“The Sound of Rain” by Gregg Olsen

A compelling mystery full of twists and turns, with a troubled heroine who finds she’s much more tightly entwined in the case she’s investigating than she ever suspected. A former police detective who’s lost her badge, her home, and her self-respect over her gambling problem, Nicole finds herself pulled out of the women’s shelter and back into the case that brought her down by the father of the murder victim. But every lead she follows brings her closer to home…

I love these kinds of dark and exciting, (but not too gory!), mysteries, and this one kept me turning the pages right to the end. Nicole is genuinely in the dark about what is happening (none of that “I explained to them what I thought had happened,” but with no explanation for the reader, that you get sometimes in even the best detective fiction), even though she knows there’s more to this case than meets the eye, and the reader is kept guessing right along with her right up to the end. The detective-with-a-problem is a bit of a cliche, but making the detective female, and the problem gambling addiction, adds depth to what could otherwise have been lazy characterization, as do Nicole’s troubles with men. Again, that could have been a cliche, but Nicole’s problems are not the stereotypical-for-the-genre difficulty opening up, but the urge, all too familiar to many women I am sure, to be too compliant in order not to push away the few men who do care about her at all, even if they’re no good for her. Overall, a solid and well-executed entry into the mystery scene, that deserves a read by fans of the genre.

My thanks to NetGalley for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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