Book Review: Rain Will Come by Thomas Holgate

“Now what separates you and me from him, from that, is that our sense of right and wrong — moral and immoral — is stronger than our basest urges. We may think, but we don’t act. It’s the difference between madmen and, well, men.”

Set to be released next month, Thomas Holgate‘s debut novel Rain Will Come follows Paul Czarcik, a broken detective in the Illinois Bureau of Judicial Enforcement who, ruthless and riddled with vices, always gets his man. Until now. When the detective connects the murder of a couple to the murder of a high-profile Texas judge, Czarcik realizes something bigger is going on. It’s the work of a serial killer. Now, he’s inviting Czarcik to play catch-me-if-you-can on a cross-country murder spree. Going rogue, Czarcik accepts the challenge.

Rating:

This is my Amazon First Reads selection for March 2020. You can get a free book every month by joining Amazon Prime, which you can do with a free trial here.

Rain Will Come is Thomas Holgate’s first book, having previously written films, TV series, nonfiction books, and magazine articles. His experience with writing is obvious as this is a complex and in-depth thriller with great attention to detail.

As the killer is revealed early on, the story is more of a cat-and-mouse chase than a whodunnit. We know who the killer is and begin to understand his motives, as the book begins to explore the mechanics of the human brain – of how we come to identify between right and wrong – and the sometimes-thin line between good (defending the bad for the protection of others) and evil (doing it for your own pleasure).

I found the book difficult to get into at the start but I couldn’t figure out why. I soon realised, however, that it’s because I’ve never read a detective thriller written by a male author before. This is my favourite genre for books, but I’ve only read them by females authors. Isn’t that crazy? I hadn’t even thought about that until now.

But you can tell that Rain Will Come is written by a man, as the story is very sadistic and gruesome. Gruesome isn’t something that I have a problem with, but I think it’s more about how upfront Holgate is in his writing. Our lead character, as well, likes escorts and cocaine, and he acts however he pleases. He’s brutish and hard-edged, but definitely in a more uncompromising way than how a woman would have written him.

Czarcik certainly isn’t the most likeable of characters, but he is such a well-developed one that we can easily forgive him for his vices. With the story often giving flashbacks into his past to explain his behaviour and attitudes, there’s a lot of time spent on allowing the reader to get to know him. This is really important in a story like this because we need to be rooting for him to catch this twisted killer. But his motives are strong and he puts his career on the line in the line of justice, as we get to see both the good and bad in the protagonist and the antagonist.

You can buy the book here

The title of the book is based on the quote from Taxi Driver which is mentioned throughout the story: “Someday, a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets.” In Rain Will Come, Daniel is that rain. He’s acting as a dark angel to rid the world of bad people. But the story makes you question whether his motives are right or wrong. Is he a hero like the Greek God Theseus who was known for being a great reformer, defeating those who acted maliciously? Or does the brutality of his actions outweigh his reasonings?

I struggled with this balance for a lot of the book, as the killer was adamant that he took no enjoyment from what he was doing but then he acted in such an inhumane way. Czarcik questions this, too. Would a world be a better place without these evil people? Or is Daniel just the same as them? The trouble is that he isn’t just killing, he is torturing, and no sane person could do that to another out of necessity.

As Czarcik questions, how much was a repressed bloodlust given life by a convenient excuse? And how relevant were any of the reasons for his behaviour? There seemed to be some lack of rationale around this at first but, without giving away too much about the story, it is eventually explored a little better as the killer’s transformation is discussed more towards the end.

“Now what separates you and me from him, from that, is that our sense of right and wrong — moral and immoral — is stronger than our basest urges. We may think, but we don’t act. It’s the difference between madmen and, well, men.”

In the same way, the story also reminds me of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, as we are also made to question who should act as the judge in these circumstances. Is that what makes Czarcik’s actions different from Daniel’s? Because he is in a role of power? Holgate poses so many questions and explores them all incredibly. It really is a thriller that gets your mind ticking, showing us the different ways that the answers to these questions can play out, and the different outcomes that they can lead to.

Although this is Holgate’s first book, he shows a tremendous amount of talent in his writing and he seems to know the genre well. Sometimes I feel like I’ve read it all when it comes to thrillers, but that’s never the case when you find a good author, and Thomas Holgate is definitely that.

line

This is my Amazon First Reads selection for March 2020. You can get a free book every month by joining Amazon Prime, which you can do with a free trial here.

You can also try a 30-day free trial with Audible and receive an audiobook for free.

line

headerfb (2).jpg

About Charlie Morris

Proofreader and film blogger living in Cornwall.

Please Leave A Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.