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Rain Gods: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel) by James Lee Burke


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Rain GodsI suppose Mr. Burke has left New Orleans to write about a happening in Texas. Usually he is in Louisiana but no matter because wherever he sits up a story it all works out! And Rain Gods is proof of that.

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Hackberry Holland, a Texas sheriff, responds to a 911 call and finds a mass grave. Upon digging into the spot he discovers nine women who have been shot to death by what appears to be a machine gun. Closer examination later by the coroner shows that they each were carrying a plastic bag of drugs in their stomach. The 911 call happened to come from a former GI who heard the shooting and went too late to the scene. He and his girlfriend then decided to head out because of what they feared would happen next.

And they were pretty much dead on because it almost appears that the Rain Gods or someone called down a full-blown story of chases, hideouts, and murders as Holland begins his search for the killers.

Before long the FBI and others are also in on the action as it appears that several things have happened. The girls were supposedly being shipped in from Mexico to work in a strip joint but somehow a drug cartel got them first. Now the drug cartel is looking for who did the killing, the strip club owner is trying to not only figure out what is going on but he is also trying to turn over a new leaf and get back to just being an owner of a respectable bar.

Entwined in all of this as Holland travels back and forth with his young female aide who is enamored with him but he is trying to keep her away. As they search for clues they do find the person who made the 911 call and he and his girlfriend then speak of another person who seems to be somehow involved. This person, by the nickname of Preacher, travels the area and though somewhat preaching about the bible and such is actually quite a piece of work himself.

All of this goes on and on for some time but all diligent readers will take it to the end because it does have a spellbinding effect on you as you read along. What is going to happen next and is there really any chance for Holland to solve the mystery and apprehend the killer? That is the question the reader is trying to solve as he continues to hold the book and turn the pages. Great exciting read!!!! Well done.



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