Zero Sum (John Rain, #9) by Barry Eisler

Zero Sum (John Rain, #9)

Returning to Tokyo in 1982 after a decade of mercenary work in the Philippines, a young John Rain learns that the killing business is now controlled by Victor, a half-Russian, half-Japanese sociopath who has ruthlessly eliminated all potential challengers. Victor gives Rain a choice: kill a government minister or die a grisly death. But the best route to the minister is through his gorgeous Italian wife, Maria, a route that puts Rain on a collisi...

Details Zero Sum (John Rain, #9)

TitleZero Sum (John Rain, #9)
Release DateJun 27th, 2017
PublisherThomas & Mercer
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Action

Reviews Zero Sum (John Rain, #9)

  • Larry H
    There are few authors out there today who can get my pulse racing like Barry Eisler, especially when it's one of his John Rain thrillers. These books are the perfect balance of excellent character development, crackling action, and heart-in-your-throat tension, and I honestly cannot get enough of them. Why these books aren't as well-known by the general public as some more-mediocre series is beyond me.I'm happy to report that Eisler's newest John...
  • Andrew Smith
    A chronological reading of John Rain’s life would have you coming to this book after A Graveyard of Memories and before A Clean Kill in Tokyo (aka Rain Fall). Graveyard was written as a prequel in 2014 and is set in 1972, it deals with his early life as a CIA bagman and his conversion to novice assassin. This is a second prequel novel and it’s set in 1982, where it picks up John’s life once more after he returned to Tokyo following ten ...
  • Michael
    Quite a satisfying espionage thriller. The hero of a series I am breaking into, John Rain, is a bit disreputable in his current occupation of a soldier-spy for hire. But he appreciates it when the people he has to kill are bad guys. He may engage in adultery to fulfill his love life, but his desire burns true. In the face of monstrous enemies with nefarious plans for more and more power, Rain gains our permission to grow the body count, dodge dea...
  • Sandy
    I’ve read all the John Rain books & “Graveyard of Memories” remains one of my favourite books of the last few years. Like that one, this features an older, wiser Rain reliving an episode from the beginning of his career as a hitman. It’s 1982 & Rain has just returned to Tokyo looking for work. When he gets in touch with old contact & friend Miyamoto, it’s immediately clear things have changed. Miyamoto is now an important man in the gov...
  • Skip
    Assassin John Rain is back in Tokyo, after spending many years hiding out in the Philippines. However, the landscape has changed and his services are not needed as a half Japanese-half Russian sociopath named Victor, has a monopoly on local killings. John asks for an introduction because he needs work, and has to earn his way into Victor's good graces at his introductory meeting. He is given an assignment to kill a member of the Japanese Diet or ...
  • Ed
    In his early thirties, freelance assassin John Rain returns to Tokyo after ten years in the Philippines. He inadvertently becomes involved with Victor, a Russian/Japanese thug with a monopoly on contract killing in Tokyo. Rain quickly understands he needs to eliminate Victor but his plan gets complicated by possible CIA involvement in the future direction of post war Japan. Unfortunately for me, Rain's long detailed monologues and drawn out trade...
  • Glen
    It's 1982, and John Rain is back in Tokyo after a decade fighting in various secret wars. He tries to get back into the only game he knows, murder for hire.Unfortunately for him, there is now a monopoly in that field, owned by a half-Russian thug named Victor. (A nod to Tom Woods's Victor the Russian Assassin series?) Victor is causing problems for the whole country. Rain infiltrates his organization, and of course, meets a beautiful woman.Very g...
  • Jon
    I am so pumped for The Killer Collective, a John Rain mash up with other Eisler characters. I then realized I had never read #9. This is a slight story, a padded out short story that is set in the past. Not bad, but little New or original.
  • Nancy Cook Lauer
    If you want a fast-paced, easy-reading, fairly mindless book filled with lots of violence and leavened with a little sex, this is for you. A hired killer is hunting people in Tokyo, some of whom are hunting him too. I really enjoyed what seem to be well-researched and realistic depictions of locale and characters.
  • Michael Hicks
    After a stand-alone title (The God's Eye View) and the introduction of new series heroine (Livia Lone), Barry Eisler returns with a new John Rain thriller, his ninth, a prequel title that picks up a decade after Graveyard of Memories. This time around, Rain is tasked with eliminating a Japanese politician after taking a job from Victor, a Russian crime boss who has been displacing the Yakuza. Why Victor wants the politician dead and who he answer...
  • Nancy
    This was a thrill ride. Lots of insight into the strategy aspect of action.
  • David Highton
    A new Rain novel, set early in his assassin career, where he is less experienced, prone to self-doubt and not as confident as in the novels set later. Still, he gets the job done.
  • Tim
    I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley to read and reviewZERO SUM by Barry Eisler is the 9th book in the John Rain Series, and John has returned to Tokyo and has met up with a close friend from the past and offers to help his friend out with a named Victor, an alleged son of a Soviet general and native Japanese mother who has been eliminating employees after threatening to do so at his friend’s firm at an alarming r...
  • Debra
    4.5 starsI was so excited when I saw that there was going to be another book in the John Rain series. I was first introduced to Barry Eisler's John Rain series years ago through a site called bzzagent. I was selected to read a book and give my honest opinion. That book was the 4th in the series (Killing Rain now known as Redemption Games). I was hooked!!! I quickly read the first three books in the series and have been a Barry Eisler (and John Ra...
  • Sean
