A good prologue always draws me into a book, eager to find answers to what has been presented in the first few pages.....who and why being the ones that spring to mind most often. The opening of Devil Sent the Rain absolutely drew me in. An unnamed pregnant woman, driving to her own wedding, is shot in cold blood.
Billy Able and his partner Frankie Malone of the Memphis Police Dept. boast the highest solve rate on the squad. They're handed this case when the identity of the high profile victim is discovered. The pressure is on from both the victim's family and police higher-ups to solve it quickly.
This was my first introduction to this pair. For the record, Frankie is a woman. Both are strong characters with very different personalities. Frankie is smart, tough and ambitious. Billy has some baggage, but he too is a smart cop, often relying on his intuition and hunches. They play off each other well. References are made to past cases, but I never felt out of the loop. Instead, I felt like reading more of this pair by picking up the previous two books.
Turner also brings in the South as a character. Attitudes and history are woven into everyday descriptions and settings, as well as figuring into the plot. Turner is from Memphis and her personal knowledge adds to the tone and tenor of the novel.
Turner's plotting is well paced, relying more on interactions and dialogue than forensic evidence for the final whodunit. And this is what I liked about the book - it is character driven. We become invested in the lead characters. And there is no doubt as to who is on the other side of the fence - they're quite easy to dislike. Billy's personal connection to the victim and her family makes the case personal. The run up to the final whodunit is fairly well telegraphed, but there are many red herrings and a choice of suspects laid along the way to muddy the waters and keep the reader wondering until that last chapter. (How many metaphors did I just mangle!)
I always enjoy the origin of a book title. In this case it's a discussion of the circumstances surrounding another death....
"They brought in boats and dragged the fields and tried to search the riverbanks, but the current was too fast. It started to rain. Poured for three days. I stopped at a convenience store for sandwiches and coffee. This crazy-looking woman in line got in my face and whispered, 'The devil sent the rain.' Then she crossed herself. It was creepy."
I love discovering new authors and series and Lisa Turner has been added to my list of authors to follow. Read an excerpt of Devil Sent the Rain.
See what other on the TLC book tour thought - full schedule can be found here. I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.