My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published December 13, 2016
Thomas & Mercer
This was my first Gregg Olsen read and it won’t be my last. After reading the blurb for “The Sound of Rain” I was really looking forward to reading this novel.
The book starts in present day. Nicole Foster’s life is off the rails. Once an investigator with the Bellevue PD now she’s jobless, homeless and full of shame as she begs her sister to let her stay with her. Her sister, Stacy seems to be enjoying shredding any last bit of self-esteem Nicole has as she tells her that she has to hit rock bottom and help herself. She says Nicole can stay one night before going to the shelter.
Nicole was never one to upset the balance and usually lets herself be led by the men in her life. This probably stems from the fact that their mom left town they were little. Nicole was terrified their dad would leave too so she tried to be perfect. She took take of her little sister, making sure she had everything she needed. Stacy doesn’t seem to appreciate all that her sister did for her. She comes across very entitled and appears to revel in her sister’s pain.
Nicole doesn’t need her sister to tell her she has a problem with gambling, she knows she’s addicted. Even with everything going on, she feels the pull of the casino. Just wants to sit at her favorite slot machine and just forget everything.
We learn about the case that started Nicole’s unraveling. A little girl goes missing from Target two days before Christmas. Little Kelsey Chase is only three years old.
Right away you can see that Angela Chase is not an average mother. She’s acting very strange. Usually the mothers of missing children are inconsolable, frantic, and desperate. But Angela Chase doesn’t seem very concerned about Kelsey. Is she in shock or is there something else going on? Julian Chase is the father and is much more concerned about what’s happened to his daughter.
Angela starts to avoid everyone, including the investigators. She says she’s told them everything she knows. But Nicole is positive she’s not telling them something….even the father seems suspicious. He gives some insight into his marriage and his wife. It’s enlightening to say the least.
Nicole’s partner Danny is the acting lead in the investigation unit. Nicole and Danny are also in a relationship, though it’s a toxic one. Danny is a narcissist and Nicole knows he’s no good for her. He’s controlling and rarely takes Nicole’s opinion into account. However, if she comes up with something good he’s quick to take credit for it.
The investigation continues and focus turns to a registered sex offender named Alan Dawson. Alan is on the sex offenders list. When he was 17 he had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend (who was 2 weeks away from turning 16). Danny becomes fixated on Alan, but Nicole is hesitant to pin it on him. What he was convicted of was a far cry from kidnapping a child.
But Danny is like a dog with a bone and pretty much flat-out refuses to investigate anyone else. After some shoddy police work on Danny’s part, the case goes sideways and falls apart. Nicole is swept up in the mess and is suddenly out of a job.
Nicole has definitely hit bottom. But she never stops thinking about little Kelsey. When she crosses paths with Kelsey’s father, Julian she is pulled back in and decides to investigate on her own. But with this case nothing is what it seems. As Nicole continues to investigate she makes some rather shocking discoveries. But just when she thinks she’s on the right track to figuring things out, something comes up that takes the case on a whole different path.
So far someone has gotten away with murder….but who?
“The Sound of Rain” was a really intriguing read. The authors descriptions of a gambling addict and addiction in general felt very realistic.
“I miss the lights of the casino, the blank stares of anticipation on the faces of the players lined up in front of the machines that offer the potential to change their lives. We were all escapees. Whatever had brought us to our favorite chair, our favorite game, at 2:00 a.m. had never been about winning. It was always about getting away from the lives we were living before we were swept up inside the open doors of the casino.”
I thought most of the characters were well drawn …flaws and all. We see the dysfunctional love/hate relationships between lovers and family members and how they related to each other. Nicole was once a fearless cop but she allowed people in her personal relationships to treat her with such disrespect. But the reader can see she’s determined to change that.
Perhaps a bit far-fetched at times but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. The twists and turns were interesting and kept me reading. I HAD to know what happened to Kelsey. I really had no idea where the book was going and was shocked at how it all came together. Once I was a few chapters in, it became very hard to put down the book.
I am definitely looking forward to more from this author.
Thank you NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Gregg Olsen for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.