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Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff
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Late Rain (edition 2010)

by Lynn Kostoff

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794334,712 (2.95)None
Corrine Tedros is a Lady Macbeth wannabe who sets in motion the murder of her uncle-in-law (a soft-drink mogul), and things go awry when the murder is witnessed by a senior citizen in the late stages of Alzheimers. Things are complicated by the fact that the daughter of the man with Alzheimers is involved with a former homicide detective who has resigned and moved South in an attempt to reshape and simplify his life; on his own, Decovic starts to make connections in the case that cause Corrine Tedros to up the ante in keeping herself out of the murder investigation. A book about desire and need and the fear that drives how far the characters are willing to go to find what they want.… (more)
Member:Iambik
Title:Late Rain
Authors:Lynn Kostoff
Info:Tyrus Books (2010), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff

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As a writer, I can imagine the amount of time and effort Mr. Kostoff poured into this novel. That time and energy paid off in terms of the brilliant phrasing and vivid imagery throughout the story (despite some sentences so long they lost me now and then). But where it really fell short for me was the actual story. It depressed me. I can take dark stories as long as there are elements of lightness here or there to break the mood, but I didn't find that in Late Rain. I found page after page of sad, self-absorbed or sick characters doing selfish and creepy things. The exception would be the protagonist Ben Decovic. He's an honorable man who tries to do the right thing, but even him I couldn't like too much because he felt too one-dimensional, like I never really got inside his head. Aside from that, it felt at times like I was reading scenes from a play that never actually connected, or worse, were meaningless. Even the last scene, which somehow gives the title to the book, was never really explained. Or perhaps I'm just not intellectual enough to get it. It's apparent to me that Mr. Kostoff is a wonderful writer, so I can't help but think that a different editor would have crafted this into a much better story. I'll definitely check out Mr. Kostoff's other novels.

( )
  LeahDee | Jan 24, 2016 |
Throw together a beautiful woman with a lot of secrets and a new husband, the murder of her husband's wealthy uncle, and a policeman trying to escape his past and discover a future; mix in some great writing by Lynn Kostoff, and you have a winner in Late Rain.

The well developed characters and storyline make this an intriguing book. Murders mount up, but will the guilty pay for the crimes in the end?

Good story, and a very quick read. ( )
  cmeilink | Aug 21, 2011 |
Characters, and issues of character, abound in the latest offering from author Lynn Kostoff, Late Rain. The sleepy, second tier resort town of Magnolia Beach, South Carolina wouldn’t seem to be the ideal setting for a drama of Shakespearean proportions, yet that is precisely what Kostoff delivers.

Corrine Tedros, unhappy with her husband’s lack of a sense of urgency in persuading his uncle, Stanley, to sell his highly profitable soft drink empire, decides to speed the process along…by hiring a hitman to take Stanley out of the picture.

Unfortunately for her, things don’t go quite as planned. First, the hitman strays from the carefully arranged script, leaving Corrine with a shaky alibi during the time of the killing. Second, Jack Carson, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s, happens to witness the murder. Third, Officer Ben Decovic, a displaced Ohio homicide detective with something to prove, latches on to the case. With that setup, Late Rain sounds like a straightforward crime story, right? Not so fast.

From the outset it quickly becomes apparent that the cast of Late Rain is a highly complicated bunch, each driven by their unique demons and desires. As the story is told in turns from several different characters’ perspectives, the reader is presented with an ever changing picture of the events as they unfold, never quite sure if what’s being relayed is the truth or a distorted version of it as seen through the prism of the characters’ personal motives.

Corrine, of course, is motivated by her desire to gain control of the company and, later, to get free from the very tangled web she’s helped weave. She also has a mysterious past, which is catching up with her at precisely the wrong time. Ben is trying to get his confidence as an investigator back after a killer’s random murder spree took the lives of five people, including his wife. In the wake of the tragedy Ben found that he had “lost his eye” for ferreting out criminals. He no longer trusted his instincts, so he resigned his position as a homicide detective in Ohio and moved to Magnolia Beach. His casual encounter with Corrine during the early stages of the investigation reignites those instincts; he just knows something’s not right with Corrine, and he’s determined to prove it.

And then we have Jack Carson and the hitman, Croy, both also unreliable narrators though for very different reasons. The snippets presented from Jack’s point of view, through the haze of his creeping Alzheimer’s, are painfully raw in capturing the essence of what it must be like to be caught in the throes of such a cruel disease. Can we really trust what Jack thinks he saw?

Croy, too, suffers from some mental illness or personality disorder. Though Kostoff never specifies exactly what it is, the way it manifests in his behavior lead me to believe it was Asperger’s syndrome, which makes for a very unique perspective during Croy’s chapters. So despite having at least four first person perspectives presented, there is arguably not one that the reader can truly trust. Instead, Kostoff challenges the reader to make his own decision as to where the truth lies based on the combination of perspectives and the reader’s own judgment about each character’s motives and trustworthiness.

You really need to treat yourself to this book. It’s one of the most impressive things I’ve ever read – yes, ever – and I can’t for the life of me figure out why Lynn Kostoff isn’t a household name. The way he weaves several fascinating subplots in the book together is nothing short of sublime, and his incredibly skilled, nuanced character development lifts Late Rain beyond being “just” crime fiction and into the realm of genuine Southern Gothic literature. I sure hope the students at Francis Marion University appreciate that they have a master of the craft teaching them. ( )
  AllPurposeMonkey | Feb 21, 2011 |
From Patrick - "“The basic set up is classic
noir: Corrine Tedros is a career grifter whose knock out looks
have gotten her far, and this time she thinks she’s really nabbed
a goldmine this time: her neutered male husband Buddy’s uncle
is a South Carolina soft drink mogul whose latest product, Julep
soda, is the flavor of the moment. He refuses, however, to sell
out to a larger company that would ensure his fortune. Corrine
sees her opportunity and hires a hitman to hasten the old man’s
demise. Things get complicated when the murder is witnessed
10
by a man with Alzheimers whose daughter is dating a haunted
former homicide cop, Ben Decovic. A patrolman for the
Magnolia Beach PD, Decovic is trying to lie low and put his own
past behind him, but he seems to be the only capable of solving
the murder" ( )
  pharrm | Feb 1, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
Kostoff...returns to crime fiction with a promising series debut starring a principled cop who is beginning to heal himself.
added by bell7 | editBooklist, Sue O'Brien
 
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Corrine Tedros is a Lady Macbeth wannabe who sets in motion the murder of her uncle-in-law (a soft-drink mogul), and things go awry when the murder is witnessed by a senior citizen in the late stages of Alzheimers. Things are complicated by the fact that the daughter of the man with Alzheimers is involved with a former homicide detective who has resigned and moved South in an attempt to reshape and simplify his life; on his own, Decovic starts to make connections in the case that cause Corrine Tedros to up the ante in keeping herself out of the murder investigation. A book about desire and need and the fear that drives how far the characters are willing to go to find what they want.

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