Only the Rain

Only the Rain

When family man and war veteran Russell loses his job as a quarry worker, his life suddenly seems more like a waking nightmare than a chance to finally live the American dream. Facing bills, a new baby, and a bone-dry bank account, he’s got nothing left to lose. Russell comes to the rescue of a naked stranger dancing in the rain, and what was supposed to be a straightforw...

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Title:Only the Rain
Author:Randall Silvis
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Only the Rain Reviews

  • Suz Jay

    I was excited to have the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book on NetGalley.

    “Only the Rain” by Randall Silvis is the type of novel that rocks the reader to the core and keeps her turning pages all night long to find out what happens next. Silvis is a gifted storyteller. He breathes life into each of the characters, making them pop from the page. His beautiful prose shines, adding an elegance to the reading experience: “It should be one of the laws of Physics: A body at

    I was excited to have the opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book on NetGalley.

    “Only the Rain” by Randall Silvis is the type of novel that rocks the reader to the core and keeps her turning pages all night long to find out what happens next. Silvis is a gifted storyteller. He breathes life into each of the characters, making them pop from the page. His beautiful prose shines, adding an elegance to the reading experience: “It should be one of the laws of Physics: A body at rest tends to stay at rest until acted upon by a naked lady dancing in the rain.”

    The protagonist, Russell, is the kind-hearted person we see in the guy next door and in ourselves. He’s a hard worker, a good father and husband, and a veteran. Russell is relatable and likable despite his flaws. He looks unflinchingly at the good, bad, and ugly decisions he makes throughout the story. The motivations behind his choices are crystal clear and his emotions as he deals with the consequences are raw and real.

    The story helps us recall our own weaknesses and sketchy decisions, while providing us with the strength to deal with the consequences of our actions. By following Russell on his journey, the reader can’t help by be affected and extrapolate his situation to her own life.

    “Only the Rain” is a keeper shelf book.

  • Tulay

    Very glad that I chose this book, Amazon First Read December novel.

    Russell is Iraq veteran, grandfather is Vietnam veteran and they know what other needs. Love, support and understanding of family. Russell writes everything about himself and what is going on to his sergeant, even the things he couldn't tell his wife. Touching, though provoking story. Rainy days will remind me this novel.

  • Goth Gone Grey

    I swear, I'm only reading one chapter...Or the whole book at once. Same thing!

    ...Except the trick's on me, there are no chapters. And reading this whole book in one sitting? Absolutely plausible. Had I not downloaded it before going to work, I absolutely would have read it in one breathless, barely blinking, madly swiping sitting.

    Russell is a war vet who tells the story in a series of emails to a friend of his from the military. It's an interesting literary technique that allows him to merge pa

    I swear, I'm only reading one chapter...Or the whole book at once. Same thing!

    ...Except the trick's on me, there are no chapters. And reading this whole book in one sitting? Absolutely plausible. Had I not downloaded it before going to work, I absolutely would have read it in one breathless, barely blinking, madly swiping sitting.

    Russell is a war vet who tells the story in a series of emails to a friend of his from the military. It's an interesting literary technique that allows him to merge past and present seamlessly, mixing in antecdotes that the friend knows and filling in Russell's back history as well. It rings true, allowing for a more casual, honest tone with a single narrator not wasting space on excessive descriptions of places or people, giving an immediacy and intimacy to the book.

    The tale shows one how bad decision leads to more, even to the point of explaining it as the Domino Catastrophe Theory. Russell loses his job, tries to rescue a dancing naked girl who falls in the rain, and is tempted by... No, not the girl - not entirely - but a large box of money. He takes it (not a spoiler, this is in the blurb about the book already) and things get more interesting from there. (Madder, quicker swiping and reading - I'll need to reread to see what I missed in my haste.)

    The narration veers between past and present, discussing the events that transpired after the theft as well as reminicing about awful events during the war that they shared. Russell and his wife both have family issues that are mentioned as well and worked cleanly into the plot. Without spoilers, the ending is sound but still leaves unanswered questions.

    Kudos to the author, I'll be looking for more of his work.

  • Dee Arr

    Even as I clicked the purchase button, I wondered if I had made an error. My cursor hovered over the “Cancel Order” link as I pondered if I really wanted to take a chance on another thriller that would probably turn out to be just another washed clean, milquetoast, unbelievable story that would never make sense in the real world.

    Fortunately, I never canceled the order and “Only the Rain” was a thriller on every level.

    Author Randall Silvis allows the main character Russell to tell the story of wh

    Even as I clicked the purchase button, I wondered if I had made an error. My cursor hovered over the “Cancel Order” link as I pondered if I really wanted to take a chance on another thriller that would probably turn out to be just another washed clean, milquetoast, unbelievable story that would never make sense in the real world.

