For this Your Weekend Read, we don’t bring you a new book, but an older one: And The Rain Came Down. Well alright, 2010 isn’t exactly the time of Shakespeare, but the author has published works since. Why cover it? Two reasons:
1) It’s a fucking good book, and
2) it’s due for a reprint very soon, and another will be added to the series shortly.
And The Rain Came Down (which we’re going to call ‘ATRCD’ from this point forward) sprouted from the twisted and alcohol-addled mind of one Seth Anderson Bailey. When reading the book, one thing you’ll notice is that any military jargon is on point. This isn’t by mistake, happenstance, or Google research; Bailey himself is an Iraq War veteran from the 5th Corps LRS (Long Range Surveillance) and started writing this book while he was recovering from injuries at Walter Reed.
Says Bailey, “I wanted to write something vets could relate to. A realistic character.”
Did he succeed? Read on.
ATRCD centers on Jeb Shaw and his misadventures in a country town outside Dallas. Unlike most main characters in the “action” genre, Shaw is absolutely flawed. He’s a veteran trying to fit in and adjust, but it doesn’t seem to quite work out right. We wouldn’t go so far as to call our protagonist a hero or a villain—more of a principled warrior who does sometimes heroic things. And also, sometimes he does things that aren’t so heroic, but they make sense to him at the time. He’s a drunk attempting to come to terms with himself, and a bit of a redneck. All war veterans probably know a guy like this, and non-veterans probably do too.
On Jeb, Bailey states:
You know how you read these kind of books, the hero always has a best friend who is the muscle ? Some guy who is just on the line, and when the noble and virtuous white knight won’t get his hands dirty with something but will bitch out and let his buddy do it? I wanted something from that character’s perspective.
The action in ATRCD is realistic and sometimes appropriately graphic. You immediately know that Bailey himself loves guns, but he doesn’t annoyingly wax poetic for 14 pages about a particular optic or piece of gear as some authors are want to do. There are titties, sex, prostitutes, racial slurs, profanity, and drug use in the book. That is to say, ATRCD is definitely not for children.
An excerpt from ATRCD:
Next I pulled the other dining room chair so close that when I sat our knees nearly touched. I reached in my back pocket, and pulled out his sap. I slapped it against the palm of my left hand, my eyes never leaving his.
It was a beautiful, archaic weapon, leather, tightly bound and sewn shut around a haft of spring steel with a pocket of lead shot bulging on one end. The once tan leather had darkened with age and use, discolored around the few light spots where leather had never met sweat soaked skin or blood.
“I’ll give you credit, man,” I said, holding it up so he could see it, my pinkie through its strap. “Not a lot of people left in the world know how to use this thing. Not a lot of people know you hit someone with this side,” I said, rubbing its fat head in my palm. When he looked in my eyes, I brought it down as hard as I could on his exposed thigh. When he was done caterwauling through the gag I continued, rubbing my finger against the edge of it this time.
“It produces a completely different result than when you hit them with the edge.” His eyes went wide when he realized what I was going to do. On a thinner person, the blow could’ve broken bone. As it was, it just left a nasty cut, maybe a hairline fracture at the bottom. Maybe, because of a lotta meat on that thigh.
Sap Instruction 101: use the flat of the head to minimize damage, like say, when you want to knock a stripper out. Energy disperses evenly over a wide area when you use the flat side. Use the edge when you want to concentrate the blow. When you don’t care if you happen to kill the guy or give him a permanent stutter, ‘cause he’s gonna take a short ride in the trunk of someone’s car real soon.
The second book in the Jeb Shaw series is The Lines We Cross, and it can be found here. You can also visit his fan page on Facebook here or his personal page here. The third book is incoming soon–and we’re looking forward to it.
Declare for Morning Wood!
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