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Extended Audio Sample Rain Gods: A Novel Audiobook, by James Lee Burke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.0004995004995 out of 53.0004995004995 out of 53.0004995004995 out of 53.0004995004995 out of 53.0004995004995 out of 5 3.00 (2,002 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Lee Burke Narrator: Will Patton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Hackberry Holland Series Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9780743582445
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When Hackberry Holland became sheriff of a tiny Texas town near the Mexican border, he'd hoped to leave certain things behind: his checkered reputation, his haunted dreams, and his obsessive memories of the good life with his late wife, Rie. But the discovery of the bodies of nine illegal aliens, machine-gunned to death and buried in a shallow grave behind a church, soon makes it clear that he won't escape so easily.

As Hack and Deputy Sheriff Pam Tibbs attempt to untangle the threads of this complex and grisly case, a damaged young Iraq veteran, Pete Flores, and his girlfriend, Vikki Gaddis, are running for their lives, hoping to outwit the bloodthirsty criminals who want to kill Pete for his involvement in the murders. The only trouble is, Pete doesn't know who he's running from: drunk and terrified, he fled the scene of the crime when the shooting began. And there's a long list of people who want Pete and Vikki dead: crime boss Hugo Cistranos, who hired Pete for the operation; Nick Dolan, a strip club owner and small-time gangster with revenge on his mind; and a mysterious God-fearing serial-killer-for-hire known as Preacher Jack Collins, with enigmatic motives of his own.

With the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and a host of cold-blooded killers on Pete and Vikki's trail, it's up to Sheriff Holland to find them first and figure out who's behind the mass murder before anyone else ends up dead. In this thrilling and intricate work, James Lee Burke has once again proven himself a master storyteller and a perceptive chronicler of the darkest corners of the human heart.

Unabridged Compact Disk Includes a Bonus MP3 CD of James Lee Burke's Cimarron Rose! Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As always, Burke’s portrayal of the ugliness of human behavior set against the higher moral standards of those who fight evil is irresistible.”

    USA Today

  • “Totally riveting.”

    New York Daily News

  • Rain Gods is its own stylish slice of contemporary Texas noir.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Burke is a deliberate storyteller; he doesn’t skimp on the action, but his exploration of human foibles is deep, and his characters are true...Rain Gods is about catching the bad guys, but it’s also a moving, melancholy examination of how we do wrong, then try our best to atone.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Colorful prose, venal characters, haunted landscape, total entertainment.”

    San Diego Union Tribune

  • Rain Gods is Burke’s most intricately plotted crime novel yet... And as always in a James Lee Burke novel, one of the main characters is the landscape itself, lovingly described in lyrical passages.”

    Associated Press

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacia | 2/10/2014

    " I was hoping I had not read this one - but I have. I wish Burke would write some more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam Hegg | 1/30/2014

    " Despite Burke being among my favorite writers (a group who is so large that the designation is almost meaningless) I had not read any books outside of his Dave Robicheaux books. This was a delight. Well, that is a strange way to characterize a story centered around the murder of a group of young women and the machinations of the organized crime around the killing...but a delight nonetheless. I am fond of the way Burke turns a phrase. His metaphors and allusions wash over me like so much mollasses. There is such a strong sense of place in all of Burke's novels and that is certainly evident in this one. I will not belabor the point but suffice it to say I loved meeting Hackberry and will follow Burke in any direction even if it is off the Bayou. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 rinabeana | 1/20/2014

    " I liked Hack much better than in the first book, though it took a little while to adjust to the third person narrative and the fact that so much time had elapsed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/18/2014

    " Sodden with simile and so thick with purple prose hard to see through it all to the heart of the story. It wasn't a bad premise but it buckled under its own weight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 1/10/2014

    " Can't go wrong with James Lee Burke. He has a unique way of describing the most mundane things. His use of the English language is refreshing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/6/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed Rain Gods - it had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end, wondering what would happen next to hapless Pete Flores and his girlfriend, Vikki Gaddis, as they are caught up in the aftermath of a terrible mass killing and are being hunted down by crime boss Hugo Cistranos via hired assassin Preacher Jack Collin; Sheriff Hackberry Holland and Deputy Sheriff Pam Tibbs are trying to find the young couple to sort things out before the killers get to them first. James Lee Burke is a very good storyteller: I look forward to reading his Dave Robicheaux books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rick Hautala | 12/24/2013

    " I savor every book by James Lee Burke ... and this one, after 100 pages, is outstanding so far ... I expect that with Burke, but how the man does what he does with the written word is beyond me ... Truly a genius store-teller! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Blake King | 11/30/2013

    " James Lee Burke is still my favourite author and I love the characters mix in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 stan | 11/20/2013

    " What a start to the year a great book . must go down as a classic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 11/3/2013