    Fortunately, I never canceled the order and “Only the Rain” was a thriller on every level.

    Author Randall Silvis allows the main character Russell to tell the story of what happened through a written one-sided conversation with his ex-service buddy, Spence. This phases the retelling into what might normally be relayed over the course of an evening of beers beers, and brings a natural flow to the book. It also enables readers to easily place themselves emotionally into the action.

    There are so many things I liked about this book. The plot was entirely believable, right down to the unexpected ending. The author continued to ratchet up the intensity throughout the entire book, building slowly until the climax. The story moved quickly, and I never found myself bored with what was going on. The main characters are fleshed out, allowing us to understand their motivations. Most importantly, this book definitely qualifies as a thriller.

    All of us have gotten tangled in unfortunate situations at one time or another, and when we think back, the first consideration is why did we ever get involved in the first place. This makes it easy to understand Russell’s thinking, including his subsequent decisions as he attempts to make his way through life’s minefield in order to achieve safety for himself and his family. I’m happy my last decision was not to hit the cancel button. Five stars.

  • Holly  B

    When it rains, it pours!

    Captivating with a suspenseful pace that is simply spellbinding.  5 STARS!!

    This author's storytelling and characterization had me emotionally involved in this story.  I was experiencing feelings about what I might have done or how I may have acted or reacted to the various situations.  I found myself asking many questions about the dilemma that the main character Russell set in motion. It takes a special skill to be able to provoke so much emotion in the reader (me)!

    A rai

    When it rains, it pours!

    Captivating with a suspenseful pace that is simply spellbinding.  5 STARS!!

    This author's storytelling and characterization had me emotionally involved in this story.  I was experiencing feelings about what I might have done or how I may have acted or reacted to the various situations.  I found myself asking many questions about the dilemma that the main character Russell set in motion. It takes a special skill to be able to provoke so much emotion in the reader (me)!

    A rainy day that won't be forgotten...

    Russell has just been fired and he has no savings, could Russell's day get any worse? He has two young daughters and a wife expecting a third.  They depend on him for financial security.  He is determined not to let them down. He is a family man!

    He is on his way home wondering how he is going to break the news to his wife. He is speeding along on his motorcycle in the pouring rain with the weight of his predicament on his shoulders.  He passes a cottage and sees a naked lady out dancing in the rain without a care.  He passes by, but something doesn't feel right so he decides to go back.  Doesn't that seem like the "right" thing to do? The actions and decisions he soon makes will start to spiral out of control.

    He can't take what he did back. Why didn't he just look the other way? Keep his eye on the road? 

    If you're like me and love suspense novels that offer "moral" choices and let you into the "mind" of the character, you will devour this one quickly!

    This was my Kindle First Pick for February and I couldn't be happier!!

  • Judy Collins

    From the internationally acclaimed author and gifted storyteller, a master of complicated human souls— Randall Silvis bring readers his latest,

    —a gripping and emotional story of an ordinary man faced with a split second decision, leading to dire consequences.

    One which could change the course of his life and

    A short book (read in one sitting),

    blending of literary, drama, mystery, suspense, and psychological thriller. Most

    From the internationally acclaimed author and gifted storyteller, a master of complicated human souls— Randall Silvis bring readers his latest,

    —a gripping and emotional story of an ordinary man faced with a split second decision, leading to dire consequences.

    One which could change the course of his life and

    A short book (read in one sitting),

    blending of literary, drama, mystery, suspense, and psychological thriller. Most importantly, as with all Randall Silvis’ books, THOUGHT-PROVOKING and INSIGHTFUL.

    The author's lyrical prose is "spellbinding" drawing you into the raw and emotional world of his characters. A given—

    written from a man searching for answers to his good friend and Army buddy from Iraq, Spencer. (has been six years since he has seen him), the story unravels.

    “Thing is, there’s just too much I have to tell somebody, and nobody else I can tell it to.”

    is an average guy. A former soldier still haunted with dreams and nightmares from the war. The horrific experiences continue to make him feel helpless and guilty. He continues to fight his demons even back home, attempting to live a regular life.

    “Personally, I’ve come to believe that theories are of small value when it comes to actually living your life, to making all the hard decisions you have to make and then dealing with the consequences of those decisions.”

    A wife (Cindy), and two daughters (Dani and Emma). Another baby on the way. He has a secret. He must tell someone. The computer is his only outlet and email communication (even though he may not send).

    to tell his wife and his Pops. Pops and Gee, the grandparents who raised him after his mother died. Gee passed on a year ago, and now Pops is living at Brookside Manor, an independent living facility. They are very close.

    (loved his character). He has a smile that lights up a room. Russell cannot tell Pops what he has done. Russell loves his Pops and respects him. (enjoyed the interaction with other residents).

