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Midnight Rain

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Do you remember the exact moment your childhood ended?

1979. Jimmy Carter is elected America's 39th President. New York police apprehend the "Son of Sam," and the King of Rock n' Roll has permanently left the building. In a town called Midnight, North Carolina, twelve-year-old Kyle Mackey couldn't care less about any of that. He has his own problems to deal with, as he vent
Kindle Edition, 297 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Crossroad Press & Macabre Ink Digital (first published June 2004)
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(showing 1-30)
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This was a coming of age tale that was compared to Boy's Life on the cover. That's a bold statement.

A young boy, Kyle, witnesses a murder. ( Very Boy's Life-ish so far.) " Do you remember the exact moment when your childhood ended? I do."

So begins the mystery and the rain. This is a fine tale of growing up the hard way. Kyle is discovering that all is not what it seems to be. Not the sheriff, not his mother, and not even his older brother, Dan. He's trying to do the right thing, but that isn't
Jon Recluse
May 06, 2012 Jon Recluse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A dark coming of age story that fans of McCammon's Boy's Life will enjoy without feeling like they've read it all before, as Newman's voice is uniquely his own. This is my first encounter with this author, and I look forward to reading more by him.
Trev Twinem
Feb 03, 2014 Trev Twinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where do I begin to talk about a book that I thought was magnificent and that brought with it such colourful and personal memories of childhood. For a short time I rode with Kyle Mackey on this trusty bike "Burner" (mum and dad would not allow him a dog) and I felt his pain as the world of a young 12 year old boy collapsed and all his dearest and trusted friends betrayed him...where does a young mind go when trust and truth no longer exist?
One day in August of 77 Kyle Mackey witnessed an event t
Ken McKinley
Apr 02, 2016 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kyle is your typical twelve-year-old growing up in the late 1970s. His best friend is his bicycle, which he's named Burner, and he enjoys hanging out in his secret place, an old, deserted hermit's shack in the middle woods in Midnight, North Carolina. On a rainy night, he witnesses the murder of a young girl by the local sheriff in his secret place and his life will never be the same again. All alone with his fears, he doesn't know who he can turn to. His brother is heading to college on a baske ...more
11811 (Eleven)
Jul 17, 2014 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll try to review this without mentioning Boy's Life. Dammit!

I couldn't help it. It's an easy comparison. The Body and Summer of Night also come to mind. Midnight Rain was less a horror novel and more of a coming of age story blended with mystery/crime elements. All in all, very well done and the tension really builds near the end. "Gripping" is a word I'll use for the last 15%.

I also want to note that I believe this is one of the first books published by the author (2004.) I've read three of h
Sep 07, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it
A very emotionally compelling read of a 12 year-old boy who witnesses a murder in his small hometown. Comparisons have been made with McCammon's BOY'S LIFE, but this story has a feel all of its own. The repercussions and hidden things that come to light in the aftermath of this tragedy makes for a gripping tale, leaving you wondering just where the ride will take you next. Newman has a voice all of his own, and I anticipate reading more from him.

Glenn Rolfe
May 27, 2016 Glenn Rolfe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback-lbhc
James Newman wrote this book a while ago. Midnight Rain. You may have heard of it. It was part of the amazing Leisure Books run. I missed it upon its initial release. To be honest, I had only just revved up my reading at the time, circa 2004.

Midnight Rain is a coming-of-age story about twelve-year-old, Kyle Mackey. Kyle, a kid who loves his bike, loves his older brother, and lives with his alcoholic mother, has a spot in the woods that he loves to hang out in away from the rest of the world. The
Jul 03, 2013 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty good coming of age story. The strength of the book was mostly in the characters and the writing itself. Newman did a great job capturing the psyche of a scared 12 year old boy navigating the treacherous, murderous really, adult world of a small town in 1977. Plenty of cultural references to set the mood and only minor editing/spelling errors. Very quick read. Recommended.
Robert Mingee
Feb 02, 2016 Robert Mingee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Midnight Rain is the first full-length novel by James Newman. It's a coming-of-age story about Kyle, whose childhood comes to a very abrupt end when he witnesses a murder. Over the course of a (very rainy) couple of weeks, Kyle learns a lot about life, as well as the people around him, and how little he really knew about them. He also learns about family, and the extremes people will go to in order to protect their own.

The story is interesting and well-paced, the characters fleshed-out, and the
Apr 14, 2008 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Kyle is coming of age in a small southern town. He's right on the edge of boyhood, about to take the plunge into the scary morass of puberty. He idolizes his older brother, Daniel, and struggles with his mother and her alcoholism. One fateful night, as he's visiting his secret place in the woods, his bastion of childhood is forever sullied by the terrible event he witnesses. Who can he trust? What can he do?

Kyle must wrestle with his desire to hold onto his childhood and his desire to do the rig
Aug 13, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Childhood lost. The town of Midnight has an evil lurking beneath the surface and it's fate rests in the hands of a twelve year old boy. An engaging tale of tragedy in a small town. James Newman kicks out yet another winner with Midnight Rain. Solid 4+ Stars! Highly Recommended!
Nev Murray
Nov 15, 2014 Nev Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
I'm gonna be really kind and give you 2 reviews of Midnight Rain by James Newman.

Review 1: Listen it's by James Newman - no review needed - just buy the thing!

Review 2: Midnight Rain was Mr Newman's first full novel. After a quick conversation with him on Facebook a couple of nights ago (give that a go by the way - he is one of the most approachable and friendly authors I know of) he told me he was rather proud of it. I think I have to agree that he should be immensely proud of it. For a debut n
Craig Mewborn
May 20, 2015 Craig Mewborn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A tense, emotional, dark tale of a horrific crime witnessed by a twelve-year-old boy in a small North Carolina town, and the decisions he makes in its aftermath, and how those decisions impact everyone around him.

