Excerpt from Rain Fall by Barry Eisler, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Rain Fall

by Barry Eisler

Rain Fall by Barry Eisler X
Rain Fall by Barry Eisler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jul 2002, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2003, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


I had met Harry about five years earlier in Roppongi, where he'd found himself in a jam with a few drunken off-duty American Marines in a bar where I happened to be killing time before an appointment. Harry can come off as a bit of an oddball: sometimes his clothes are so ill fitting you might wonder if he stole them from a random clothesline, and he has a habit of staring unselfconsciously at anything that interests him. It was the staring that drew the attention of the jarheads, one of whom loudly threatened to stick those thick glasses up Harry's Jap ass if he didn't find somewhere else to look. Harry had immediately complied, but this apparent sign of weakness served only to encourage the Marines. When they followed Harry out, and I realized he hadn't even noticed what was going to happen, I left too. I have a problem with bullies--a legacy from my childhood.

Anyway, the jarheads got to mess with me instead of with Harry, and it didn't turn out the way they had planned. Harry was grateful.

It turned out that he had some useful skills. He was born in the United States of Japanese parents and grew up bilingual, spending summers with his grandparents outside of Tokyo. He went to college and graduate school in the States, earning a degree in applied mathematics and cryptography. In graduate school he got in trouble for hacking into school files that one of his cryptography professors had bragged he had hack-proofed. There was also some unpleasantness with the FBI, which had managed to trace probes of the nation's Savings & Loan Administration and other financial institutions back to Harry. Some of the honorable men from deep within America's National Security Agency learned of these hijinks and arranged for Harry to work at Fort Meade in exchange for purging his growing record of computer offenses.

Harry stayed with the NSA for a few years, getting his new employer into secure government and corporate computer systems all over the world and learning the blackest of the NSA's computer black arts along the way. He came back to Japan in the mid-nineties, where he took a job as a computer security consultant with one of the big global consulting outfits. Of course they did a thorough background check, but his clean record and the magic of an NSA top-secret security clearance blinded Harry's new corporate sponsors to what was most fundamental about the shy, boyish-looking thirtysomething they had just hired.

Which was that Harry was an inveterate hacker. He had grown bored at the NSA because, despite the technical challenges of the work, it was all sanctioned by the government. In his corporate position, by contrast, there were rules, standards of ethics, which he was supposed to follow. Harry never did security work on a system without leaving a back door that he could use whenever the mood arose. He hacked his own firm's files to uncover the vulnerabilities of its clients, which he then exploited. Harry had the skills of a locksmith and the heart of a burglar.

Since we met I've been teaching him the relatively above-board aspects of my craft. He's enough of a misfit to be in awe of the fact that I've befriended him, and has a bit of a crush on me as a result. The resulting loyalty is useful.

"What's going on?" I asked him after he had sat down.

"Two things. One I think you'll know about; the other, I'm not sure."

"I'm listening."

"First, it seems Kawamura had a fatal heart attack the same morning we were tailing him."

I took a sip of my chai latte. "I know. It happened right in front of me on the train. Hell of a thing."

Was he watching my face more closely than usual? "I saw the obituary in the Daily Yomiuri," he said. "A surviving daughter placed it. The funeral was yesterday."

"Aren't you a little young to be reading the obituaries, Harry?" I asked, eyeing him over the edge of the mug.

Copyright © 2002 by Barry Eisler. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Putnam.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    A hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Graybar Hotel
    by Curtis Dawkins
    We – those of us on the outside – are lucky. So very lucky. We get to experience life &#...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family caught between present and past.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Giveaway!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.