Daily Review: The Rain Man Murders by N. E. Brown
June 22, 2018
N. E. Brown has written one of the most perplexing, disturbing, and entertaining murder mysteries you will ever find.
1972, DALLAS, TEXAS
Pounding rains flooded the rivers, streams, and lakes in Dallas, Texas, depressing the city, darkening the days, and leading to murder. Detective Mark Wilder had been weathering some storms of his own for a long time. The loss of his beloved several years ago remained stained deep into his heart. Detective Wilder was good at his job and then the storms came. The first body was found on the banks of the Trinity River, the rain wiping away any hopes of clues to the murderer.
One morning at a café, Mark meets Sarah Mason, a legal secretary, and is instantly drawn to her. Is it a coincidence she leads him to his first key piece of evidence? Before he can find out, another corpse is found on the banks of Bachman Lake. Again, the evidence is washed away by severe thunderstorms the previous night.
Sarah’s volunteer work at Calvary Baptist Church’s thrift shop connects her to the case. Her co-worker at the thrift shop may also, but Mark’s concern has more to do with the man’s abusive background and his unholy fascination with Sarah. Is he the man stalking her?
Although his and Sarah’s relationship deepens, and sparks fly, he can’t completely rule out her involvement. Especially when a third murder occurs on another rainy night and more evidence is discovered at the church.
Mark must solve these murders. He must stop whoever is murdering members of Calvary Baptist, and he must still the storms in his heart. He’s convinced of the first two, but even he wouldn’t bet on the last one.
Review by Linda Pirtle:
Set in Dallas, Texas in the early ‘70s, The Rain Man Murders revolves around a series of mysterious murders, all three victims found during torrential downpours.
Mark Wilder is the detective in charge of the three crimes. Following the kidnap and murder of his college sweetheart, and the love of his life, Mark changed the course of his life and entered the police academy hoping to help solve the case that had robbed him of the life he had dreamed of sharing with his Emily.
Sarah Mason’s parents were tragically killed in a car accident. She has been taken under the wing of the pastor who replaced her father, after his death, at Calvary Baptist Church. She is a legal secretary and volunteers every Saturday in the church’s thrift shop, trying to pay forward the kindness shown to her by the pastor and his wife.
Mark and Sarah meet one evening at a coffee shop where Sarah is supposed to be meeting a blind date, their unusual introduction begins a friendship that will travel a twisted path, often rocky, but it will ultimately link them together and help them to solve the seemingly random murders.
All of the characters in this story are well-written and brought to life by Ms. Brown’s writing. The sub-plots are intriguing and will keep you turning the pages to see what will happen next.
I highly recommend this book, it is a wonderful romantic suspense story that you’ll find difficult to put down.
Review by Caleb Pirtle III:
The rains came to Dallas, and then the murders. There were three of them, victims dying within the shadows of the Calvary Baptist Church.
Were they connected?
Was the killer driven by rage, or by the rain.
When would he strike again?
Was he working alone?
Detective Mark Wilder is confronted by one of the great mysteries of his career. As N. E. Brown so vividly writes:
Twelve men were scattered like ants around the crime scene just a stone’s throw from the now raging Trinity River. Detective Wilder stared, the anxiety and torment visible on his face. After five hours into the investigation, he found himself against the proverbial brick wall. The tension grew inside him like a volcano about to erupt. The killer had outsmarted them. Not evidence, not even an empty shell casing. A single gunshot wound to the side of a man’s head could be a possible clue unless the bullet had been damaged when it hit the skull. Only time would tell.
For Detective Mark Wilder, the clock was ticking.
Time was running out.
Death came with the rain, and it was stalking Dallas.
He had forever been haunted by the kidnapping and murder of his college sweetheart. It had destroyed his life. It had changed his life. It was the reason he now wore a badge. He did not want others to suffer as he had.
He was bitter.
He was an angry man.
He never thought he would love again.
But into his life without warning walked Sarah Mason, who volunteered in the thrift shop of the Calvary Baptist Church, a job that places her in the middle of the crime scenes.
Does she know what’s going on?
Was her life in danger?
Could Wilder protect her?
Could he track down the murderer before the rain man struck again?
Another died. And then another. The rains washed the blood away but not the rage nor the tenacity boiling up inside him.
N. E. Brown has written one of the most perplexing and entertaining murder mysteries you will ever find. She knows Dallas well. She lived in the city during the turbulence of the 1970s and understands the nuances and culture of the city. She has the ability to effortlessly transport readers from the present to the past. And she knows how to seamlessly intertwine mystery with romance. Her writing touches every emotion, and there are no emotions more powerful than love and the fear of dying.
If you read only one mystery this year, look no further than The Rain Man Murders.
Please click HERE to find The Rain Man Murders on Amazon.