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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Black Rain: A Thriller (Danielle Laidlaw) Mass Market Paperback – January 26, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mayan myth, including the much-ballyhooed 2012 doomsday theory, forms the backbone of this action-packed debut. Danielle Laidlaw, an investigator for a covert branch of the National Research Institute, sets off into the Amazon with a small group of mercenaries, renegades, rogues, and scholars to uncover the source of mysterious radioactive crystals, hoping to find an ancient Mayan city and a possible source for clean energy. Ruthless billionaire Richard Kaufman has his own plans for the technology and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means killing Danielle and her team. There are other dangers lurking in the rain forests, including a cartoonishly savage tribe of natives called the Chollokwan and a mysterious man-eating creature. A few sections seem unnecessarily padded, but the fast pace and nonstop violence will keep readers forging ahead. (Feb.)
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Review

"Black Rain is an adventure that's not only a terrific read, but is smart, intelligent, and poised to shake up the whole thriller community.  Every copy should come with a bucket of popcorn and a John Williams soundtrack to play in the background.  Loved it."—Linwood Barclay, author of Fear the Worst

"Black Rain sizzles with tension and twists that both entertain and magnetize.  The plot envelopes the reader into a brilliantly conceived world, full of strange and amazing things.  Graham Brown is an exciting new talent, a writer we're going to be hearing a lot from in the years ahead.  I can't wait."—Steve Berry, author of The Paris Vendetta
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Product Details

  • Series: Danielle Laidlaw (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 515 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Books; Original edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553592416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553592412
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham Brown grew up in Illinois, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, moving often with his family. As far as he knows they weren't part of any top secret government agency - but then - would he really know?

A former pilot and lawyer and later part of a start up health care firm, Graham decided he hadn't had enough different careers yet and decided to become a writer.

A huge fan of Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton, Stephen King and television shows like the X-files and Lost, Graham's first novel Black Rain debuted in January 2010. Since then he's written two other books in the Hawker/Laidlaw series: Black Sun and The Eden Prophecy and is also co-writes the NUMA Files series with Clive Cussler. As well as writing with Spencer J. Andrews on the Shadows series and the Sci-Fi hit The Gods of War.


"I'm a huge fan of all kinds of writing. I enjoy the traditional publishing world because of it's reach and breadth, and I love the world of self publishing through Amazon, where you can write books the traditional publishers would never be able to take a chance on."

"This year is going to be a busy one. The next NUMA FILES novel is coming together with Clive. I have a short story in the Hawker/Laidlaw series that will be self-published and at least two other books that will come out, starting with Shadows 2: The Half Life. This is the sequel to Shadows of the Midnight Sun. It really takes the story in some unexpected directions."

Please visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/graham.brown.165/ for updates or my website www.grahambrownthrillers.com.

All the best,

Graham

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the wild places of the world. Not in real life, mind you, but on the pages of a book I can't resist them. With his debut novel, Black Rain, Graham Brown has combined all the elements of a perfect adventure thriller--at least one written with me in mind. He's got the exotic location, the mysterious beast, the ancient puzzle, the cutting-edge science, and he integrates all of these elements into a smart and thoroughly engaging page-turner. It's the kind of debut I absolutely love to see, and all I want from Brown is... more.

What's the story? Well, it's too complex to go into real detail, but basically the National Research Institute believes there's an artifact lost deep in the Amazon that may hold the key to a limitless source of clean energy. An expedition sent to search for it has to contend with hostile natives, terrifying creatures, and cut-throat competitors who will do anything to beat them to the discovery.

I'll admit that none of these story elements is especially unique or original. But Brown's novel is--for lack of a better description--just darn entertaining. And he does so much right. The plotting of the novel is nice and tight. I won't swear that all of his science is accurate, but it rings true. And based on the creature he creates in Black Rain, it's obvious he knows a thing or two about animal biology.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that Brown does an unusually good job with character development. And this is great news--because it looks like his central characters are coming back in his next novel, Black Sun. I can't wait!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you've read Cussler, Rollins or Dan Brown, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect going into the debut thriller from Graham Brown. In this twist on the popular historial treasure hunting genre, our heroes are from a secret government agency and their target is a an ancient source of power, possibly having to do with cold fusion.

