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.

  • 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.

  • Sean Million

    This was a quicker read, and I actually think that was a strength of the book. If it was 300 pages I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this as much. Fortunately the story developed at a good pace which kept my interest.

    There will be a few moments you'll have to suspend your disbelief, but it provides good action to the story. This is an engaging tale of a man struggling with the results of choices he's made and how he works to make things right.

  • Jeanne

    Seeing something traumatic changes our world – and it is no longer safe. We can't trust the systems and people we believed we should be able to trust. God – whether or not we are believers – may no longer be a benign and comforting force in the world.

    And, when we see ourselves as responsible for morally reprehensible actions – as often occurs with interpersonal trauma like rape or war – we may be unable to trust ourselves:

    Seeing something traumatic changes our world – and it is no longer safe. We can't trust the systems and people we believed we should be able to trust. God – whether or not we are believers – may no longer be a benign and comforting force in the world.

    And, when we see ourselves as responsible for morally reprehensible actions – as often occurs with interpersonal trauma like rape or war – we may be unable to trust ourselves:

    (p. 33)

    Randall Silvis is a local author, also someone I've never read (because he's local). I made a mistake. His new novel,

    , explores how moral values and moral decision-making are damaged by war trauma – and also how we can make sense of that trauma.

    I love my computer's delete key, but there is none in life. Make a mistake, even attempt to rectify it, and

    (p. 54).

    In his epistolary to his former sergeant, Russell described one bad day, which was compounded by a series of unfortunate decisions, becoming an extraordinarily bad day, one he would take back – if he could. Russell considered his options, listening to his grandmother's, grandfather's, and sergeant's advice by turns.

    explores the complexities of moral decision-making. Silvis does not propose a single cookie-cutter solution, but writes good dialogue, convincing relationships between men and women and between fathers and their daughters, and fascinating stories – even if you sometimes want to smack the narrator's head against a wall and ask him what he was thinking. There was often a wholesomeness to this thriller (of sorts) and a gentle, small wisdom that made me smile. For example:

  • RedRedtheycallmeRed

    2.5 STARS

    For such a short book, this really seemed to drag, especially the first half. It's written in sort of a stream of consciousness, so there was too much filler to get through to get to the point.

    The blurb for this was kind of misleading: "When Russell finds an enticing stash of money in the woman’s house, he knows the cash could be his only hope. Taking just a handful will save his family’s future...but then his daughter gets sick…and he must choose between saving her or giving the devil

    2.5 STARS

    For such a short book, this really seemed to drag, especially the first half. It's written in sort of a stream of consciousness, so there was too much filler to get through to get to the point.

    The blurb for this was kind of misleading: "When Russell finds an enticing stash of money in the woman’s house, he knows the cash could be his only hope. Taking just a handful will save his family’s future...but then his daughter gets sick…and he must choose between saving her or giving the devils their due." He doesn't take a "handful", he takes almost $100,000! The kid has strep throat and possible needs a tonsillectomy, it's not like she has cancer.

    Russell came across as whiny, everything that was happening to him was his own doing, except for losing his job. He claimed he was willing to flip burgers if it came to it, but it seemed he wanted to spend more time feeling sorry for himself than look for a job. I found it hard to muster up much sympathy for him. And all the lying to his wife, I found it unbelievable that she wasn't more suspicious.

    The last quarter of the book, Russell finally has to face the consequences for his actions, and his grandfather (the only character I truly liked in the book) is there to help him. At that point, the pace picked up quite a bit and it was the first time I was really engaged with the story.

  • Dave

    A naked woman dancing in the rain half out of her mind. Shoebox after shoebox filled with money. An Iraq War veteran losing his job at the local plant with a family to feed and another child on the way. It's a story of temptation like Eve with the snake and the apple and what happens when a man in desperate straits - at the end of that string of luck - succumbs and what happens when guilt and fear consume him step after step. All the right ingredients, but the soup tastes a bit flat with the nar

    A naked woman dancing in the rain half out of her mind. Shoebox after shoebox filled with money. An Iraq War veteran losing his job at the local plant with a family to feed and another child on the way. It's a story of temptation like Eve with the snake and the apple and what happens when a man in desperate straits - at the end of that string of luck - succumbs and what happens when guilt and fear consume him step after step. All the right ingredients, but the soup tastes a bit flat with the narrative, which takes the form of a long letter to a war buddy, perhaps not fully conveying the tension and excitement.

    Thanks to Thomas & Mercer for a review copy.

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