- Author Tract: For the first six books, Eisler thoroughly averted this. But it finally set in with the Ben Treven books which some claim have come off as an overly anvilicious critique of the American military and intelligence community. This trend seeped into "The Detachment", with some reviewers believing it dragged down the pacing at times but stopped with "Graveyard Of Memories" the prequel novel set in the 1970's.
- Critical Research Failure: Barry Eisler does do the research, but he also has a list on his website of mistakes that readers have noticed.
- Executive Meddling: The first four novels had Publisher Chosen Titles based on rain-related puns. Then the books had titles based around the word 'assassin' whether or not they fit what was in the book. However, Eisler has since re-released the books with new names.
- Growing the Beard: While the first two books are not bad by any means, Winner Take All introduces Dox and Delilah, who serve as excellent foils to Rain, as well as expanding the series in both geographic and narrative scope.
- Info Dump: Done several times in early books, the most prominent of which is probably Rain's multiple-page description of an SDR (surveillance detection route.) These descriptions are significantly toned down in later books.
- Manipulative Bastard: Colonel Horton, especially apparent with his interactions involving Treven and Larson who he manages to wrap around his finger. Although less so when he tries to screw over Rain who ultimately survives his attempt at betrayal.
- Sequelitis: The Killer Ascendant. Less focused on the espionage/thriller aspects of the series compared to other entries and many reviewers thought the focus on John Rain's relationship with Midori was poorly executed.
YMMV / John Rain