The Sound of Rain by Gregg Olsen

Available on Amazon

I love Gregg Olsen’s books and The Sound of Rain may be his best one yet. Written in the first person of homicide detective Nicole Foster, the story is gripping from the first chapter. Following Foster’s experiences from her investigation of the kidnapping and murder of three-year-old Kelsey Chase through her decline into gambling addiction I was swept up and carried away.

Foster and her lover and partner Danny Ford are thrust into the bizarre investigation but they have different ideas about what has actually happened. Angela Chase claims she left her daughter in her car while she ran into the store to pick up last-minute Christmas gifts. But Foster has a sixth sense that causes her to question the woman’s story. On the other hand, Danny Ford focuses on sexual predators in the area; certain one of them had abducted the little girl.

The understory in this book is fascinating. Nicole Foster has a serious addiction; an addiction that is about to change her life dramatically.  Going to a local casino with Danny to wind down after long hours at work, she becomes hooked on the bells, whistles, and lights of slot machines. Hitting rock bottom she turns to her sister and brother-in-law for help. Sister Stacy is married to Cy who works in a high paying job at Microsoft. Although they are very well off Stacy seems to enjoy her sister’s failings.

When Nicole has lost her job and becomes homeless, a chance meeting with Julian Chase, father of the murdered child, arrives back on the scene. Offering her a place to stay in exchange for her assistance in learning the truth of the crime, Nicole accepts. As she delves deeper into the mystery of what happened to little Kelsey Chase dark secrets bubble to the surface.

This is an intense and well-written book that takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of missed clues. The characters are vibrant, the plot solid with twists and turns that kept me turning pages frantically. The conclusion is satisfying and quite shocking.

I highly recommend this book that examines the darkest corners of the human experience and lays bare the depths the deranged mind can sink to.

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