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

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  382 Ratings  ·  23 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 Melissabefore she's consumed by her secret, terrifying demons.

Yet the straightforw

...more
Paperback, 0 pages
Published June 13th 1998 by Fawcett (first published January 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Donna Davis
Why did Emerson discontinue this series? I miss it like crazy!
LJ
Sep 26, 2008 LJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE RAINY CITY - Ex
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
...more
Beth Gibson
May 22, 2016 Beth Gibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few in this series because they are set in the Pacific Northwest, where I live. So I like them from that prospective, since I am familiar with many of the landmarks. Otherwise, it is a private detective story, featuring Thomas Black, a one time policeman. This is the first in the series, in which he is hired to find a missing person, who is a friend of his tenant, Kathy. Along the way, two other people related to the missing person are killed and her daughter is kidnapped. The stor ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
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.
Jen
Oct 04, 2008 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Susan
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
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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
Ed
Apr 26, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#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
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Suzanne
Nov 16, 2009 Suzanne rated it liked it  ·  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
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Robert Torrey
Apr 26, 2015 Robert Torrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great local detective novel

I've always enjoyed Earl Emerson's work. My dad, a fellow firefighter, turned me onto him when I was in high school. I love the Mac Fontana series, I breezed through all of them while serving in Afghanistan. I enjoy Robert P. Parkers Spenser and Jesse Stone series. I see a lot of similarities in Mr. Emerson's characters. Strong men of strong will and high morals with the added local flavor, which growing up in the area I truly enjoy. I burned through this book in a mat
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Monty
Apr 14, 2008 Monty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kay
Jul 06, 2013 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jeff Dickison
Jul 14, 2013 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andrea
Mar 11, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, kindle
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.
Dale Rosso
Nov 01, 2013 Dale Rosso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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.
Shelly
Nov 10, 2014 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
E
Jan 14, 2009 E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lee
Dec 13, 2009 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thomas-black
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.
Jenene
Pretty good. Black has a pretty corny sense of humor. Like his wacky sidekick/roommate. I will definitely read the rest of the series.
James
Aug 20, 2008 James rated it liked it  ·  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
Julia Neer
Apr 29, 2009 Julia Neer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recommend the whole series.
Jj
Jj rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2014
Craig
Craig rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2008
Savannah
{Review Forthcoming}
Jackie Harrison-jewell
Jackie Harrison-jewell rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2011
Nathan Rudy
Nathan Rudy rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2012
Holly
Holly rated it it was amazing
Jan 12, 2008
Sue Bradley
Sue Bradley rated it liked it
Sep 27, 2016
Debbi Houtz
Debbi Houtz rated it really liked it
Apr 19, 2014
Patricia Mccammon
Patricia Mccammon rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2012
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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)
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