This is the second book that features killer-for-hire John Rain. And it is fantastic.
Continuing John Rain's story eighteen months after the conclusion of Rain Fall, Barry Eisler's Hard Rain finds Rain in Osaka, Japan, preparing to leave Japan and the many people that want to see him dead. But he is contacted by a friend/acquaintance in the Japanese FBI for a "favor." Naturally, this "favor" requires Rain's special talents of making a killing look like natural causes. And it means that he has to return to Tokyo and the danger that it poses. Including a possible threat to some of his friends (and he doesn't have many) and a recent love. However, when that "favor" has been granted, Rain finds himself in the midst of something that may not be conducive to his health and well-being.
In this novel, Eisler builds on his sights and sounds of Tokyo from his first book. It reads much like a travelogue, but with the subtext of killers walking the streets at odd hours and Japanese/American interests playing against one another. Tight writing, excellent characters, and a believable plot make Hard Rain an excellent read. This was book that I found extremely difficult to put down. And when I did, I sometimes found myself thinking about the characters and what the future held for them. Much like the Reacher character from Lee Child, Rain has become one of my favorites. Told mostly from the first person, you find that you care about this killer. He does have principles and you hope that he is able to exact some revenge from those that cross his path and harm his friends. But what really pulled me into Eisler's book is his descriptions of Tokyo. His writing makes it very easy to "see" Tokyo from Rain's eyes. And that adds a lot to the story.
For me, this was a quick and extremely enjoyable book.