Afghanistan war veteran returns home to face his past and solve a cold case missing person case.
Dillon Bishop had fled his hometown of Bradley, Texas, as soon as he could, enlisted in the military, and ended up in Afghanistan. But after rescuing a young local boy when his parents had been killed, his vehicle was hit by an RPG, sending Dillon to the hospital and months of rehab at the V.A. Medical Center back in Dallas. His physical wounds eventually healed, but his struggle with PTSD haunted him every waking moment, and nightmares prevented him from truly resting. He always wondered what had happened to the small boy he’d tried to save.
Helping Dillon work through his continuing trauma was Jenny Lee, a woman he met after his release from the Dallas hospital. They had a comfortable arrangement the Dillon hesitated to call a relationship, though. Jenny Lee had been left a horse ranch outside of Colorado Springs by an uncle, and she hoped Dillon would accompany her to take possession in the upcoming month. He was almost convinced to do so until the letter arrived.
His father’s attorney had mailed the letter weeks earlier to a ten-year-old address, so it had taken some time to catch up with Dillon’s current location. His father had passed away, and the attorney needed Dillon, his only heir, to return to Bradley to settle his father’s final affairs.
Dillon had been raised by his father. His mother left him, his younger brother, Luke, and their father when the boys were still small. Years later, however, Luke disappeared without a trace on the night of a high school dance and was never heard from again. Their father had never quit looking for his youngest son, though he believed he’d been the victim of foul play and found relief too often in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. He’d been investigating every possible angle and lead he came across and had recently claimed he’d obtained a definitive piece of evidence proving Luke had been murdered and would crack the case wide open. But suddenly, while recuperating in a local hospital, he took an unexpected turn for the worse and died. Thinking that his father’s death following so quickly after his announcement regarding the case too coincidental, Dillon decides to finally take matters into his own hands and get to the bottom of his brother’s disappearance and his father’s murder.
Don’t Curse the Rain, the first book in author David Homick’s Rain Mystery Trilogy, grabbed me from the very first page and never let me go! The main character Dillon Bishop has been struggling since his return to the states from his service and injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Not only has he suffered wounds to a leg, but the mental trauma continues to buffet his emotional well-being. I liked how the author placed a soulmate in Dillon’s path even though they are still working on taking their relationship to the next level. The author kept me on edge with this couple as Dillon hesitates to commit to Jenny fully, and she deals with her frustration with him and pursuing her lifelong dream to return to the Colorado horse ranch.
There are a number of surprises awaiting Dillon back in his hometown: old friends, old enemies, and even a regretful ex-girlfriend that want to reconcile. Settling his father’s affairs proves to be anything but easy. The action begins the minute Dillon hits town, and the mystery isn’t entirely resolved until almost the very end. The author’s easy-to-read writing style made the pages and the story fly by. The author has an excellent way with dialogue. Exchanges between characters were much more natural than usually portrayed in other works, and the accompanying gestures and “business” enhanced the quality of their interactions and conversations.
Having lived and worked in the area where the story is set (Cleburne, Alvarado, Keene, and Lake Whitney, to name a few), it was fun to see familiar place names mentioned. The locations were described much as I remember them, so the setting felt genuine.
Besides Dillon working through his PTSD and relationships, the book is ultimately a mystery story about what happened to Luke all those years ago and who killed their father. By teaming up with his old high school buds and friends of his father, Dillon is sharp and determined in his search for the truth. I enjoyed everything about the plot and this book, and I look forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
I recommend DON’T CURSE THE RAIN to mystery readers who enjoy main characters who are military veterans, relationship stories, or a north central Texas setting.