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Joel Canfield
White Rain
“Where the Hell is Max Bowman?” That’s what people have been asking for almost a year. What no one knows is Max has been locked away in the Community — a “retirement” home for former CIA spooks with secrets too scary to share with the world. But, after engineering a daring and almost deadly escape, Max is back — or, at least, what’s left of him. He’s lost his love, his home, his money and most of his memories, while being haunted by a Russian Rat Pack that’s out to kill him, a talking dog puppet that barks out apocalyptic warnings and a crooked lobbyist whose menace is almost as big as his stomach. And then there’s the matter of Max’s dad — the man Max wants to make sure is dead.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10


Plot: The idea of a "community" for ex-CIA operatives, where they are drugged and brainwashed, is unusual and certainly memorable. Occasionally, which characters are aligned with which (good versus bad intentions) could be clarified to strengthen the book’s premise.

Prose/Style: The text is fairly light and amusing, with witty and irreverent dialogue, chapter titles, and scenes. The title refers to white supremacy, an idea that the ultra-conservative characters in this book espouse.

Originality: This project feels original, except for the presence of Russian enemies, which is a well-worn trope in many contemporary mystery/thrillers. Although this is billed as a mystery/thriller, it's also a humorous book filled with quirky people. It is set in contemporary times and, with Trump as president, we meet characters like a ‘bad guy’ lobbyist, and a talking dog puppet attached to a man’s arm.  

Character Development: Max is a multi-faceted character, odd and somewhat charismatic, the most completely developed here. He has an adorable, if opinionated, dog. Jeremy, as Max's girlfriend's son and Max's protégé, is quite effectively fleshed out, too.

Date Submitted: April 17, 2020