Against the backdrop of thousands of gawking and disorderly onlookers, a Franklin County Sheriff, oversees the public hanging of the Coley brothers for the murder of a Jewish peddler. On humid July, Friday the 13th, 1884 in Louisburg, North Carolina, Tom and Calvin Coley meet their death at the end of a rope on the front lawn of the Franklin County Courthouse. Later they were carried by wagon to a little hamlet called Wood about 20 miles away to be buried where they were born.
Originally published in 1984 by the late W. F. Shelton, The Day the Black Rain Fell is part whodunit, part courtroom drama and a vivid re-telling of crime and punishment a hundred or so years ago. Shelton, a former mayor, municipal judge, theater operator and accountant, brings to life that balmy day when honorable men, obligated to uphold the "rule of law," mete out a horrific punishment.