[By Nic Lindh on Friday, 24 September 2004]
Barry Eisler’s Hard Rain is the sequel to Rain Fall, and surpasses its very good predecessor in every way–Eisler’s writing is tighter, the plot more mature, and the abundant descriptions of Tokyo and Japanese culture even more engrossing.
Hard Rain continues the tale of John Rain, now retired as killer-for-hire, as he is more or less willingly manipulated into helping Tatsu, a Japanese cop whose life’s quest is to fight the endemic corruption in Japanese society.
Unusually for this kind of thriller, Hard Rain is not plot-driven, instead focusing more on John Rain’s character. Rain is a man who has chosen a life devoid of the things most of us take for granted, such as friends and family, and is now growing older and beginning to second-guess himself. Which is not to say that the novel is anything but taut, lean, and laden with some exceptional pulse-quickening scenes.