Because the Rain

Daniel Buckman, Author . St. Martin's $23.95 (212p) ISBN 978-0-312-36268-3

Buckman (Morning Dark ; Names of Rivers ) plumbs themes of despair, humiliation and revenge in this dark and pulpy tale. Antihero Mike Spence, a former paratrooper who reinvented himself as a writer, joins a Chicago police recruit class to get himself out of a spiritual rut. His decision to stop writing has alienated Mike from his wife, Susan, who had an abortion—a "sad and humiliating thing"—so that he could write. At night, they sit in their dark apartment and watch an Asian call girl parade topless in front of her window. The woman, Annie, who fled Vietnam as a child, also discreetly watches Mike when not servicing clients like Donald Goetzler, a haunted Vietnam vet who uses Annie's high-priced attentions to quell his tortured psyche. A series of events that begins with Susan's murder links Mike, Annie and Goetzler in an unlikely triangle that hinges on acts of misguided vengeance. Buckman writes convincingly of Vietnam vets and captures nicely the disillusionment his characters share. It's a bleak but redeeming read. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 12/18/2006
Release date: 04/01/2007
Paperback - 212 pages - 978-0-312-42763-4
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4668-5408-6
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