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A Fistful of Rain Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Miriam "Mim" Bracca's career seems to be unraveling--almost as fast as her life. After hitting the bottle too hard while on tour with her rock band, Tailhook, the 26-year-old guitarist is sent home to Portland, Oregon, where she's expected to get some rest and get her head back in the music game. But as Greg Rucka makes clear in A Fistful of Rain, nothing remotely close to relaxation is in Mim's immediate future.

Even before she can get through the front door of her house, Mim is kidnapped at gunpoint, forced into a truck and told to strip, then driven around for a while before being dumped back where she started, bewildered but unmolested. Shortly thereafter, nude photos of her turn up on the Internet, and her drug-dealing brother, Mikel--whom Mim fears helped make this pornography possible--is shot to death. The musician is quick to blame Mikel's murder on their father, Tommy, who's just won release after spending 15 years in prison for killing Mim's mom; yet she concedes that such premeditated violence is probably beyond him. "He wasn't a planner," Mim says of the hated Tommy. "He was like me; life happened to us, we didn't do things to life." But then, who else would want to hasten the destruction this woman has already been bringing on herself? To find out, the petite and pissed-off Mim will have to elude police, confront a blackmailer in Portland's "shanghai tunnels," and stay sober long enough to stay alive.

Rucka brings the same cinematic storytelling, sharp plot twists, and quirky characterizations to A Fistful of Rain that have won his Atticus Kodiak novels praise. His portrayal of Mim Bracca is thoughtfully nuanced, her credibility as a heroine drawn from her weaknesses, rather than cobbled together from unexpected strengths. Too bad he wasn't as conscientious with other players here, such as Tailhook diva Vanessa Parada, who's given barely enough dimension to anchor her competitive claws; or Detective Tracy Hoffman, whose lesbian attraction to Mim is more the product of male fantasy than a significant addition to this yarn. Although readers can solve many of Rucka's puzzles before Mim does, the fraught relationship between this guitarist and her dad, as well as a turnaround ending, prevent A Fistful of Rain from ever seeming dry. --J. Kingston Pierce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

