A stylish thriller debut introducing John Rain--a Japanese-American freelance assassin and warrior for the 21st century.
Born of an American mother and a Japanese father, John Rain is a businessman based in Tokyo, living a life of meticulously planned anonymity. There are few who know who he is or what he does. Trained by the U.S. Special Forces and a veteran of Vietnam, he is a cool, self-contained loner--and he has built a steady business over the past twenty-five years specializing in death by "natural causes."
After the assassination of a government official in a crowded subway car, Rain's carefully ordered world comes under siege. Agents within and without the international intelligence communities have been circling him for some time and, having connected him to the subway incident, may now have the scent they have been seeking. At the same time, Rain is drawn outside his private world by an alluring jazz pianist, the dead man's daughter, who is the key to the very secrets her father was trying to reveal when he died.
With two exceptions, I have depicted the Tokyo in this book as accurately as I could. Tokyoites familiar with Shibuya will know that there is no Higashimura fruit store midway up Dogenzaka. The real fruit store is at the bottom of the street, closer to the station. And seekers after Bar Satoh in Omotesando, although they will come across a number of fine whiskey bars in the area, will find Satoh-san's establishment only in Miyakojima-ku, Osaka. It is the best whiskey bar in Japan and worth the trip.
In the changing of the times, they were like autumn lightning, a thing out of season, an empty promise of rain that would fall unheeded on fields already bare.
--Shosaburo Abe, on the Meiji-era samurai
Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
--But who is that on the other side of you?
--T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Harry cut through the morning rush-hour crowd like a shark fin through water. I was following from twenty meters back on the opposite side of the street, sweating with everyone else in the unseasonable October Tokyo heat, and I couldn't help admiring how well the kid had learned what I'd taught him. He was like liquid the way he slipped through a space just before it closed, or drifted to the left to avoid an ...
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Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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