I want to say thank you, Mr. Newman; thank you for writing Midnight Rain. I absolutely loved this book. The prose was smooth, the story-telling personal, and the pace was perfect. It's been a long time since I felt for a character as much as I did for Kyle. Fantastic read.
Dec 02, 2014 Nate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Another good book from James Newman. In ways I could tell that this was a first novel, but that is small stuff that did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book. This was more suspense then horror, but I thought that fit this coming-of-age story really well. I would recommend this to any fan of James Newman, and anyone looking for a good southern suspense read.
Paul Brown
Jun 29, 2014 Paul Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one. Probably deserves 4.5 stars instead of 4.
Douglas Castagna
Oct 09, 2014 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most powerful opening lines I have ever read. Now maybe that is because we all bring our own baggage to what we read, but I doubt that. The opening line is powerful, and causes introspection, and most of the book lives up to that promise, but toward the end, it falls apart for me. I could have expected too much, but I do not think so. Newman is a strong, and gifted writer, and this should have held together better, but I feel the end seemed contrived and rushed.
Jared Sandman
Aug 07, 2012 Jared Sandman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Newman's first novel and the only one (so far) to get a mass market release. The author isn't very prolific, but every book he publishes is worth the wait. This is my favorite of his novels, a touching coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of a murder mystery. Certainly echoes of McCammon's Boy's Life in this one, which I'm a sucker for.
Brett Tucker
Oct 08, 2014 Brett Tucker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good first book by a new, to me, author. James Newman grabs your attention at the start and refuses to let go. There a few quirks here and there, but easy to overlook. Look forward to reading more of his work!!
David Agranoff
Apr 19, 2011 David Agranoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Been a few years since I read this, but i remember it being a great coming of age horror novel in the same vein as Clegg's neverland, King's the body or McCammon's Boy's life. Set in the 70's this is a great horror mystery.
Sheri White
Jul 25, 2010 Sheri White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book! A young boy witnesses a murder and is at a loss what to do when he sees who the murderer is. As he realizes nobody can help him, he desperately tries to find a way to make things right.

Definitely a page-turner!
Jason Brannon
Sep 30, 2011 Jason Brannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite coming-of-age books. Ranks right up there with McCammon's Boy's Life. Very edge-of-your seat. I rarely re-read books but this is one that I'll go back to every now and then. Great stuff.
Kevin Lucia
Aug 18, 2012 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent little coming of age tale. Smooth prose, an endearing, believable voice - read a lot like "Boy's Life" darker, little brother...
Sep 10, 2013 Noigeloverlord rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic story,great characters. Sucks you in on the 1st page and holds you there to the last.
Not deserving of the reviews I have read here, but not a bad book
Nov 27, 2016 Sherice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler alert! I loved this book, Midnight Rain, by James Newman! It was fast-paced, easy to read, exciting, and had many aspects I could personally relate to. I totally related to Kyle's love of his bike. I too felt so much wonderful freedom when I rode by 10-speed as a teenager. Next, I've lived in North Carolina for almost 7 years now and I have seen the racism against black people. Very sad considering it's 2016!!! And then there is the fact that Kyle is 12 and his hormones and genitals have ...more
A decent debut novel from James Newman. It had the potential to be a great novel, but it was a tad bloated and overwritten in some respects and underdeveloped in others. The plot had some serious weak links and some criminally under explored avenues and the book had a really uneven resolution. That said, Newman's writing is very strong in large chunks of this novel, with fantastic imagery and description. I can see why people are crazy about this novel, and I liked it, but the problems in plot a ...more
Apr 15, 2016 Chad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love coming-of-age books
Recommended to Chad by: John Boden
Midnight Rain was released in 2004, and I think it's a shame that at the time of this review there's only 34 reviews given on Amazon, yet whenever I bring the book up people seem to love it as much as I do. Get with it, people! Leave some words!

Midnight Rain is a book that flew way under my radar, and if it wasn't for a friend of mine picking up a print copy and sending it old school, snail mail style, there's a chance I never would have discovered it.

An absolute must read for fans of Robert M
May 21, 2015 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The coming of age novel is a magical subgenre of horror, drenched in nostalgia. King’s IT always comes to mind, BOY’S LIFE by McCammon, SUMMER OF NIGHT by Simmons. In my humble opinion, none of them will have the literary power of King’s novella THE BODY.

James Newman comes damn close with MIDNIGHT RAIN. He gives it to us with both barrels on the first line: “Do you remember the exact moment your childhood ended? I do.” Haunting and lyric. Kyle is twelve years old, and the book opens with him wit
Aug 12, 2014 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“This was my secret place. My Secret Place. All boys have a Secret Place, I believe, and the Old Shack was mine.”

James Newman’s first book is the story of Kyle Mackey, a twelve year old boy living in Midnight, North Carolina. One night he witnesses something terrible and it changes the course of the rest of his life...

This is Newman’s coming-of-age tale but it is not like other episodic tales of that genre. This is a tale of growing horror, of secrets around every corner, and of the true nature

This was Newman's first novel and it was not a bad little read, although it did feel much like a first novel. It tells the story of Kyle, a 12 year old boy who witnesses a terrible crime. How Kyle deals with what he sees and the choices he makes is what makes the book interesting. I personally found the fist part of the book more compelling than the latter part, although it was good enough to keep me turning pages to find out what would happen next.
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