    " I'll read almost anything by James Lee Burke. Other mysteries/thrillers, I'll rush through to learn "who done it." With Burke, I'll re-read a paragraph just to savor the prose. Combines good writing with good storytelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Roemer | 10/15/2013

    " This was another great read by my favorite Author, to me know one can describe a scene better than JLB. I was a little hesitent at first because this wasn't a Dave Robicheux Novel but I'm glad I decided to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sevan | 8/15/2013

    " This book's one of my favorite JLB's books. The characters are intriguing, and the plot is superbly executed, poetic and profoundly touching. The funny thing is that this was my first JLB book, but after this master piece I was forced to become his hard-core, fanatic fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald E. | 6/12/2013

    " Good ole' vet cowboy cop and young assistant in Texas trying to catch a bunch of psycho assassins. Got to love it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachael | 2/8/2013

    " It took me FOREVER to read this book. It's so complex, with a lot of mini-plots. Not a good gym read, or a bus read because of the complexities. Not bad, but I won't be rereading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed Lyon | 11/3/2012

    " Good but I like Burke's books that are set in New Orleans better. Pretty bloody. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 10/15/2012

    " Interesting story. I think Burke tells the story with interesting and different details. Reminded me of No Country For Old Men- Preacher is very like the antagonist of that book / movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 6/23/2012

    " New Character but still one of the best writers I've ever read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Charlene | 12/19/2011

    " Read 6 chapters & seriously could NOT get into it. Taking it back to the Library TODAY! ugh! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 9/16/2011

    " One of Burke's best novels, similar to the Robichaux series, but tighter and more coherent "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie Collins | 8/25/2011

    " Good story, gripping. Unfortunately there is way too much violence for me. It kept me involved, but after a while, I couldn't take all the death. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Mallory | 8/10/2011

    " Good story but it gets bogged down in the middle with too many subplots "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed | 5/5/2011

    " Good but I like Burke's books that are set in New Orleans better. Pretty bloody. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kasa | 5/3/2011

    " Too many similarities to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN kept me from being too engaged.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 L | 4/6/2011

    " Even though Hackberry Holland is a solid character, thoughtful, etc., I prefer the Dave Robicheaux books, probably because of the setting. Also, this book was more complicated that it needed to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 4/2/2011

    " James Lee Burke is the best! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 4/1/2011

    " He's my favorite author. Read a Burke book and your in a dark theater by yourself surrounded and engulfed by his images. I've read them all but can only do so once every 3-4 months because in the end they are their message about the human condition is not hopeful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 4/1/2011

    " This was another great read by my favorite Author, to me know one can describe a scene better than JLB. I was a little hesitent at first because this wasn't a Dave Robicheux Novel but I'm glad I decided to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cath | 3/21/2011

    " Minor Burke - his habit of circling his plot rather than trapping it and carrying it home becomes tiresome here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 3/4/2011

    " New Character but still one of the best writers I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 1/17/2011

    " I enjoyed Huckberry Holland .... there is still hope for us older folks. Preacher is a complex and in some ways appealing villan . The portraits of the various characters were very well done and some of his reflections on both the place and time of Huckberry were outstanding . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 stan | 1/13/2011

    " What a start to the year a great book . must go down as a classic "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ludwig | 1/12/2011

    " great mystery, good ending. james lee burke kept the book flowing so i was always wanting
    to know what was going to happen next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 1/10/2011

    " This would make a great movie ala "No Country for Old Men." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 1/6/2011

    " Can't go wrong with James Lee Burke. He has a unique way of describing the most mundane things. His use of the English language is refreshing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 1/5/2011

    " Burke is by far the best contemporary crime fiction writer I know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 1/5/2011

    " I loved the two main characters of this book, the sheriff and the killer. They are both very complex characters with common elements. Yet one is a sociopath and one is a good human being. Very interesting play on things. "

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About the Author
Author James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke James Lee Burke, a rare winner of two Edgar Awards and named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, is the author of more than thirty novels and two collections of short stories, including the New York Times bestsellers Creole Belle, Dixie City Jam, The Glass Rainbow, Rain Gods, Pegasus Descending, The Tin Roof Blowdown, Feast Day of Fools, and more. His novel The Lost-Get Back Boogie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and two of his books, Heaven’s Prisoners and Two for Texas, have been made into motion pictures.

About the Narrator

Will Patton is an award–winning actor who has narrated audiobooks by such authors as Charles Frazier, Larry McMurtry, Don DeLillo, and Ernest Hemingway. He has won thirty-two AudioFile Earphones Award for his narrations. His numerous film credits include Remember the Titans, The Punisher, The Mothman Prophesies, Armageddon, and The Spitfire Grill. He starred in the TNT miniseries Into the West and on the CBS series The Agency and won Obie Awards in the theater for his performances in Fool for Love and What Did He See.