Published by small independent press Myrmidon Books in the summer of last year, Cold Rain makes for an absolute gem of a surprise. This is good solid, atmospheric writing piled with suspense and tension.
David Albo is an associate professor of English at a mid-western university. To the outsider his life looks idyllic: a perfect wife; an adoring and adored stepdaughter; a plantation-style mansion and no obvious money worries. But Albo wrestles with a problem with alcohol and as the novel opens he’s about to return to work after a sabbatical, having managed to keep off the demon liquor for two years. Where the garden to which he returns should be experiencing spring and getting rosy, Albo soon finds it descends into a version of hell.
‘I turned thirty-seven that summer, older than Dante when he toured Hell, but only by a couple of years…’
Albo finds himself the subject of a sexual harassment claim and is soon trying to make sense of the conspiracy betrayal and jealousy around him.
An unusual strand to this novel comes in the form of Albo’s childhood memories and how his late father’s second hand car salesman philosophies and principles shaped him. And with a plot that holds nothing back from Smith, we have a story that exposes just how evil people can be.
Craig Smith is an author to keep logged into your search engines for the next one. Myrmidon Books have already published other novels from the author: The Painted Messiah and The Blood Lance and a further novel, Every Dark Place, follows in July 2011.