No matter how hard this assassin tries to get out, they pull him back in.
John Rain is a half-American, half-Japanese hit man (Rain Fall, 2002), but there’s little reason to know anything about him, not even his name, as he so completely fulfills the requirements of his particular type. Because he’s a Hit Man, we know that he experienced violence at a young age (serving in Vietnam) and later went on his own as a freelance killer With Scruples, of course (no women, no children, and no secondary victims, only the principal). He leads what seems to be a pretty nice life in Japan: luxury high-rise apartment, plenty of disposable cash, a flexible work schedule that leaves him oodles of time to hang out in classy jazz joints and dream about retiring to Brazil. But, naturally, real life intrudes on John’s idyll, this time in the form of Tatsu, a policeman friend who wants some help (he’ll pay, of course) investigating a man who’s running a circuit of illegal underground fights (no real suspense on whether martial arts master John will eventually be called upon to take part in one of those fights). At the same time, the CIA, which still has a grudge with John from his previous outing, approaches him about helping with a program charmingly called Crepuscular, which involves taking a high-speed detour around the corruption grinding the Japanese economy to a halt by taking out impediments to reform. It’s unfortunate that Eisler has to introduce a story, actually, because there’s really nothing to the novel but Rain. Hard-boiled down to the ice-cold core of his survival-oriented soul, he’s not much more than a machine, but expertly engineered at that, and fascinating to watch in action. He’ll likely develop a decent-sized and loyal following with this series.
Slick, moody stuff, with a plot that slips out of memory even as the pages turn.