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Friday, September 06, 2013

The Rainy Day Killer and Blood Passage by Michael J. McCann

    The Rainy Day Killer 

A killer with a superiority complex scouts his victims, then waits for a rainy day and approaches in a suit and carrying an umbrella.  His victims go with him willingly.  When this killer arrives in Glendale, Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer catch the case. 

The characters are all well done, both the two protagonists and the minor characters.  The writing and characterization drew me in at once.  Although the murders are grisly, the characters carry the show.  Hank Donaghue, with several degrees before entering law enforcement, and Karen Stainer, hot-headed, aggressive, and extremely capable, show the crime scene photos to Karen's fiance, an FBI agent.

When Sandy Alexander sees the photos, he realizes that the Rainy Day Killer has now arrived in Glendale.  FBI profiler Ed Griffin has been following the RDK and is called in to assist; he predicts that the killer will make direct contact with Hank, the lead investigator.

In the midst of this investigation, Karen and Sandy are putting the finishing touches on their wedding plans and an annoying Lt. Helen Cassion has moved in as acting captain.  Cassion is abrasive, opinionated, and inexperienced; she is determined to make everyone uncomfortable and add difficulties.  

Two members of the Glendale PD fit the description of the RDK's preferred victims, and one of them is Karen Stainer.

OK--in spite of the grisly serial killer paradigm, this is an excellent crime novel with compelling characters.  After reading this NetGalley ARC, I immediately ordered the first in the Donaghue and Stainer series, Blood Passage, and have interrupted my TBR que to begin reading it. 

NetGalley/The Plaid Raccoon Press

Police Procedural/Crime.  Oct. 1, 2013.  Print Version:  304 pages.  

Update:  I finished Blood Passage and am tacking it on to the above already scheduled review.

Excellent.  Even better than The Rainy Day Killer.  More information about the characters and the Glendale, MD police department combined with a fascinating plot make this a riveting read.

The reincarnation element that initiates the re-opening of a cold case creates interest very early.  Taylor Chan is only three and a half, and when he begins talking about people and events he couldn't possibly know about, his parents take him to a psychiatrist at a university with a department for studying children who seem to have memories of a past life.

When a young man from the university begins to investigate the claims that Taylor was, in a past life, Martin Liu, the young investigator finds himself savagely beaten for asking questions.

What makes this book so interesting is the past life aspect and the information concerning Chinese Triads.  McCann has done his homework on both and his sources are listed.  The University of Virginia has done extensive study of the past life phenomenon, and McCann lists Dr. Jim Tucker's book Life Before Life:  A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives as his inspiration for the story.

I'm delighted to have had the opportunity through NetGalley to read The Rainy Day Killer, the latest in McCann's series--which led to my seeking out the first in the series.

Have you read any of this series?

NetGalley/Crown Publishing

Police Procedural/Crime.  2011.  Print version:  250 pages.


  1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Jen. I'm very glad you enjoyed the books. MJM

  2. I did enjoy both of your books and look forward to eventually reading more in this series.