Silent Echo

J.R. Rain. Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, $14.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-4778-0885-6
In this pathos-filled short novel from the prolific Rain (The Lost Ark), L.A. private detective Jimmy Booker must solve two murders spaced 22 years apart. In the last throes of AIDS-related cancer, Booker would barely be able to function, much less solve crimes, but for the assistance of his staunch friend Numi. The first murder, when Booker was a child, was that of his nine-year-old brother, Matt, whose body was found in Laurel Canyon with a strange symbol carved into the boy’s chest. Now, one of Booker’s former love interests has been killed and also dumped in Laurel Canyon. Rain’s repetitive, staccato, first-person narrative has a mesmerizing effect, though the text lapses at times into melodrama as Booker reflects on the helplessness his physical condition entails. Nevertheless, the fact that Booker might at any moment drop dead—the story is necessarily told in present tense—creates a fraught narrative that pulls the reader along to a tense, mostly satisfying climax. Agent: Andrew Stuart, Stuart Agency. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/21/2013
Release date: 12/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
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