Hard Rain, Eisler's second John Rain novel, more than fulfills the promise of the first. Rainhalf-Japanese, half-American, raised in both countries but at home in neitheris trying to leave his life as a freelance assassin. After killing a CIA officer who hunted him halfway around the globe, Rain goes underground, hoping to find the peace that has eluded him. But then Tatsu, his old nemesis from the Japanese FBI, comes to him with one last job: to find and eliminate a killer at large, a creature with neither compassion nor compunction, whose activities could tip the balance of power in Japan's corrupt politics and who seems to have designs on Rain's few friends. To protect them, Rain will have to pursue his most dangerous quarry yet through the crosshairs of the CIA and the Japanese mafia, where the differences between friend and foe and truth and deceit are as murky as the rain-slicked streets of Tokyo.
Once you get past the overall irony of the situation, you realize that killing a guy in the middle of his own health club has a lot to recommend it.
The target was a yakuza, an iron freak named Ishihara who worked out every day in a gym he owned in Roppongi, one of Tokyo's entertainment districts. Tatsu had told me the hit had to look like natural causes, like they always do, so I was glad to be working in a venue where it was far from unthinkable that someone might keel over from a fatal aneurysm induced by exertion, or suffer an unlucky fall onto a steel bar, or undergo some other tragic mishap while using one of the complicated exercise machines.
One of these eventualities might even be immortalized in the warnings corporate lawyers would insist on placing on the next generation of exercise equipment, to notify the public of yet another unnatural use for which the machine was not intended and for which the manufacturer would have to remain blameless. Over the ...
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