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When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he'd hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily.

As Hack and Deputy Sheriff Pam Tibbs attempt to untangle the threads of this complex and grisly case, a damaged young Iraq veteran, Pete Flores, and his girlfriend, Vikki Gaddis, are running for their lives, hoping to outwit the bloodthirsty criminals who want to kill Pete for his involvement in the murders. The only trouble is, Pete doesn't know who he's running from: drunk and terrified, he fled the scene of the crime when the shooting began. And there's a long list of people who want Pete and Vikki dead: crime boss Hugo Cistranos, who hired Pete for the operation; Nick Dolan, a strip club owner and small-time gangster with revenge on his mind; and a mysterious God-fearing serial-killer-for-hire known as Preacher Jack Collins, with enigmatic motives of his own.

With the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a host of cold-blooded killers on Pete and Vikki's trail, it's up to Sheriff Holland to find them first and figure out who's behind the mass murder before anyone else ends up dead. In this thrilling and intricate work, James Lee Burke has once again proven himself a master storyteller and a perceptive chronicler of the darkest corners of the human heart.
Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781439137369
List price: $9.99
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This is a story about justice and friendship.In the southern part of Texas by the Mexican border, the sheriff's office is informed that there were shots fired behind an old church.Sheriff Hackberry Holland, a Korean War vet, finds the graves of nine Asian woman. Later, he learns that they had balloons filled with drugs in their stomachs and were probably heading to a place where they could work as prostitutes.With James Lee Burke's ability to describe settings and provide unforgettable characters, we follow the trail of the killers.They want to kill the man who informed the law about the killings. The man, an Iraq vet may be able to identify the killers.The action is well paced so the reader can see what is going on with the criminals, the two young people who are running for their lives and law enforcement led by Hack Holland.The characters are well thought out and believable and the story is entertaining.more
Nowhere as good as the Robicheaux books.Too verbose.Too much religious mumbo-jumbo.Repetitive descriptions.Overuse of Kleenex [sounds like paid placement:]Hackberry Holland sounds too much Huckleberry Hound.more
Great plot and characters for an audiobook! And Will Patton's narration was spot on; I loved the way he differentiated his tone and accent for various characters and had a baseline sound for the omniscient third person narrator (I hope that is clear.)I like Burke's other series but Sheriff Hackberry Holland is tempting me to step out on Dave Roubicheaux.The detail and humor of the characters reminded me of Elmore Leonard's work. I also got a hint of Cormac McCarthy in some of the plotting and descriptions of landscapes and such.Both my husband and I enjoyed listening to this book together and we are already looking for another in this series.more
Lots of big words I had to look up. Holland ( sheriff of small town in Texas ) looks for murders of illegal women. His Deputiy looking to intangle him in her life, she is much younger. People running away from killers, Killers killing each other, Every one has a problem in their own life, Burke describes Texas boarder towns weather and land scape as something I world not like to experiance. To hot & dry for normal people.more
Read all 14 reviews

Reviews

This is a story about justice and friendship.In the southern part of Texas by the Mexican border, the sheriff's office is informed that there were shots fired behind an old church.Sheriff Hackberry Holland, a Korean War vet, finds the graves of nine Asian woman. Later, he learns that they had balloons filled with drugs in their stomachs and were probably heading to a place where they could work as prostitutes.With James Lee Burke's ability to describe settings and provide unforgettable characters, we follow the trail of the killers.They want to kill the man who informed the law about the killings. The man, an Iraq vet may be able to identify the killers.The action is well paced so the reader can see what is going on with the criminals, the two young people who are running for their lives and law enforcement led by Hack Holland.The characters are well thought out and believable and the story is entertaining.more
Nowhere as good as the Robicheaux books.Too verbose.Too much religious mumbo-jumbo.Repetitive descriptions.Overuse of Kleenex [sounds like paid placement:]Hackberry Holland sounds too much Huckleberry Hound.more
Great plot and characters for an audiobook! And Will Patton's narration was spot on; I loved the way he differentiated his tone and accent for various characters and had a baseline sound for the omniscient third person narrator (I hope that is clear.)I like Burke's other series but Sheriff Hackberry Holland is tempting me to step out on Dave Roubicheaux.The detail and humor of the characters reminded me of Elmore Leonard's work. I also got a hint of Cormac McCarthy in some of the plotting and descriptions of landscapes and such.Both my husband and I enjoyed listening to this book together and we are already looking for another in this series.more
Lots of big words I had to look up. Holland ( sheriff of small town in Texas ) looks for murders of illegal women. His Deputiy looking to intangle him in her life, she is much younger. People running away from killers, Killers killing each other, Every one has a problem in their own life, Burke describes Texas boarder towns weather and land scape as something I world not like to experiance. To hot & dry for normal people.more
This story brings together all the Burkeian elements of redemption, war guilt, the complexities of man (Preacher Collins), the curing power of love, and the author's love and usage of erudite vocabulary and pointoilistic word painting. As they say in bowling, it is a solid strike, right in the pocket, without any pin wavering. I hope Burke sees what a wonderful character he has created in the Preacher, as least equal to Raskolinov, and that he reprises him, but preferably not in southwest Texas (I dislike that place)!more
I enjoyed this audiobook, although I am partial to Burke's Robicheaux character. Hackberry Holland is a fine man and I like that Burke made him in his seventies and still has a young woman attracted to him. I think it does a lot to define his character, to show what a manly type of person he is and how his goodness makes him appealing. "Rain Gods" has a good deal going for it in terms of atmosphere. Burke uses the bleak and isolated climate of Texas in such a way that it contributes to the personalities of the characters by its influence on their moods.Holland not only has to confront a killer responsible for the deaths of people found in a mass grave but he has to deal with a preacher who claims to kill in the name of the Lord. His young deputy, Pam Tibbs, is attracted to him and he is not sure how to handsle that, but she tries to let him know. One of my favorite things about Burke's writing is that his characters are complex and well-developed and he hasn't let me down in this book. I recommend the audiobook if that is something you would consider, if not don't miss it either way!more
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