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The Rainy City
Earl Emerson
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The Rainy City (Thomas Black #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  301 ratings  ·  20 reviews

"Earl Emerson is one of the best of the new private eye writers."
—Chicago Sun-Times

Something made Melissa Nadisky flee her husband and their daughter. The note she left behind paints a picture of a woman haunted by a private hell. Now Thomas Black's friend, Kathy Birchfield, wants him to find Melissa—before she's consumed by her secret, terrifying demons.

Yet the straightfo

Paperback, 0 pages
Published June 13th 1998 by Fawcett (first published January 1985)
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Emerson, Earl W. - 1st in Thomas Black series

Something made Melissa Nadisky flee her husband and their daughter. The note she left behind paints a picture of a woman haunted by a private hell. Now Thomas Black's friend, Kathy Birchfield, wants him to find Melissa-before she's consumed by her secret, terrifying demons.

Yet the straightforward missing persons case turns deadly when a killer starts silencing key witnesses in Black's investigation. But there's no turning back-espec
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)
Thomas Black is charming. The Seattle locale is the draw for me, since it is my hometown. Otherwise I hope the series improves. This is book one.
The Rainy City is the first book of the Thomas Black mystery series by Earl Emerson, set in modern-day Seattle Washington. Thomas Black is a former policeman, now private investigator. He rents a basement apartment to law student Kathy Birchfield.

The story opens on an unsettling note: Thomas' dog is murdered.

Kathy's friend Melissa Nadisky has been missing from her home, and Kathy feels a strong premonition that Melissa is in danger. Thomas has learned from experience to respect Kathy's premoniti
THE RAINY CITY is the first book in Earl Emerson's Thomas Black mystery series. Thomas Black lives in Seattle - a la "The Rainy City" - with his renter, Kathy. Kathy is a first-year law student and she rents the basement of Black's house. It is Kathy who talks Black into investigating the disappearance of her friend Melissa and the subsequent "kidnapping" of Melissa's daughter Angel. Angel is abducted but she's abducted by Melissa's parents, and everyone knows that they have her. Angel's father ...more
Rob Kitchin
As PI stories go, The Rainy City is pretty good. Black is hewn from wherever PI characters are cookie-cut and some of the characters are a little stereotypical, but the writing is expressive and tight, the plot has the right amount of twists and turns, it clips along at a jaunty pace, with plenty of action and realistic dialogue (though occasionally it becomes a little wooden), and there is a nice blend of characters. The end was no great surprise, but then few are, although Emerson does a nice ...more
#1 in the Thomas Black series. Finalist 1986 Shamus Award for Best Paperback. Thomas Black is a bicycle riding, Seattle ex-cop who investigates for lawyer Kathy Birchfield. This is the debut novel for Earl Emerson, a Seattle Fire Department lieutenant, who would go on to pen 11 more Thomas Black novels, 5 novels in the Staircase, WA Fire Chief Mac Fontana series, and 6 stand-alone firefighting thrillers.

Thomas Black series - Kathy Birchfield urges Thomas to find Melissa Nadisky. As he investigat
Nov 17, 2009 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: M is for Mystery
Shelves: mysteries
Our mystery club theme this month is "Earth, Wind, and Fire," so I chose this book for fire. I thought Thomas Black, the PI, was a fire fighter, but apparently Earl Emerson, the author, is with the Seattle Fire Department. Seems that many of the books in this series deal with fire / arson, but not this first one. Oh well, I kept reading becasue I am enjoying it. I very much like Thomas Black and Kathy Birchfield.

This was pretty good and I'll definitely check out more in the series later. The en
Pretty good first book in a series. Didn't knock my socks off, but had me wanting to know whodunit. I will probably read another, but I don't feel the need to run out and read the next one immediately.
I listened to this book on tape and loved how the narrator took his time to allow the story to unravel. I live in Seattle so I especially appreciated the 1985 locations in parts of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham and Monroe. Of course, it rained in almost every scene. The story itself kept getting more and more complex in an enjoyable way. This is the first in a series; there seem to be about nine in the series so far. I already ordered the next installment.
Jeff Dickison
The first Thomas Black tale is very good as he and Kathy Birchfield go looking for a missing wife who it seems abandoned her wimpy husband and her pretty 3-year old daughter. Then potential witnesses begin to turn up dead and Black knows this is more than a missing persons case. Well done whodunit with good snappy dialogue. Recommended.
This may well be my favorite Earl Emerson---love the writing, the pace, the story, the characters Also love the expectation that the "problem" the missing blond has with her father is not the one that's in all the books these days, but a wholly unexpected one. Endlng scary--takes us right up to the last page.
The mystery seems to get overly convoluted, but a clever solution makes it all make sense. An enjoyable read, with good use of language - reminiscent of Chandler - and interesting characters, especially the two very likeable protagonists.
Dale Rosso
First of the Thomas Black series, I love this series because I am from Seattle so when something is described in the story, I can picture more than what the author is describing to us in areas that I am familiar with.
This was a good,well thought out mystery for his first novel. Good feeling of rainy Seattle. Black & his helpful renter friend Kathy, had wonderful chemistry. Good 'ol 80's PI start to the series.
Pretty good. Black has a pretty corny sense of humor. Like his wacky sidekick/roommate. I will definitely read the rest of the series.
Rainy day here in Kauai--good book to pass away the time. First of a series. I've read a couple of the others years ago.
Oct 17, 2008 James rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery readers
The first in the Thomas Black series. A new book in the series is supposed to be out early 2009
Why did Emerson discontinue this series? I miss it like crazy!
{Review Forthcoming}
Julia Neer
I recommend the whole series.
Rick added it
Jan 25, 2015
Melanie marked it as to-read
Dec 27, 2014
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Earl Emerson is a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department. He is the Shamus Award-winning author of Vertical Burn, as well as the Thomas Black detective series. He lives in North Bend, Washington.
More about Earl Emerson...

Other Books in the Series

Thomas Black (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Poverty Bay (Thomas Black, #2)
  • Nervous Laughter (Thomas Black, #3)
  • Fat Tuesday (Thomas Black, #4)
  • Deviant Behavior (Thomas Black, #5)
  • Yellow Dog Party (Thomas Black, #6)
  • The Portland Laugher (Thomas Black, #7)
  • The Vanishing Smile (Thomas Black, #8)
  • The Million-Dollar Tattoo (Thomas Black, #9)
  • Deception Pass (Thomas Black, #10)
  • Catfish Cafe (Thomas Black, #11)
Fat Tuesday (Thomas Black, #4) Deception Pass (Thomas Black, #10) Poverty Bay (Thomas Black, #2) Yellow Dog Party (Thomas Black, #6) Cape Disappointment (Thomas Black, #12)

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