Dark Rain

Dark Rain

4.8 12
by Tony Richards
     
 

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Raine's Landing, Massachusetts, can't be located on any map. On the surface it appears an ordinary New England small town, but anyone who stumbles in wants to leave immediately . . . and once gone, they forget they were ever there. Real magic pervades this village of shadows, practiced by powerful adepts descended from the original Salem witches. But

Overview

Raine's Landing, Massachusetts, can't be located on any map. On the surface it appears an ordinary New England small town, but anyone who stumbles in wants to leave immediately . . . and once gone, they forget they were ever there. Real magic pervades this village of shadows, practiced by powerful adepts descended from the original Salem witches. But a curse has made it impossible for any resident to step beyond the town line. Those born here must die here as well.

Ross Devries and Cassandra Mallory saw their worlds destroyed by magic run amok, and dedicated their lives to keeping supernatural catastrophe at bay. But now a being more terrible than anything they've ever encountered has just crossed over the border—a powerful entity no known magic can defeat; a fierce, ancient god who feeds on terror . . . and blood. A new nightmare is descending upon Raine's Landing—and for Ross, Cass, and the entire trapped population there can be no escape . . . not even in death.

Editorial Reviews

SF Site
“Once again Richards confirms his superb storytelling skill and refreshes the pleasure of savouring fine prose.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061474668
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Dark Rain

Chapter One

"Evening, Ross."

"Evening." I nodded.

It was Jack Stroud, one of the neighbors on my street, out on his beautifully mown front lawn, doing unpleasant things to an emerging nest of ants. The light was failing swiftly, bleeding the color from everything around me. The white picket fences. The brown-roofed houses. The parked cars. The patterned drapes behind their panes of glass. The low rosebushes, and the ivy on the walls. Lights had begun to glow in a few windows, and the air smelled damp and mossy.

"Helluva storm we had last night."

"It was indeed."

"Feel the way the temperature dropped? Like an iceberg just blew into town."

"It got chilly," I conceded.

People in this neighborhood are always a little quiet and respectful around me, knowing as they do about my personal history. It's always made me uncomfortable, to tell the truth. But Jack peered at me curiously, wondering what I was up to.

"Just out for a stroll? Or is there something happening again?"

"The former," I told him mildly. "Stretching my legs and clearing out my head is all. There's no cause for alarm."

The man grinned ruefully and shrugged. "There's always cause for alarm in this town, and don't we all know it."

"Man, you've got that right."

I wished him a good evening, and continued on my way.

I like to walk long distances, and when I do that I get lost in thought. In memory especially. I never used to be so pensive, and it bothers me sometimes. But then, my life had become so different to the way it used to be.

Anyway, when my surroundings came back to me properly, night had fallen. Allthe ochre streetlamps had come on. It took me a few seconds to work out where I was. Not far from Union Square, near the corner of Meadows and O'Connell. One of the faintly seedier parts of downtown. The frontages were shabby, needed painting in some cases. There were balls of newspaper and candy wrappers in the gutter. The dimly flickering neon signs for bars and cheap eateries surrounded me. Across from me, its window darkened, was a scruffy little store full of rune stones and books on how to use them.

I thought I was alone at first, until I saw a shadow move out of a doorway. It was a woman, tall and slim. She propped herself against the wall, and watched as I approached.

Getting closer to her, I felt my jaw tense. She looked, otherwise, perfectly normal but had tiny pale-blue globes of light where her eyes ought to be. They were glowing, like they might be lit by electricity. But she didn't seem to be blind. Because her narrow, high-cheekboned face...reduced to a silhouette...followed me exactly.

She was dressed in a long leather coat and very high-heeled boots. And, when I got within a few yards of her, she let the coat drop open, revealing a black PVC miniskirt and a brassiere of the same material. And nothing more than that. She was very shapely and her skin looked pale as ice cream.

She crooked her right leg forward as if she was trying to stop me with her knee. And met my eyes with those strangely glinting little spheres.

"Like some company for the evening, mister?"

Which was a good deal classier, I had to admit, than "wanna date." I paused and studied her.

If you discounted the eyes, she was actually quite attractive. Willowy and finely toned. Long golden hair dropped down across her shoulders in delicate curls. Her small chin had a dimple in it, and her lips looked faintly bee-stung.

But . . . her age? Twenty? Twenty-five? It was impossible to tell. Eyes give away volumes about a person. Not just their emotions but experience and character, and even time of life as well. Without normal ones, her face was just a pretty, passive outline sketched around an eerie glow.

The globes seemed to be studying me intensely.

"I can make it really good for you," she told me. "The best, guaranteed, you've ever had."

