Friday, November 27, 2009

#47: Four Kinds of Rain by Robert Ward

A broke but noble activist and therapist decides he's sick of both titles when he sees a chance to steal a priceless work of art from an unstable patient in Robert Ward's riveting modern noir Four Kinds of Rain.

I haven't found a lot of noir that I liked since the great Gold Medal era of pulp writing, but Ward's novel belongs on the list of contemporary classics. It compares favorably to another modern favorite of mine, Scott Smith's A Simple Plan, which features literary writing with genre trappings. And Jim Thompson himself couldn't frown upon the unreliable narrator depicted here, whose vast narcissism and cold rationalization of his actions cause the events to unravel in the bloody final chapters.

I found this one on the $1 goodbye shelf at the local Books a Million while out Christmas shopping and devoured it in a couple of settings. Recommended for thriller fans.

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