    However, if he cannot figure a way out of this, he may have no other choice but to tell Pops. Pops, also a veteran from the Vietnam War understands the horrors of war.

    Cindy, Russell’s wife (a bank teller) has not had a comfortable life. A drug dealing abusive low-life dad (Donnie) and mother, Janice. She managed to escape. However, he continues to try to worm his way back into their lives.

    finally have their home and trying to live a healthy family life. He has just lost his job at the plant which is being shut down. He does not want to tell his wife yet since she worries so much.

    and the current pregnancy, he wants to try and find another job before he causes her more stress. He wants her to feel safe and secure. He still has a few weeks to wrap up the situation before the Chinese take over.

    his life would go from secure and hopeful to being one step away from homeless. Without health insurance, the mortgage, utilities, taxes, and a family of four to feed.

    With Cindy's bank job, the income would be of little help without his salary. He is stressed. He cannot let his family down. With minimal jobs in the area, he must keep this a secret until he lands another job.

    and he is on his motorcycle. Due to the traffic, he takes a different route. He passes a worn down house when he sees a woman dancing naked in the rain with Gregg Allman music playing loudly in the background.

    She seems to have fallen, and a pit bull is chained nearby. Out in the middle of nowhere. He must make a decision.

    At first, he decides to keep going, but then again he thinks she needs help. He turns around. He helps someone who does not want help.

    to be strung out on drugs. When he stops and carries her inside, she is wet and muddy and appears to be alone. He tells her she needs to get in the shower. She is in the other room, and when he pulls back the shower curtain, he sees four cardboard boxes with duct tape. He lifts off the lid and sees bundles of cash.

    A drugged woman trying to seduce him, and cash. Fear, panic, excitement. Should he leave it, or take it. Most likely the money was from drug dealing. Who would know if he grabbed it? Just one box. The money would help him pay the bills until he found another job. It would save his family.

    He was no better than a typical thief. Shame. Grief. Fear. Disgust. The war before and the battle waging within him now. A strong need to feel loved and safe. Thinking about the same decisions he made during the battles in Iraq.

    and what was he going to do with it? His daughter gets sick, and he has to use the money to pay the hospital bill. Now what?

    His boot prints. The drug dealers. He needs more than Spence. He needs his Pop. He has to tell him. To help figure a way out. A strategy. Pop's storage unit.

    are on his trail, and his low life father in law Donnie is involved. In a race against time, he has placed his family, his Pops, and himself in the middle of impending danger.

    What is his exit strategy? He needs to be the kind of husband and father Pops had been. What about plans A, B, and C. The Domino Catastrophe Theory.

    struggling, trying to do the right thing during childhood, college, adulthood, the army, marriage, and parenthood. Stealing the money involved his entire family in one way or another. He lost his job and when he saw the money he thought this was the answer.

    always have a way of snowballing. The day of reckoning. The McClain brothers are an extension of Iraq. As if the same war.

    “Is it possible to hate something you did and to hate yourself for doing it, yet still be glad you did it?”

    action-packed

    draws you into a realistic world of one man’s choices and consequences. Crossing ethical lines in order to save his family. A man, struggling with his inner demons.

    What makes this story so absorbing (in addition to the correspondence to Spence), his friend— is the heartwarming and intricate relationship between Pops and Russell.

    Life. “You gain, you lose. You win you fail. You spin, you die."

    “Spin and die, To live a butterfly again.”

    In addition to the digital copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Eric G. Dove for an engaging performance.

    I became an instant fan of the author when I first read (Ryan Marcus Mystery Series #1)

    (fabulous).

    Be sure and add to your reading list,

    coming Jan 23, 2018. A second book in the series. Another 5 star! Blog Tour Host, Jan 23.

    contest starting Jan 15-Feb 1. Working on my review now.

    "...[a] deeply satisfying sequel....this solid procedural offers heart-pounding moments of suspense. Silvis smoothly blends moments of exquisite beauty into a sea of darker emotion to create a moving story heavy with the theme of the 'past is never past.'" - Publishers Weekly Starred Review

    and intelligent thrillers with a literary flair, highly recommend this author. There is another author who is one of my favorites,

    . These two authors have a remarkable talent for storytelling. Both authors have a rare gift of making you fall magically in love with their words. Also, check out her upcoming book (Aug 2018)

    .

    If you enjoyed

    recommend James Hankins’

    and Dennis Lehane's

    .

    If you missed this Kindle First read during Dec, you should grab it now. In e-book, hardcover, and audio formats. Highly Recommend.