I wasn't interested in her services, but wondered what she was talking about. So, "How's that?" I asked her.

One slim hand came up, its fingers almost touching at the twin blue orbs. "With these? I can see what you really want. All your darkest desires and most secret dreams. The ones you'd never tell another soul about. I can see them in fine detail. I can act them out as well."

She paused, and brushed her lips with the tip of her tongue.

"We can negotiate the price."

I think I swallowed gently at that point. "And . . . is that what you wanted, when you used the magic on yourself?"

Her mouth pursed, the muscles at her jaw tightening. Creases formed in her pale brow. Those iridescent globes of hers still gave away nothing. But I guessed that...if she'd still had normal eyes...they would have taken on a distant, haunted look, dampening at the edges.

She glanced down at her boots. Then told me, "No. I wanted men to really love me, not just for my looks."

She gave a faint shudder.

"In a way, now, I suppose they do."

We've had magic in the town...real magic...for more than three hundred years. And, although it sometimes works the way it was intended to, it can just as easily go wrong. So encounters like that...and worse...are common enough. It depressed me all the same. Who said it? The suffering of a million people is a difficult thing to get your mind around. But the suffering of one can pierce you to the core.

Leaving her to ply her trade, I rounded the corner and went down O'Connell. Crossed Union Square, passing by the huge, bronze statue of Theodore Raine, our beloved founder. It was a pretty big square, as roomy as a couple of football fields. Symbolizing, perhaps, the importance of the Raine family here, and the hold that they'd always had over us. My footsteps clacked on the wide flagstones. I made my way to the nearby riverfront, the Iron Bridge, and stopped halfway across it.

Dark Rain
. Copyright © by Tony Richards. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

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“Man, can this guy write. (He) has the power to introduce you all over again to the pleasures of reading good prose.”
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“A terrific story-teller.”

Meet the Author

Tony Richards was born in Greenford, Middlesex, England. He is the author of five novels—the first was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award—plus many short stories and articles. His work has appeared in numerous venues, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Cemetery Dance, Asimov's, Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Weird Tales. He is currently a full-time freelance writer and, when not traveling, lives in the north of London with his wife.

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Dark Rain 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There really were witches in Salem and they escaped the burning times by quietly moving into the village of Raine¿s Landing. They kept a low profile, but one of them Ragan Farrer was accused by the townsfolk of causing harm to others she was burned at the stake. Before she died she cursed the town and its people saying they and their descendents will never leave Raine¿s Landing. In the present the town is hidden from view anyone who enters leaves forgetting the place exists. Sarauk, a tree spirit inhabits a human body and comes to town and he intends to become ruler of Raine¿s Landing. He is not strong enough to take over the entire town yet but as he makes the inhabitants afraid of what he will do, he grows more powerful in a vicious circle. If the trend continues he will soon overpower the townsfolk making them bow to his wishes. Only Ross Devries might be able to neutralize Sarauk, but though he has received information to succeed from allies, his chances remain grim. --- This is a modern day gothic urban fantasy that mesmerizes the audience into a one sitting read. The characters make the tale as the reluctant hero must battle overwhelming odds to defeat a 200 proof evil villain. With a strong alternate earth world-building (or at least village building) setting, Tony Roberts provides an exhilarating dark hirror thriller. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dashed in. "Rainclan! I am from Horseclan, here to tell you that we are finding a new home. Follow ne." She dashed back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't find it! Dunno if I missed it or if it just didn't show up...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just go to the sixth result of todd tenlander!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SpottedTail pads in <p> LeafPaw she looked away shyly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
'Birds of california' is the title
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Result 6. She bounded there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She smiled at Flamestripe. "Welcome."(we don't have a med cat.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
brjunkie More than 1 year ago
The town of Raine's Landing was cursed long ago, during the time of the Salem witch trials. When one woman was open about her abilities, the town expectantly burned her alive. Her last words were those that keep the people of Raine's Landing from ever leaving and those from the outside to come in. (They must keep a very close and analytical eye when marrying.) When an ancient, powerful, and malicious spirit comes walking by, it notices the small New England town, and decides to have some fun. Ross Devries, an ex-cop, is the only person who lives in Raine's Landing who has never done any magic. Together with his friend Cass, with who they share the same tragic loss, and with the aid of some very strong, influential, and insane adepts and an unknown entity known simply as the Little Girl, will battle the Matchi Manitou or die trying desperately to lift the town's curse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guys, Im sorry! My parents are really slow with ungrounding! Plus, Ive been really busy! Please dont kick rainclan from the pact clans! Ill be badk soon! Im really sorry!