    Received from Netgalley for honest review.This is the first one I have read from Barry Eisler in his John Rain series. I know it is way out of sequence,but this was a very good start to get started with.The writing was crisp and really well thought out and all the characters were really very good.I like John Rain and I will read some more of this series.Really enjoyable read and well worth a go.
  • Donna Backshall
    At this point, I feel like I may finally know enough about John Rain, probably more than he is supposed to know about himself. But that doesn't mean I won't miss that terribly flawed, yet admirable, man. He has gotten into my head and under my skin.
  • Jeanie
    I had outmaneuvered the son of the most powerful yakuza in Tokyo, a guy who had earned the sobriquet "Mad Dog", picking off his soldiers one by one as they tried to hunt me down. I had spent a lifetime learning and implementing the lessons of guerilla warfare-first, as a half-breed kid bullied in Japan and in the working-class American town my mother brought me to after my father had died; then in Vietnam; and then again most recently, in the Phi...
  • James
    Decent thriller, too much filler. Lots of unnecessary dialogue and conjecture, especially between Rain and Tatsu. Despite the criticism above, this book deserves 4 stars from me for two reasons: First, Eisler's reminder and use of the Lockheed bribery scandal to remind readers that there are very few corporate (as opposed to individual) good guys in the world, and second for the head fake he may or may not have given jaded readers with the Maria ...
  • woody
    So these John Rain flashbacks need to go away. I gave A Graveyard of Memories a pass based on the previous books in the series, but Zero Sum was too much to take for me.
  • Joyce
    This isn't really the 9th John Rain book chronologically but the second. (I had listened to the others and now I've got the first, which I somehow missed, waiting for me.) Those who read--or listened to--the series from 2002 on know that Rain is a half-Japanese half-American assassin. So an anti-hero by profession but one who reconsiders every thought and deed and one with whom we can readily sympathize. He's a good guy, despite his day job, and ...
  • Denise
    In the autumn of 1982 John Rain returns to Tokyo in need of a job after ten years of mercenary work in the Philippines. Through enquiries with an old contact he learns that in his absence, a half-Russian ex-soldier named Victor has bulldozed his way into a monopoly on the assassination business in the country by killing all who would oppose him. If Rain wants back in the business in Japan without being under Victor's thumb, the only choice is to ...
  • David C Ward
    Does anyone actually like to read extremely detailed descriptions of sex and violence? It's the atmospherics around both that are interesting, not the acts themselves. This book is better when Eisler deals with issues of mindfulness, disguise, role playing, and plot analysis, in the culture of Japan. The geopolitics also isn't bad. But the novel is overweighted by the descriptions of sex and violence which are antithetical to the larger point. Al...
  • David Berkowitz
    Zero Sum is the ninth entry in Eisler's John Rain series. I am not positive I have read them all, but I'm sure I have read at least seven. I think it was a disservice to long time fans to rename some of the earlier volumes. But that has nothing to do with this book. This is another flashback to a young John Rain. Set in the 1980s, Rain has returned to Japan after a decade in the Philippines and he is looking for work. Rain quickly finds himself a...
  • Wayne
    The best John Rain novel that I have read. This story goes back in time to 1982 in Tokyo, 10 years after his time in the Philippines. Barry Eisler, through the use of excellent prose, has created a thriller involving realistic characters and exciting Japanese locales. Unlike novels with characters like James Bond and Jack Reacher, Eisler creates situations that are believable and filled with political reality.John Rain is the perfect assassin. "T...
  • Todd Simpson
    Absolutely Brilliant. This is the ninth Barry Eisler book in the John Rain series, and I have loved every one of them. I quite enjoyed that this story takes us back to John Rain’s earlier years, when he still perfecting his craft as a paid assassin. His background in the CIA, and his military days in the Vietnam War, not to mention his martial arts expertise, make him the perfect killing machine. Mind you he’s quite methodical and unassuming,...
  • Viccy
    This covers a young John Rain, who has returned to Japan after fighting in an insurrection in the Philippines in the 1970s. His tour of duty in Vietnam taught him a lot about killing and his work with the CIA in Tokyo made it necessary to flee Japan, Now, Rain-san meets with his friend, Miyamoto, who tells him all contract killing is now done through Victor, a half-Russian, half-Japanese sociopath. When Rain meets with Victor, he is given a new c...
  • Ian Heap
    Great read!!. Good pre-Rain Fall story, and it shows the development of Rains tactical awareness getting better compared to the previous novel. He's not so much gung-ho, well, at least not when it come down to the enemy.. Women though..? I don't know what Barry was drinking but some of the naughty scenes were very naughty indeed!! I kept imagining Monica Belluci..... Moving on..If you have read any of the Rain novels read this one, it provides so...
  • William
    audio narrated by Barry Eislerthis the 2nd prequel and much better than "Graveyard of Memories". Eisler does a good job on the narration, the story is so-so, but Eisler over writes the educational level of John Rain. In both prequels Rain's dialogue is represented as an educated person, yet he dropped out of high school, joined the army before he was 17 and ended up in a special infantry group. I also joined the army at 17, a few years before Rai...
  • Mike
    John Rain is back in this prequel to the series and his fans will be more than satisfied with the result. Rain, in his late 20's, returns to Japan after his stint in the Special Forces in Vietnam and The Philippines and we get to meet some of his associates who stay with him into the later books. In this one, he has the trade craft for sure, but has not yet developed the sang froid and paranoia that makes him so interesting in the later stories. ...