  • Diane S ☔

    A kindle first pick for me and one in which I was very pleased. I have read his two DeMarco series books and also enjoyed both. A simple story, simply written as a modern day morality tale. A young man, husband, father of two young daughters, wife expecting another, loses his job. Feeling desperate, and though he is at heart a good man, a loving man, does something he comes to regret. Something with a terrible cost, something he needs to put right.

    The writing is vivid, flows well as we see all t

    A kindle first pick for me and one in which I was very pleased. I have read his two DeMarco series books and also enjoyed both. A simple story, simply written as a modern day morality tale. A young man, husband, father of two young daughters, wife expecting another, loses his job. Feeling desperate, and though he is at heart a good man, a loving man, does something he comes to regret. Something with a terrible cost, something he needs to put right.

    The writing is vivid, flows well as we see all the thought processes of this conflicted man. How can he make this right and keep his family intact? We learn of his past, his closeness to his grandparents who raised him to do right, another thing he has trouble forgiving himself for. I couldn't condone his actions, but understood how he made the decisions he made and why. Found myself rooting for this little family. Loved his remaining grandparent, Pappi, who helps without condemnation. Also, I liked how this author took us back to both these men and their war experiences, advice, action then that they use now. Could it have ended the way it did? I thought so.

  • Marialyce

    4.5 marvelously written stars

    There are some books you read because they have gotten so much hype you just can't pass them up.There are some books you read because a friend, or a family member recommends them. Then there are books you read just for the beauty of the writing, the ease in which he author tells his or her story, the emotions that stir inside you are you turn the pages. Only the Rain is one of those books. It comes at you slowly, pulling you into the story of a young veteran, a fathe

    4.5 marvelously written stars

    There are some books you read because they have gotten so much hype you just can't pass them up.There are some books you read because a friend, or a family member recommends them. Then there are books you read just for the beauty of the writing, the ease in which he author tells his or her story, the emotions that stir inside you are you turn the pages. Only the Rain is one of those books. It comes at you slowly, pulling you into the story of a young veteran, a father, a husband who finds himself in the middle of a problem created because he loves his family and needs to protect and provide for them

    Russell, the main character in this tale finds money stashed in a meth house. He takes it, a victimless crime really, and that money is so needed by him and his family. Russell has just lost his job, has two young daughters, and a wife who is expecting baby number three. How could he not take the money? And yet, Russell struggles with his conscience, struggles with the impact of what he has done, and when the meth dealers come after him, his life and family are in jeopardy. Russell has a grandfather, the man who raised him, who is the impetus behind the man that Russell is and wants to be. He also have the memory of a man who was the leader of his company while serving in the army overseas.

    Told with tenderness and a certain amount of grit, this story was wonderfully done and had this reader rooting for Russell, his family , and Pops.

    Thank you to Randall Silvis who provided this reader with hours of reading pleasure and to the publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of this awesome book.

  • Brenda

    I started off lost in the rainy, grassy lush coulee with three of my Traveling Sisters reading Only The Rain and this turned out to be quite the interesting read for me when we clearly were left lost in different coulees. Often in our sister reads we have different thoughts and views on the books we read and usually I can see both sides of the coulee however for this read I really struggled with my thoughts on this one.

    Through an email from our main character Russell to his army buddy Spencer,

    I started off lost in the rainy, grassy lush coulee with three of my Traveling Sisters reading Only The Rain and this turned out to be quite the interesting read for me when we clearly were left lost in different coulees. Often in our sister reads we have different thoughts and views on the books we read and usually I can see both sides of the coulee however for this read I really struggled with my thoughts on this one.

    Through an email from our main character Russell to his army buddy Spencer, we learn of a desperate decision referred to as a “victimless crime” from the description of this book that Russell makes, that sets off a chain of events resulting from that decision. This has me asking myself if this could really be considered a victimless crime when these types of criminals are involved. Russell remembers and shares some war stories and I did find that interesting. We all liked the flow of the book and found it an interesting way to really get into Russell’s mind however once in his thoughts things started to go sideways for me. To me, it felt like he was justifying his actions to some very serious moral decisions and explaining how bad he felt about the things he did or didn’t do. I went from enjoying this one to being annoyed.

    There are some good dynamics here in this story and we all agreed we loved the tender relationship Russell had with his grandparents and that added a nice touch to the story we all enjoyed. We all loved Pop, such an interesting, strong, witty and wise character. I felt the dynamics between Russell and his wife Cindy was just too much drama there. I listened to some of this one and had to switch to reading it when this became too annoying for me.

    Things did start to pick up for me with the ending and things turned exciting and I was satisfied with the ending but it didn’t save this one for me. I still recommend this one as my TS really enjoyed this one and were left in the rain in the lush coulee. For me, I was left annoyed soaking wet in the barren coulee.

    Published January 1, 2018

    Thank you, NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Randall Silvis for a copy to read and review.

    All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:

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