Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rain Falls like Mercy by Jack Todd

A gripping and graphic story of murder!


Set against the sweeping backdrop of World War II, Rain Falls Like Mercy is a gripping depiction of a family and a country touched by the grand violence of war, the senseless violence of crime, and the intimate violence of the heart.

IN THE TRADITION OF TRUE CRIME narratives such as In Cold Blood, acclaimed author Jack Todd’s new novel grips the reader from the first page; and as it spans continents and generations of one family, its taut and shocking undercurrent of violence builds to a stunning crescendo. Todd’s first novel, Sun Going Down, which introduced the Paint family, won praise from reviewers and major authors such as Michael Korda and Michael Blake. His second novel, Come Again No More, recounted the Paints’ saga of triumph and tragedy through the Great Depression, inspiring the Ottawa Citizen to label Todd “a first-rate novelist with a tender heart.”

Rain Falls Like Mercy opens with the murder investigation of a young girl in Wyoming in mid- 1941. Tom Call, the young sheriff running the investigation, falls in love with Juanita, the wife of Eli Paint, whose son Leo and grandson Bobby Watson are on duty with the U.S. Navy. Almost overnight, the case is derailed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, disrupting the lives of all involved. Bobby mans an antiaircraft gun during the attack. Tom joins the U.S. Air Force and is deployed to England to fly bombers, still trying to pursue his murder investigation. His suspicion falls on Pardo Bury, the psychotic son of a wealthy rancher in Wyoming.

As Pardo and Tom make their ways to their inevitable and shattering confrontation, Rain Falls Like Mercy displays Todd’s uncanny ability to zero in on his characters’ emotional lives while simultaneously painting a sweeping picture of the historical events that shape their destinies.


Rain Falls Like Mercy is the third edition in Jack Todd’s trilogy about the Paint family. You do not necessarily need to read the first two in order to enjoy this third book, but I suspect you will wish to do so after you read this one.

This story takes place in 1941 during World War II in a small Wyoming town where the murder investigation of a slain teen girl is underway.

The town sheriff, Tom Call, must forego his investigation when Pearl Harbour is bombed and he soon finds himself in the U.S. Air Force flying dangerous missions in England. Yet he still tries to unravel the circumstances of the murder investigation that awaits him at home and his sole suspect, Pardo Bury, the son of a very affluent and powerful businessman.  

While Tom Call is embroiled in the war in England, Pardo Bury waits out his time a Texas jail for slicing a prostitute. The moment he is released, sets out on a new spree of violence, victimizing both men and women.

Part Western, part World War II, the story unfolds with intensity as Jack Todd holds nothing back in his graphic descriptions, strong language, and twisting plot. The reader embarks on a journey from the U.S. to England, Japan to Germany, and then back to the U.S., keeping us enthralled throughout. 

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