Barry Eisler’s John Rain novels are the “Tiffany” of assassin-oriented, suspense thrillers. The recently released Graveyard of Memories is a prequel to the other novels in the John Rain series. At the story’s outset, Rain, 20 years old and fresh from Vietnam, is a courier for the CIA. He suddenly finds himself threatened on all sides: he must survive the yakuza (the Japanese mob) and other imminent sources of danger. He falls in love with Sayaka, a beautiful wheelchair-bound young woman. Balancing love and the horror of what he must do to survive, John learns his trade craft to become a master assassin. We witness his unfolding maturity as he attempts to stay alive without totally losing the sensitive, soulful and remorseful aspects of his persona.
Quoting from Graveyard of Memories: “I was too young to know that some memories don’t fade, or age, or die. That the weight of some of what we do accumulates, expands, coheres, solidifies. That life means coming to grips with that ever-present weight, learning how to carry it with you wherever you go.”