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When family man and war veteran Russell loses his job as a quarry worker, his life suddenly seems more like a waking nightmare than a chance to finally live the American dream. Facing bills, a new baby, and a bone-dry bank account, he’s got nothing left to lose. Russell comes to the rescue of a naked stranger dancing in the rain, and what was supposed to be a straightforward good deed turns into a spiral of danger. When Russell finds an enticing stash of money in the woman’s house, he knows the cash could be his only hope. Taking just a handful will save his family’s future.

His “victimless crime” seems to be anything but risky—until the criminals he robbed come looking for their dirty money. Russell’s ready to surrender it, but then his daughter gets sick…and he must choose between saving her or giving the devils their due. Someone’s going to pay. The question is, how much?

The Big Thrill caught up with bestselling author Randall Silvis to discuss his latest thriller, ONLY THE RAIN:

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?


How does this book make a contribution to the genre?

Like all my crime novels, this one attempts to blend a compelling plot with an in-depth examination of character under pressure, and to render both through descriptive, evocative prose.

Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?

That I was able to finish another novel.

No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?

I am always surprised when one of my novels is acquired and marketed as some kind of crime novel, such as a mystery or thriller. I never think about genre when I write; I’m probably more interested in a character’s evolution than I am in the external plot, but I recognize that such a plot, and especially a criminal act, is a wonderful way to develop and illuminate character.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

Hemingway for his understatement and subtext; Faulkner for his evocative, atmospheric settings; Garcia Marquez for his embodiment of the invisible world; and James Lee Burke for showing me that rich, beautiful prose can be successfully combined with a ripping good story.


Randall Silvis is the bestselling author of Two Days Gone and fifteen other critically acclaimed books of fiction. His literary awards include the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, two literature fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree for “distinguished literary achievement.”

To learn more about Randall, please visit his website.


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