“Danger in the Rain” by Douglas Boatman

I enjoyed this novel. It’s a standard private detective serial with deeper touches of setting and character that really bring the reader into the story.

However, it was a little too much of a good thing.

A story like this one, full of action and description with a complicated plotline, can go in two directions. One leads to a rich, complex tale. The other is a whole lot of action running around in concentric circles that don’t really meet. “Danger in the Rain” is somewhere in the middle.

If you asked me how to make this story better, I’d advise one less sub-plot, probably the one that leads to the epilogue. Of course, that’s probably the storyline that leads to the next book in the series, a common fault with the format. The only other way of simplifying would be to cut the character and setting descriptions, and they are too important to the atmosphere to mess with.

The promotional material makes a point of mentioning the magic realism touch, which I was wary of at first. However, it was deftly blended with a hypnotism element that kept the main character (and the reader) uncertain of the nature of reality for most of the book. It was unobtrusively functional in the wrap-up, so I’d call it a win in the end. After all, the story does take place in Florida, jumping-off spot for the Bermuda Triangle and all that weirdness.

In total, the sympathetic and idiosyncratic characters blended with the beautifully described setting to create a mellow feeling of enjoyment throughout the read. Being slightly unsure of who was doing what in the plot added to the feeling of being slightly unsure of the reality of reality, so it all worked out fine.

Recommended for fans of detective fiction with a light touch but a reasonably mature audience level.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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