You're young, beautiful, and the guitarist for a popular rock group. Then, without warning, you're fired from the group (you also like to drink a little too much), and, when you come home to L.A., you're immediately abducted, piled into the back of a truck, ordered to strip naked, and then, inexplicably, returned to your doorstep unharmed. Oh, and your father, serving a lengthy prison term, has been released without warning. This is Mim Bracca's story (or the beginning of it, anyway), and it's told with such immediacy, in such you-are-there detail, that readers will feel like they're living it, too. Narrated by Bracca, it's a thriller in which the heroine is totally incapable of dealing with the pressure yet somehow manages to dredge up the strength to fight. It's a story about family secrets, about a past that can't be kept hidden forever, about love and betrayal and murder. Rucka has already written a fistful of successful novels, but this may be his most memorable so far. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553581821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553581829
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,736,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The author of four novels about professional bodyguard Atticus Kodiak -- Keeper (nominated for a Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America), Finder, Smoker, and Shooting at Midnight, Greg Rucka has been writing since he was eight years old, and hopefully is improving with age. A longtime comics fan, his first graphic novel series was the suspense thriller Whiteout, published by Oni Press and nominated for three Eisner Awards in 1999. Since that time he has been a contributing writer for DC Comics and an active participant in the Batman series of titles.
Born and raised in California, he earned his undergraduate degree at Vassar College and his MFA at the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Rucka has two tattoos, and rides a motorcycle.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
...but that doesn't mean I don't know a good novel when I read one. And A FISTFUL OF RAIN is a damn good novel.
What impresses me most--and likely will impress anyone who has read Rucka's previous books (and who hasn't?)--is that as far as his prose work is concerned, this is new and exciting territory. In the Atticus Kodiak novels, you have Atticus Kodiak as your focus character--a bodyguard who is a pretty straight shooter and tells it like it is. He's a very reliable and meticulous person, and so using him as the authorial POV makes for a reliable story.
Mim in A FISTFUL OF RAIN is none of these things--and she's telling the story in first person. This makes for a wholly different kind of read, where the reader is never on stable ground. Thus ratcheting the suspense up even further than normal.
Now, Rucka has always been intrigued by flawed characters. No one in his other books is perfect, and they are all the more endearing for it. This is something he pushes to the limits in FISTFUL. Mim can be blindingly stupid and make you incredibly angry for some of the choices she makes--yet since Greg is an author who cares about this character, he knows how to make you care, as well. You don't love her in spite of her failings, but because of them.
Ultimately, though, what keeps a reader hooked to a Rucka novel is on ample display here--and that's excitement. I think there is always a point of no return in Greg's books, where you have been dropped into the middle of the action and you just can't put the novel down until you are done. If that's what you love in the Kodiak adventures, then you're all set in A FISTFUL OF RAIN.
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Format: Hardcover
First of all, a warning: Do not start this book unless you have the rest of the day to finish it. If you start it right before you go to bed, trust me - you won't sleep a wink. Once this book gets rolling, it's near impossible to put it down.
Greg Rucka once again creates a high-speed roller coaster of a novel - a novel that starts with a steep drop, followed by a brief moment to catch your breath, and then when you least expect it, you're sent down a wild loop-de-loop that doesn't slow down until the very last page.
As with Rucka's other books, the best thing the novel has going is the main character - but instead of the familiar Atticus Kodiak, this time Rucka introduces us to Mim. She's one of those love/hate characters. One moment you are sympathizing with her, but the next moment you just want to take her and slap her silly. She is one of the most unpredictable characters that you'll ever come across in fiction and the predicaments that she finds herself in are definitely some of the most unique.
This is pure mystery. You'll be guessing who's behind Mim's torment all the way up to the very last chapter - and everyone's a suspect. Is it the person you least expect, or the person you most expect? It's hard to tell, as Rucka is ruthless in his twists and turns throughout the novel. Just when you think you might have it all figured out, Rucka throws a curveball your way that makes you think twice, forcing you to keep reading out of anticipation and excitement.
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Format: Hardcover
Greg Rucka is a new author to me. This is the second book of his that I've read, and he is quickly becoming one of my favorites. "A Fistful of Rain", after the Warren Zevon song, is satisfying not only because of its pulse-pounding plot (which moves at breakneck speed), but because of the challenge of a male author writing from a first person, female point of view.
The story centers around Mim Bracca, a rock star who is temporarily ejected from her band because of her problems with alcohol. Upon her return home, she is kidnapped, forced to strip naked, and then returned home relatively unharmed. Things go from bad to worse, and soon Mim's brother Mikel finds that there are pornographic pictures of her on the Internet. The police try to get involved, but Mim is rather pigheaded, and they find their help unwanted at best. I won't go further into the plot, and for one major reason.
The mystery isn't all that mysterious. You'll have it solved before you're halfway through the book, and the only reason it's even remotely believable that Mim missed this rather glaringly obvious resolution is that she's drunk nearly the entire time.
One thing Rucka is famous for, however, is last minute twists, and boy, does this book pack one. He cleverly leads you on, making you believe that you have it all figured out, and reveals an accomplice (and I use the term loosely) in the penultimate chapter of the book. While the twist is surprising, it isn't very intelligent, as there is no possible way even the most hardcore mystery buff could guess at it. This may seem like a good idea, but it really isn't, because the accomplice isn't really given a decent motive even after he's unveiled, and so the whole thing comes off as rather stupid.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not an Atticus Kodiak novel. But don't let that deter you. It's still filled with Rucka's smooth prose and lightning-fast pacing. It's a real page-turner. I read through it in two sittings. Considering my usual easy-to-distract manner, that's high praise.
The biggest difference that I see from this book as opposed to the Kodiak novels is that this protagonist isn't in control of everything and doesn't have the same strengths as Kodiak. Atticus is cool and knows what he's doing. Mim is on a downhill drinking binge, has been kicked out of her band, and is facing a couple of horrifying issues back at home. There is a lot going on around here, but she's in no shape -- either mentally or physically -- to handle them. Yet she has a Never-Say-Die attitude that propels her through the events of the book towards its climax. She's not a victim. She's a survivor. In the end, this book is more a character study of a troubled woman than the more plot-driven thrillers of the Kodiak books.
If you can't wait the year or two it'll take for the next Kodiak book to come out, give this one a try. You'll recognize the straightforward prose, but delight in something new outside the usual sphere of personal protection and natonal politics.
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