The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler [6/10]

The John Rain thriller series, starring a hit man with independent notions, is notable for kinetic actions scenes and quality writing. I read maybe the first half dozen of the series, then dropped out; it’s hard to sustain a reader’s interest in a hit man, methinks. But something drew me back to the tenth, just released, “The Killer Collective.” And I’m glad I did for it reminds me of those very same qualities. This thriller is bursting at the seams with action and intrigue and should only take a reader an evening to power through. It has to be said that Eisler’s plot premise – John Rain is offered, and declines to accept, a hit contract on Livia Lone (Eisler has written three thrillers starring her), a sex crimes detective dangerously close to catching high-powered individuals – seems to be for fans only. For not only do Rain and Lone team up here, they also rope in five other hero-warriors, all of whom have appeared in earlier series books (and one of whom, Ben Leven, has two of his own books), so that by the end of the book, the plot seesaws between too many characters to really care about. A slick, intelligent read, if a little tired.

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