Tony's Reviews > Rain Gods

Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
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's review
Aug 20, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-crime-detection
Read in August, 2009

Burke, James Lee. RAIN GODS (2009). ****. Once again, the author demonstrates his ability to describe scenes, thoughts, and actions in the most poetic manner that you will be able to find from any author writing today. His language, even when describing mayhem and pure evil, sings from the page. The plot is convoluted and difficult to encapsulate, but starts off and is driven by the mass murder of a group of young Asian women and children behind an abandoned church in Southwestern Texas, near the Mexican border. The shooter is a psychopath who believes that he has been put on Earth to right many of its wrongs. He goes by the name of Preacher. In essence, he is a button man, and is proud of his Thompson submachine gun. The man who discovers the crime is Hackberry Holland, the county sheriff under whose jurisdiction it occurs. Hack and his Deputy Sheriff, Pam Tibbs, attempt to unravel the threads that led to this crime, including all of the players who were involved. It is later discovered that the dead women all were carrying balloons of drugs in their bodies at the time of death. It seems that several factions were involved, men who ran prostitutes, drug lords, and foreign crime bosses who pulled strings from great distances. Most of these men thought that they were getting one over on the other through this act of mayhem, but found out that none of them really knew all the facts. Of course, Hack and Pam can’t keep the case to themselves. The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have to get involved, too, confusing the issues no end. The plot is more intricate that it sounds, with a variety of sub-plots involved that explore the motivations of many of the players on the board. Burke has taken what has become stock situations peopled with stock characters and spun them together to make for one great read. Recommended.
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