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December 2011 Indie Next List
“In 1940s Wyoming, they're used to the occasional mean drunk, some stolen cattle, or Friday night fights, but what's new to them is the killing and mutilation of a young girl. Sheriff Tom Call is on the case, and all he can tell from the crime scene is that the killer has remarkably small feet. That's not much to go on, and when WWII breaks out there's nobody left to care about the fate of one little girl. Todd's novel reads like a three-part play: the initial murder investigation involving several key players; the war years when the players are sent overseas and experience both terror and brutality; and finally post-war, where the killer is back from the shadows and ready for fresh blood. Recommended for fans of Westerns, crime stories, mysteries, and even history, as the WWII section is rich in detail.”
— Pete Schulte, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO
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Set against the sweeping backdrop of World War II, Rain Falls Like Mercy is a gripping depiction of a family and a country touched by the grand violence of war, the senseless violence of crime, and the intimate violence of the heart. IN THE TRADITION OF TRUE CRIME
narratives such as In Cold Blood,
acclaimed author Jack Todd's new novel grips the reader from the first page; and as it spans continents and generations of one family, its taut and shocking undercurrent of violence builds to a stunning crescendo. Todd's first novel, Sun Going Down,
which introduced the Paint family, won praise from reviewers and major authors such as Michael Korda and Michael Blake. His second novel, Come Again No More,
recounted the Paints' saga of triumph and tragedy through the Great Depression, inspiring the Ottawa Citizen
to label Todd "a first-rate novelist with a tender heart." Rain Falls Like Mercy
opens with the murder investigation of a young girl in Wyoming in mid- 1941. Tom Call, the young sheriff running the investigation, falls in love with Juanita, the wife of Eli Paint, whose son Leo and grandson Bobby Watson are on duty with the U.S. Navy. Almost overnight, the case is derailed by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, disrupting the lives of all involved. Bobby mans an antiaircraft gun during the attack. Tom joins the U.S. Air Force and is deployed to England to fly bombers, still trying to pursue his murder investigation. His suspicion falls on Pardo Bury, the psychotic son of a wealthy rancher in Wyoming.
As Pardo and Tom make their ways to their inevitable and shattering confrontation, Rain Falls Like Mercy
displays Todd's uncanny ability to zero in on his characters' emotional lives while simultaneously painting a sweeping picture of the historical events that shape their destinies.
"Powerful . . . Todd’s vivid language is perfectly suited to the epic sweep of his narrative." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A sweeping story . . . Lean yet visceral prose . . . Todd masterfully captures both the larger historical moment and the more intimate details of family life.” –Booklist (starred review)
"Todd’s writing is exceptional and vivid. . . . A brilliant, compelling . . . and highly readable novel." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)