337 pages. Some black-and-white art.
This is the second book in the John Rain series. Rain - half Japanese, half American, trained to kill by U.S. Special Forces, Vietnam veteran, former mercenary - thought he had built the perfect life as an assassin in the service of Japanese politicians, only to see his world fall apart in surprise and betrayal (in the first novel).
Now, he is "dead" - his old acquaintance Tatsu of Japanese intelligence has arranged that favor - but there is a price to be paid for favors. Rain is a specialist in arranging for deaths that appear to be from natural causes, and there is still demand for his services...
Thus begins this noir tale of the assassin who only wishes to disappear, who is still haunted by memories of Midori (his lover, also the daughter of one of his victims), a man living a paranoid and lonely life, who is being pressured to kill in the name of a good cause.
Most of the action again takes place in Tokyo, wonderfully described, and many of the characters and factions from the first novel return - in what could almost be a simple continuation of the first novel, and yet is made fresh by new twists and by Rain's new state of mind. This book is again excellently written, with some very touching scenes.
This material is not for all readers, as the novel contains sexual scenes and explicit violence.
The plot includes material that could easily be converted into a crime/espionage campaign.
I liked this novel even better than the first in the series.
Note: Published in the U.K. under the title Blood from Blood.
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .