Jack Todd returns to the Paint family, the central characters of his previous novels, Sun Going Done and Come Again No More, in a taut crime thriller with a dash of family saga set against the backdrop of World War II.
When a hired hand on the Paints' Wyoming ranch finds a girl's savaged corpse in an outbuilding, Sheriff Tom Call has only one clue to go on--the sadistic killer's shoe size. A distracting affair with Juanita, the beautiful, neglected younger wife of the Paint family patriarch, further hampers the investigation. Tom suspects a dangerous young man from a neighboring ranch, but after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he abandons the case to join the Air Force. Meanwhile, the killer--caught and convicted for a lesser crime--sits out the war in prison until freedom allows one last psychotic spree that leads to a deadly showdown with Tom Call.
Readers unfamiliar with the earlier Paint family novels may be distracted by scenes featuring characters unessential to the immediate story, but Todd's flair for elaborating historical context gives Rain Falls Like Mercy drama and depth, just as his talent for sweeping natural scenes brings Wyoming's beauty and harsh weather to life. His rich prose captures the minutiae of each character's thoughts and emotions and renders murder scenes far more grisly than any gory description alone could. This tale of land, life and terror will please fans of both mainstream literature and the crime genre.
***This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness Readers Edition. Sign up for this free and awesome newsletter at http://www.shelf-awareness.com for the latest news and reviews! This review refers to an ARC provided by Shelf Awareness.***