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Black Rain (Hawker & Laidlaw, #1)
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Black Rain (Hawker & Laidlaw #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,085 ratings  ·  135 reviews
Covert government operative Danielle Laidlaw leads an expedition into the deepest reaches of the Amazon in search of a legendary Mayan city. Assisted by a renowned university professor and protected by a mercenary named Hawker, her team journeys into the tangled rain forest - unaware that they are replacements for a group that vanished weeks before, and that the treasure t...more
Mass Market Paperback, 515 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Dell Books (first published 2009)
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Kathy Davie
First in the Hawker & Laidlaw thriller series with a heavy dose of horror and revolving around Danielle Laidlaw and Hawker, ex-CIA. This story takes place primarily in Brazil.

Be sure to read the prologue!

My Take
It started off feeling same-same, but things developed into a story I could not put down. It sure kept my heart rate up!

I loved being inside Hawker's head as he analyzes what's happening and the likely reasons for it.

Man, Brown plays his characters well giving them unique personaliti...more
Patrick Gibson
What do you get when you cram a book with clichéd plots? Black Rain. The book has rainforests, Mayan ruins, covert operations, mercenaries, time travel, gun fights, helicopter crashes, primitive native tribes, mysterious crystals, hieroglyphics, environmental consciousness, strange creatures, lions and tigers and bears, oh my! (okay, it doesn't have lions and tigers and bears. But hey, since it had everything else, why not throw in the lions and tigers and bears as well?). I guess the author cou...more
Michele
I received this book on a goodreads giveaway. I set about reading it as soon as I could, so that I could review it. I am so glad that I received this book, one reason is because it sounded so good and I know that my husband will enjoy it too. The title tells the tale this book is a thriller.

It is about Danielle Laidlaw an operative for a CIA type organization called the NRI. Danielle is in Brazil with her partner and mentor Arnold Moore until he is called away by their employer. At which point...more
Benjamin Thomas
I love discovering new talent, especially in the genres I love to read. "Black Rain" is the first published book by Graham Brown and is written as an adventure/thriller novel with elements of science fiction and horror.

Right off the bat I'll say this is one very good book. It reads like an Indiana Jones adventure but in the present day and with some good solid speculative science weaved into the plot. If you are familiar with novels by James Rollins or Mathew Reilly then you'll have a good idea...more
Denise
When I first saw the title of this book I thought it would be about the chemical warfare used by the Russians against the Kurds in Afganistan. Much to my surprise when I started reading the book it was about the ancient Mayan superstitions and culture. A group goes into the Amazon to find a new technological breakthrough in power supply. The trials they had to deal with as in most thriller novels are great but the good guys (heros) overcome the obsticles in due course. They did this by coming up...more
Shelly
I won this book. This book was great! I had a hard time putting it down, very suspensful. I can't wait for the sequel. If you like thrillers combined with some history, then you will love this book.
Wendy
Really enjoyed the book, couldnt put it down!! action pack adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat!!
S.D.
Danielle Laidlaw leads an expedition into the Amazon rainforest. She is part of a government entity working under the radar and does not disclose to the civilians traveling with her the true purpose of her mission. The guise is that they are searching for a legendary Mayan city. The truth is that they are looking for a new power source, a crystal which can be used for cold fusion power. The book starts out slow as the trip is discussed, all characters described and devious plans fleshed out, at...more
Cindy
ARC edition.

This was more interesting than I expected! The story is effectively your bog-standard thriller: conspiracies afoot, smart plucky female protagonist, ruggedly handsome outlaw, power-delirious billionaire, shady government agencies, pesky "natives", and plenty of action and bloodshed. What's clever is that Brown has thrown in some CSI/X-files twists which keep the reader guessing as to the true intent. There's even a mysterious monster that behaves a bit like Smokey in Lost.

The writing...more
Leah
I was excited to receive and read this book, it seemed there was a lot of positive "vibe" about it. I admit it, I like mythology books, set in the deep jungle where you are alone, cut off from any assistance from the outside world.

I think the author had a great idea, and the concept was in fact interesting, there were several moving parts to the story, and one would move between the mainly political intrigue in the US to the real action on the ground in the jungle.

I found the pacing to be unev...more
Andrew
This is a pretty good thriller, with some supernatural and scientific elements thrown in. I was surprised, because I was a bit disconcerted by the whole government-agency-in-Brazil-looking-for-Mayan-ruins angle. At the start, it was sounding like a plot from the Dan Brown random plot generator. Major religion: Mayan; location: Brazil; protagonist: beautiful, athletic, go-getter agent; number of competing groups: 3; etc, etc. As the story went on, though, Graham Brown threw in some neat "scientif...more
Nigel
This is the first book I read by Graham Brown, but have read his collaborations with Clive Cussler which I really enjoy, so I started to read this in anticipation. It is a well written and researched book based on Mayen myths, conspiracies, covert government agencies. Set in the Amazon with opposing teams looking for a mythical object that could change the world, loads of action with some interesting if far fetched ideas. I enjoyed this story although it was slow going in places, would I read th...more
Arminion
I liked this book. It was entertaining, relatively fast paced and very cinematographic. It reminded me a little bit of Crichton's Congo, which isn't surprising, since apparently, Brown is his huge fan. And despite the fact that Brown crammed everything he can think of in this book; from armed mercenaries and helicopters to ancient Mayan legends and monsters, it still somehow works. Sure, there are plenty of cliches, but sometimes that's a good thing.
However, I didn't particularly like the charac...more
Melissa
Won on first reads. As the world lost a great lady when my wonderful friend, Ramona, just passed away, this review will serve for both of us. She will be dearly missed and cancer will be cursed for taking her from us so young.

