October 05, 2011

A Place Called Rainwater by Dorothy Garlock

This book was almost another disappointment for me. In it, we are reintroduced to old characters, Jill, Joe, and Thad from the first book (they, with the exception of Thad are siblings of the main character) and are introduced to several new characters.

Jill has traveled to Rainwater, an oil town, to take over the running of a Motel while her namesake Aunt is sick. Not shortly after she arrives, Thad comes along to look after her until her brother Joe gets there.

Unfortunately, while she and Thad are out on a walk, they find the headless body of a woman. All signs point to the rich oil baron of the town, at least the signs pointed out by Lloyd Madison, a lawyer with a strange red devil mark on his face.

Madison doesn't just cause trouble for the oil baron though, he also seems to like to antagonize Jill's aunt for a reason unknown to all but the aunt. He also likes to stir others into a frenzy when it suits him.

The story revolves around finding the killer and the budding romance between Thad and Jill. There's a lot of drama and mystery with just a touch of a love story thrown in.

Like the other two novels I've read by her, this one shares a common theme. In each of the three books thus far in the Missouri series, at least one girl is a victim of a rape. There is also a great deal of mentioning breasts. While I can understand these as use for plot motives, does it have to be in every single book? Some variety would be nice. In addition, this one's language and the character's actions still don't fit with the time period.

Garlock's writing is nice but I wonder if she wouldn't be better suited to write about a different time period. Her language and the character's actions would much fit better for around the fifties or sixties. She does tend to be pretty crude at times and has no problems with profanity or sexual descriptions in her books.

I'm not sure if I'll be reading any more books by Garlock. It might be tempting just to see if she adds the same elements to every other book she writes. But anymore they are just different variations on the same theme.

A Place Called Rainwater
Copyright 2003
404 pages plus notes

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