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Rainy City [Mass Market Paperback]

Earl Emerson
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 28 1997 Thomas Black Mysteries
"Earl Emerson is one of the best of the new private eye writers."
--Chicago Sun-Times

Something made Melissa Nadisky flee her husband and their daughter. The note she left behind paints a picture of a woman haunted by a private hell. Now Thomas Black's friend, Kathy Birchfield, wants him to find Melissa--before she's consumed by her secret, terrifying demons.

Yet the straightforward missing persons case turns deadly when a killer starts silencing key witnesses in Black's investigation. But there's no turning back--especially after the sometimes-psychic Kathy tells him about her terrifying vision: a weeping little girl and a pit full of human bones. . . .

"Emerson is right up there with the best in the genre when it comes to bringing the elements of mystery to a rolling boil."
--Mostly Murder

Product Details


Product Description

From the Publisher

Earl Emerson's acclaimed series about Seattle private investigator Thomas Black is much beloved by readers and critics. And with justification. (These novels, running the gamut from THE RAINY CITY to the just-issued CATFISH CAF, are among my all-time favorite detective tales, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Earl's editor.) But I don't know any other crime novelist who amasses such fervent praise from his peers. It would be a crime to call Earl Emerson merely a "writer's writer." But there sure are a lot of talented authors who revere him. To wit . . .

Aaron Elkins: "In every book he tries something new, and he always comes up a winner. In the best tradition of American crime fiction, Emerson is a master of witty dialogue; clever, complex plotting; and lucid, meaty prose."

Robert Crais: "Earl Emerson writes with the richness and grace of a poet, evincing a quality of phrase and nuance that elevates the genre."

Ann Rule: "Earl Emerson and Thomas Black only get better and better! Earl Emerson has taken his place in the rarefied air of the best of the best!"

'Nuff said.

--Joe Blades, Associate Publisher

About the Author

Earl Emerson is a lieutenant in the Seattle Fire Department. He is the Shamus Award-winning author of the Thomas Black detective series, which includes The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior, Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, and The Million-Dollar Tattoo. He has also written four books featuring ex-fire chief and acting sheriff Mac Fontana: Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, and Going Crazy in Public.

Earl Emerson lives in North Bend, Washington.

Customer Reviews

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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars superior to most Feb. 1 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are all great BUT, up until Thomas Black finally marries Kathy, he is overly obsessed with women (including Kathy). You know what I mean. Every time a woman (kathy included) appears (not just in her initial introduction but EVERY time she steps on the page) Emerson drools over how perfectly gorgeous, sexy etc. etc. her eyes are and her hair is and her legs are. Over and over. Hey I don't need to be told over and over the color of someones eyes, hair, skin. I mean what is this? Emerson trying to fill-up the pages or is he just a shallow sexist jerk. And naturally most all the women in his books are stunning beauties all hot to trot or they are sick pathetic gutter dogs. The men are usually ugly, potbellied freaks.
Out side of that, Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are superior to most of what's out there. Full of fun and wit. Interesting plots that have depth and breadth. Highly recommended.
Now, his Mac Fontana Mysteries are not very good. In fact it's hard to believe Emerson wrote them.
Thomas Black Mysteries: in order, first to last The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, The Million-Dollar Tattoo, Catfish Café.
Mac Fontana Mysteries: in order, first to last Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, Going Crazy in Public, The Dead Horse Paint Company
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Thomas Black mystery I read. The book is well plotted and reads fast. The action scenes are hardboiled. I almost gave this four stars but I didn't really like any of the characters. Would it have killed the author to put in at least one normal character and some normal human emotions. Perhaps Seattle has an unusually high percentage of mentally ill and/or deranged people but I doubt it. On page 1 Black's dog is killed. Black doesn't shed a tear but rather he gives us a gardening tip--plant roses over a dog's grave--what's with that?
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Debut Novel Oct. 29 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Rainy City" is the debut novel from Earl Emerson and his character, private eye, Thomas Black. The atmosphere is very realistic; the series is set in Seattle. Black and his friend (in this book), Kathy Birchfield are entertaining and totally believable. The plot is good, and for anyone contemplating reading the entire series, this is the one to begin the journey. The character development throughout the entire series (the last being "Catfish Cafe") is excellent and a lot of fun to watch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superior to most Feb. 1 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are all great BUT, up until Thomas Black finally marries Kathy, he is overly obsessed with women (including Kathy). You know what I mean. Every time a woman (kathy included) appears (not just in her initial introduction but EVERY time she steps on the page) Emerson drools over how perfectly gorgeous, sexy etc. etc. her eyes are and her hair is and her legs are. Over and over. Hey I don't need to be told over and over the color of someones eyes, hair, skin. I mean what is this? Emerson trying to fill-up the pages or is he just a shallow sexist jerk. And naturally most all the women in his books are stunning beauties all hot to trot or they are sick pathetic gutter dogs. The men are usually ugly, potbellied freaks.
Out side of that, Emerson's Thomas Black Mysteries are superior to most of what's out there. Full of fun and wit. Interesting plots that have depth and breadth. Highly recommended.
Now, his Mac Fontana Mysteries are not very good. In fact it's hard to believe Emerson wrote them.
Thomas Black Mysteries: in order, first to last The Rainy City, Poverty Bay, Nervous Laughter, Fat Tuesday, Deviant Behavior Yellow Dog Party, The Portland Laugher, The Vanishing Smile, The Million-Dollar Tattoo, Catfish Café.
Mac Fontana Mysteries: in order, first to last Black Hearts and Slow Dancing, Help Wanted: Orphans Preferred, Morons and Madmen, Going Crazy in Public, The Dead Horse Paint Company
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A hard boiled well plotted mystery with unlikable characters March 7 2000
By Mitchell Ayer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first Thomas Black mystery I read. The book is well plotted and reads fast. The action scenes are hardboiled. I almost gave this four stars but I didn't really like any of the characters. Would it have killed the author to put in at least one normal character and some normal human emotions. Perhaps Seattle has an unusually high percentage of mentally ill and/or deranged people but I doubt it. On page 1 Black's dog is killed. Black doesn't shed a tear but rather he gives us a gardening tip--plant roses over a dog's grave--what's with that?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Thomas Black Mystery May 17 2013
By Waldoni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This series is finally out in Kindle. Black has a style which is enthralling. His wry humor keeps the reader laughing at times and captivated by the story all of the time. On of our great authors. Might be even be better than Block.
4.0 out of 5 stars Read This Series! Aug. 1 2014
By M, Compulsive Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
A likable, witty viewpoint character, his best friend,a woman, and the weather in Seattle.

Interesting characterizations of clients and acquaintances. The nosy disapproving next-door neighbor. Recurring characters -- Snake, the zany PI, Beulah the receptionist, his policeman friend and source.

Be sure to read in chronological order, as characters are introduced and develop.

I'm on my second reading of the series. Will come back to it in the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! June 11 2014
By Proud Kindle Owner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must admit it was a little hard to get into at first, but well worth the trouble. I really enjoyed being too know the main character, Thomas Black. This author did a phenomenal job on characterization and I enjoyed going along for the ride. I'm ready to get the next book and see what else Thomas Black gets himself into that his humor and quick wit had to get him out of. Very good story!
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