John Rain has gone to ground. He's had enough of doing people's dirty work for them. He's had his fill of killing. Yet when his old nemesis tracks him down, he is forced to do his bidding. Powerful, secretive elements threaten to bring down the government - and Rain must stop them the only way he knows how. Getting involved will expose his few friends and contacts to extreme danger. But no one knows this business like John Rain, and no one would underestimate a man protecting all he holds dear...
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Barry Eisler's half-breed freelance assassin John Rain returns to Tokyo for a second outing in Hard Rain, the sequel to Eisler's stunning 2002 debut, Rain Fall. Once again Rain is working with, or at least parallel to, Tatsu, a wily veteran of Japan's FBI equivalent, who aims to cleanse the Japanese government of its systemic corruption. To further this goal, he's persuaded the ever-cautious Rain to take out Murakami, a brutal gangster and hitman who specializes in making his killings look like suicide, a specialty Rain thought was his alone. Liquidating the dangerous and elusive Murakami proves to be a difficult task, however, one that leads to personal loss for Rain, and sets the plot on course for a climax that hits with the power of a well-delivered roundhouse kick.
Eisler builds on Rain's self-enforced isolation and loneliness as he expertly shows the reader Tokyo as channeled by Chandler, transforming the burgeoning metropolis into a noir catacomb of dimly lit hostess bars, scheming bureaucrats, shadowy intelligence agents, and outlaw martial arts dojos where thugged-up yakuza train for illicit death matches.
While the plot becomes complicated toward the novel's conclusion, Rain is a refreshing and complex character whom readers will want to see return for another instalment. If you've a yen for a thriller that mixes suspense, intrigue, and action with a Japanese flavour and a hardboiled American attitude, Eisler's Hard Rain is an excellent choice. --Benjamin Reese, Amazon.comReview:
'A gripping, coherent thriller. Rain is a classic character' -- Times
'An adrenaline-soaked thriller ... Eisler knows how to keep the pages turning' -- Observer
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