Review: A Clean Kill in Tokyo (John Rain #1) by Barry Eisler

A Clean Kill in Tokyo - Barry Eisler

My first Barry Eisler book and it won't be my last.  I began A Clean Kill in Tokyo on audio and finished it on my Kindle.  Mr Eisler couldn't talk fast enough!

What I liked:  While the John Rain character could be any of a number of similar characters, Mr. Eisler makes him more interesting with his heritage.  Especially as this first of the series takes place in Japan.

I could actually feel myself getting lost in Mr. Eisler's descriptions.  I've never actually been in Japan except the airport but I spent 3 years in Okinawa.  It has a very similar environment and the descriptions of the culture and the people seemed spot on.  

Rain is a good character to build on.  His diversity and his knowledge kept me glued to the pages.  I wasn't so sure about the secondary characters.  Rain drives the book.  His dual heritage makes him more interesting and the problems he faces and has faced due to it, were intriguing to me.  I learned a lot about the Japanese take on "half-bloods".  It wasn't derogatory, so much as a different way of seeing things.

The plot line was also a bit different from other things I've read.  It made me question many things I thought I knew about Japanese culture and crime.  Another thing I really enjoyed was Mr. Eisler does the narration himself.  I was leery at first but he does a more than credible job, especially with Rain's voice.  Some authors should never narrate, Mr. Eisler isn't one of them!

What I didn't like:  Parts of A Clean Kill in Tokyo moved a bit slowly but with a first in a series, that's not unusual.  You need the basis for the character.

Overall, not at the top of my list for best first in a series but good enough to continue with the series.  Now, if I can only find the time!!

A Clean Kill in Tokyo is available at B & N in paperback for $9.27.  At Amazon, the paperback is $9.30 and the Kindle edition is $6.83