Matt Stromsoe is a cop whose family was killed by a car bomb meant for him, ordered by his high school best friend, turned drug kingpin. Two years after the brutal bombing, Stromsoe is dragged from his drunken stupor by an old friend with the lure of a job as a PI. His first assignment is as bodyguard for local TV weatherwoman, Frankie Hatfield. It seems Frankie may have discovered a connected plot to auction off control of the rain in Southern California, and concludes every weathercast, “Rain is life.”

A ingenious opening sets up a poignant backstory for our two main characters that quickly segues and builds into detailed and clever character portraits. Parker further introduces a wide cast of morally grey characters with whom we are invited to sympathize. His spare writing does an excellent job of showing how circumstances and poor choices can drive people to a life of crime. Finally, Parker presents an unflinching look at prison life, as well as one of the largest and most violent drug trafficking gangs in the United States.

Review by staff member David D.