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A Fistful of Rain Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2004
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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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mim Bracca, lead guitarist for the band Tailhook, was kicked off the tour because of her drinking problem. Read morePublished on May 30, 2013 by Laurel Whitehead
Greg Rucka writes a good, gritty, hangover of a story. The kind that stays with you months after you've read the book.Published on January 28, 2012 by werewolf
Guitarist Mim Bracca is unceremoniously sent back to her hometown of Portland, OR by the rest of her band to dry out after her drinking has jeopardized their break-out tour. Read morePublished on April 11, 2010 by Elizabeth Ray
Miriam "Mim" Bracca is a rock and roll star. Unfortunately, she's fallen into one of the big traps of that life-style: she drinks too much. She probably has reason to. Read morePublished on December 17, 2006 by Ian Fowler
I've read several of Greg Rucka's other books and found them enjoyable, so I was amazed at how terribly bad A Fistful of Rain was. Read morePublished on January 17, 2006 by Author Ty
After enjoying a lot of success with his Atticus Kodiak series, a series that has made me a true fan, Greg Rucka has followed it up with this stand-alone story. Read morePublished on March 3, 2004 by Untouchable
Mim Bracca, member of a famous rock and roll band and damages soul, returns home after alcohol takes over her life. Read morePublished on February 27, 2004 by Larry
Mim Bracca is the focal point of this very enjoyable novel, the latest from Greg Rucka. Breaking away, hopefully just temporarily from his Kodiak series, Greg Rucka has created... Read morePublished on December 8, 2003 by Kevin Tipple
Cheers to an author who can change the usual characters and get a new voice. Rucka is a talent. Doesn't always score high, but keeps things interesting. Read morePublished on October 25, 2003 by John Bowes