended up mixing business and pleasure in a very dangerous way.


  • The setting of this story is fantastic as it is set in Paris.


  • The descriptions of Paris are very rambling at times.

The Detachment

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In this John Rain novel, you will see Rain up against his most dangerous enemy known as the Oligarchy. 

When the black ops veteran named Colonel Scott Horton finds Rain in Tokyo, he manages to convince Rain to take up an offer.

However, the opposition that he will face in this job makes it impossible to face alone.

This story will take you through Tokyo, Vienna, and Los Angeles, as well as many other places.


  • This is a very fun read, with great characterization. 


  • Can be rambly and long-winded at times.

Graveyard Of Memories

Graveyard of Memories (A John Rain Novel)

This John Rain novel is a great one that sees Rain in the crossfire of the yakuza clan.

He finds himself in a moral conundrum again as he attempts to make a deal with his handler. 

Rain spends much of the novel playing cat and mouse with the yakuza. He becomes entangled with a beautiful Korean woman who is wheelchair-bound.

The demands of his work come in the way of their love, so Rain will have to make a choice.


  • Received great reviews.


  • Similar story to others in the series.

Zero Sum

Zero Sum (A John Rain Novel)

The next book in the John Rain series is set in 1982 in Tokyo. It follows Rain’s conflicted heart and sees a battle between a master and an apprentice.

In this novel Rain has a choice: to kill a government minister or experience a very painful death.


  • This story is filled with raw emotion. 


  • If you haven’t read any other John Rain novels, you will struggle to understand everything.

The Killer Collective

The Killer Collective

In this novel, the FBI and Seattle police are looking into a case of international child pornography. Livia Lone is the target of a hit that goes very badly. 

Livia suspects that the FBI was behind the attack and she assembles a group to identify the threat. Rain, Delilah, and some black ops soldiers band together. 


  • This novel differs from the others in the series.


  • It is repetitive at times.

The Chaos Kind

The Chaos Kind

This is the final novel in the John Rain series. The Assistant US Attorney known as Alondra Diaz is in this story and she is determined to put Andrew Schrader in prison for his crimes against children. 

Schrader has some videos that put some very important members of the US national security state in a bad position.

A large number of people pull together to get their hands on the videos and what they represent. It is very possible that they will succeed on the side of good.


  • Fantastic reviews.


  • Some repetitive stories.

Final Thoughts

The John Rain series is a fantastic series that follows the assassin John Rain.

It follows this assassin as he struggles with some moral dilemmas and faces some romantic situations. 

This series is 14 novels in length and each one explores a new story that John Rain is the center of. The series is written by Barry Eisler and is very successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Novels Are In The John Rain Series?

There are 14 novels in the John Rain series. These novels all place John Rain at the center of the series, and they follow his experiences as a trained assassin.

Who Wrote The John Rain Series?

The John Rain series is written by Barry Eisler. He is the creator of the fictional character who is available for hire.

He battles with moral dilemmas throughout the series.

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Noah Burton