If Quentin Tarantino ever got to take a crack at the James Bond franchise as he's been angling to do, chances are the resulting film would resemble one of Barry Eisler's novels about Japanese-American CIA freelancer John Rain. Colorful dialogue far outweighs action -- but when violence does erupt, it's furious and creative. In the topically engrossing Rain Storm, the expert assassin gets caught in a power struggle between rival CIA factions. Despite an almost comical tendency to overprepare for every possible contingency, Rain is still a ruthlessly creative killer and -- when he encounters an Israeli Mata Hari -- a master of verbal seduction. Rain's combination of quirks and proficiency is the stuff great characters are made of.