So our intrepid team goes on their mission (where the team before them have all been killed) bringing together the thriller standards of the tough female leader, the snarky male co-leader with a checkered past, the hard mercenary and his team of cannon fodder as well as the linguist and two academics, one old and one young. They face the elements, a group of savage tribesmen that may not be as savage as they let on and of course monsters, lots of big scary monsters. Working against them is a greedy billionaire who has a mole on the team. Beside the setting, there isn't too much original about this somewhat bloated 500 pager.

Yet, despite this rather contrived setup, Brown manages to keep the action level and the interesting facts about Mayan culture coming fast enough to propel you through the book. Sure, you know right from the start who will live and who will die if you've ever read a thriller before, but hey, you aren't exactly expecting Eco when the cover has "A dark secret that kills" written on the cover.

This book is for genre fans and won't win any new converts, but Brown keeps things interesting enough that I will look forward to his next book, a promised sequel to Black Rain.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At first glance, Graham Brown's Black Rain might seem to owe a lot to the Da Vinci Code or maybe Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is a tale of a hidden treasure deep in the Amazonian jungle, yet the most surprising influence is another novel/movie altogether: Starship Troopers.

The heroine of Black Rain is Danielle Laidlaw, an intrepid adventurer who works for an organization that acquires technological secrets for the U.S. through whatever means necessary. When an artifact dug up decades ago shows signs of tritium - a byproduct of hydrogen fusion - Laidlaw starts believing that an ancient Mayan tribe may have somehow discovered cold fusion.

Beyond hostile tribes and a dangerous jungle, Laidlaw and her team will have to face off against a ruthless competitor also after the secret. Getting to the site is only half the battle; the other half is fighting the deadly creatures within a strange monument. It is the battle against these creatures which is reminiscent of Starship Troopers. Certainly the movie influenced Brown, who named one character Verhoven as an allusion to the film.

Somewhere between adventure, sci-fi and fantasy, Black Rain is a decent, if not particularly memorable, debut novel for Brown. As a beach read, it works fine, as the story moves quickly and entertainingly. If you enjoy these sorts of treasure hunt stories, then this will probably be worth reading.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not bad, but I don't quite understand all the 5-star reviews. Semi-entertaining read with a flimsy plot and little-to-no character development. One part X-files, one part Indiana Jones, mix with a dash of Predator, and you've got yourself Black Rain. Buy it used today!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thrillers, for me, are strictly escape reading. Thus I expect formula plots, lots of action, and predictable characterization. But BLACK RAIN surprised me, over and over again, with unexpected but believable plot turns, well-drawn characters whose fates I cared about, and generally excellent writing.

This is a story about a secret, ill-fated, government-funded expedition to the Amazon jungle. The expedition, led by a tough female "researcher" (really a highly trained, highly paid covert government operative), seeks to locate a Mayan temple site that is probably sheltering an artifact that is capable of producing energy by cold fusion. Such an artifact would solve the world's energy problems, and therefore unlimited funds are available to the expedition. But the government's ultra-secure computer system has been hacked, and word of the prize has leaked to a corporate millionaire, who sends his own mercenary forces after the expedition and the artifact.

Adding to the expedition's danger is that a previous government expedition to the same site never returned. The expedition's members--all but one--were killed by the arrows of hostile natives, or by a beast that attacked so swiftly that it remained unseen, even as it carried its victims away, leaving only a swath of blood behind. For me, the "unseen beast" is nearly as terrifying as the beast in RELIC (Preston & Child).

However, the novel delivers far more than a series of descriptions of bloody dismemberments. The story is about the expedition, and the devious political maneuvering behind the expedition that is continuing in Washington, D.C. and other locations around the world.
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