On a rainy night in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen, a woman throws a doll from the fifth-floor window of a gutted tenement, then leaps herself. From his own apartment a few blocks away, freelance photographer David Corman listens to the radio reports as they come over his headset. Corman is a man at the edge, threatened with eviction, besieged by his wife’s attempt to regain custody of their daughter, yet reluctant to give up the life that permits him to roam the night. In the woman’s dying fall, he sees the chance to sell a story and perhaps buy some time. So he starts to probe deeper. Nothing prepares him for the odyssey he is about to undertake.
As the path leads, dark and twisted, from the meanest streets of New York to the homes of the rich, he struggles to uncover the life of the woman who leaped into the rain. The more layers he strips away, however, the more puzzles confront him, until ultimately, the search turns back onto himself: the dead woman’s true tale reveals shocking truths about his own life. At last, what began as a simple search for a story becomes a fight for his own soul.
Rich in character, complex in plot, The City When It Rains is a haunting, suspenseful novel of uncommon force, written with the stark beauty of the city it describes - passionate, resonant, a mystery in the deepest sense of the word.
©1991 Original material, Thomas H. Cook. Recorded by arrangement with Mysterious Press, LLC. (P)2011 HighBridge Company
“Two-time Edgar award nominee Cook has written a haunting story of great emotional depth, which contains within it a first-rate detective story. Highly recommended.”(Library Journal)
From the description, I thought I would like this book, but I found it irritating and unrealistic. In particular, I found the main character unsympathetic -- self-absorbed, self-destructive and uncommunicative. I got very tired at his answering virtually every direct question or comment with a shrug and being rude to people who were trying to be helpful. Perhaps his single-minded pursuit of his "art" and of the somewhat lame "mystery" was supposed to make him seem noble, but it came to grate on me, especially since it led him to neglect his child and didn't exactly strengthen his custody argument. Also, the rain was a "damper"!
I greatly enjoyed the mystery and atmosphere of the story, but what hit home with me most was the challenges some of the character faced as fathers.
Yes. I didn't feel a huge sense of urgency, but I did stay interested in what was coming next.
Probably David, the Main Character
In the dark, wet corners of the rainy New York City night, a freelance photographer follows the twisted path of a disturbing mystery while battling his own challenges as a father.
Great read! Thank you Mr. Cook and thank you Mr. Bray.
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