Thursday, October 4, 2007

Getting to know John Rain

I’ve written before about one of my fictional heroes, Jack Reacher. Whilst he reigns supreme, I have come to know another interesting character over the last two years. Barry Eisler has invented the most charismatic, interesting assassin since Ian Fleming gave us James Bond. John Rain is a Japanese-American struggling with his own humanity and his contradictory persona of an iceman. I have followed John Rain through six books now, starting with Rain Fall and going on to a book I finished yesterday, Requiem for an Assassin. Rain's complex character builds through the series, and Eisler takes us on journeys through, what has become for me, a typical itinerary: Singapore, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco. Eisler himself has a very interesting background. He worked for the CIA and lived in Japan, where he earned a black belt in Judo. I understand the books have just been optioned for film by Barry Osborne, who worked with Peter Jackson on Lord of the Rings. John Rain is a fascinating amalgam of hot and cold, Asian and Caucasian, man and assassin. Ideal airplane fodder.