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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Four Kinds of Rain, Robert Ward's first novel in almost a decade, brings readers back to his hometown of Baltimore (which was also the setting for his critically acclaimed magnum opus, Red Baker).
Bob Wells is a down-on-his-luck psychiatrist with more personal problems than most of his patients. The divorced, 50-something doctor has recently lost funding for his clinic. Knee deep in gambling debt and with little hope for the future, Wells derives his only pleasure from playing guitar in his oldies rock 'n' roll band. When a mysterious woman auditions as the band's lead singer, Wells falls head-over-heels in love and determines to do anything necessary to keep her in his life -- even if it means lying about the size of his bank account. Soon the pressure of keeping up the appearance of affluence begins to unhinge him; then one of his patients, a paranoid art dealer, reveals the location of a pricless Sumerian mask and Wells decides to steal the artifact -- with disastrous results.
Although there are similarities between Ward's 1985 classic, Red Baker, and Four Kinds of Rain (both novels seethe with angst and frustration, and both are brutally perceptive social commentaries about the sad state of the American psyche), Four Kinds of Rain tells a more humorous (although hardly lighthearted!) story. Fans of noir works by authors like Charlie Huston and Ken Bruen should definitely seek out this dark literary gem. Paul Goat Allen