Great book for anyone who loves intrigue, suspense and good reading. Not wanting to give away anything I will not go too much into it but I like the way it hints at some of the most interesting times and history of our world.
Bill
I enjoyed the book and the characters. The setting in the dense Brazilian jungle and the discovery of ancient Mayan ruins was central to the somewhat dense plot. At times the action was overshadowed by what came across as classroom lectures on Mayan culture and history, human biology, and archaeology. But large parts of the book outweigh my quibbles. It is a good read.
Lori Downing
This was my first thriller that I have ever read, and I have enjoyed it immensely. I loved the fact, the group that was lead into the Amazon was to find something that would and could be used for the future, and was very dangerous to accommodate. I loved the characters. This was a very interesting read and I am looking forward to the sequel. I can't wait.
Linda
I won this book. I really enjoyed the Mayan history/folklore, intrigue, and adventure. The characters were very believable, and I cared about them. It read very fast, and I had a hard time putting it down! I could actually see this as a series, or even a film. I highly recommend this book.
Bipin
Jun 08, 2014 Bipin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi lovers with a thirst for an adventure.
An amazing fiction furnished with science-like facts and exceptional reasoning. A few things were mentioned in first half and explained in a sterling way. I had to be patient during first few pages. Once I understand what's going on, I didn't want to put down the book. I neatly fell into the trap and thought what the writer wanted the reader to think. But the excitement when I realized along with Professor McCarter was worth it. Beware, things are not quite what they seem at first look and legen...more
Bill
I put this on my sci-fi shelf so to speak but that is a bit of a stretch. It just barely touches on the ideas of Sci-fi. However, it's a fun book and well written. I enjoyed the pacing which added plenty of tension to the tale. The story really does have a mix of Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park to it. The characters are likable thought they are all a little shallowly drawn. Instead of focusing on the characters it seemed like Graham Brown spent his efforts on creating a believable scenario for t...more
Carolyn
Great book. Suspensful story. Once I started, couldn't put it down. Mayan legends, the past and the future, all had a ring of truth. The beasts scared the living daylights out of me and gave me nightmares. All in all, a story I won't soon forget.
Megan Hansen
This wasn't my type of book, I don't normally get into thrillers. But I will say it was an exciting story and the characters were very human and some of them even likable! If thrillers are your thing, then Black Rain won’t disappoint.
Alexandra Nunney
This book ended up being right up my alley and left me with a little smile on my face at the end despite the fact that until about the halfway mark I was convinced that this book was only worthy of 3 stars. The last half was a hell of a lot better than the first, it almost seemed like it had been written by a different person. If the whole book had been written in that compelling, exciting and enthralling way then this would definitely have been a 5 star. I can't wait to read the next one in the...more
Donna
I received this book early through Goodreads. Only the flu kept me from reading it right away. It reads like an action adventure movie. Vivid, fast paced, a thoroughly enjoyable read. I highly recommend it.
Diane
Quite the thriller! I found myself not wanting to put the book down, but had to at times. It kept me guessing at what would happen next. I enjoyed the plot. Can't wait for the sequel.
Kelly Sermeno
This was an excting, thrilling read!
Karen Wilson
This is a very well written adventure/thriller novel with elements of science fiction and horror. If you are familiar with novels by James Rollins or Mathew Reilly then you'll have a good idea of the style. If you especially like Rollins book Amazonia, I believe that you will find this one to be equally as satisfying with it’s plot twists and character portrayals as well as its touch of history and sci-fi that is thrown in! In a nutshell, the novel is about a covert government agency that is lau...more
Alayne Bushey
Every good action-adventure novel that’s going to take a story and morph it into an edge-of-your-seat thriller needs to be based on a bit of truth. Or rather, legend that could be truth. Graham Brown’s debut novel Black Rain exemplifies this type of thriller, taking a Mayan legend and transforming it into a modern suspense thriller, complete with ex-CIA agents, lost temples, covert agendas, angry jungle-dwelling villagers, and big scary monsters.

Searching for the lost Mayan “Garden of Eden,” a p...more
Kara Jorges
I’ve never been able to resist a jungle thriller steeped in Mayan lore, so I was anxious to get my hands on this novel.

Danielle Laidlaw is a covert government operative on a mission to find ancient Mayan ruins in the heart of the Amazon jungle. Separated from her partner by the brass, Danielle leads a team of scientists and university students through the Amazon in search of an amazing power source that could change the balance of power in the world. To tip the scales in her favor, she hires Ha...more
Ken
"Black Rain" was my first and hopefully not last "Book Give-a-way Win" a very enjoyable feature of Goodreads.


I understand this is Graham Brown's first novel and overall I would peg it as a good read. A good summer or vacation read more specifically. We've seen all the characters before and their dialogue is a bit labored, the science is silly BUT the storytelling and pace was well done.

If I were to walk into Grahams home I think I would find his shelves full of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, he n...more
Veeral
When I bought this book – based on its title – I thought this to be an archeological thriller. But alas, it was not to be. Graham Brown starts this novel with a lot of promise and subsequently builds a high body count in the process. But halfway through the book, Brown seems to sway away from the major plot.

In search for an alternative source of energy which can power the whole world, a top level employee of an American government organization is send into the Amazon rainforest along with some...more
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5134696
Graham Brown grew up in Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, moving often with his family. As far as he knows they weren't in the witness protection program or part of any top secret government agency - but then - would they really tell him?

A former pilot and lawyer and later part of a start up health care firm, Graham decided he hadn't had enough different careers yet and decided to become a...more
More about Graham Brown...
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