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Reviewed by Julia Hopkinson for Readers' Favorite
The Rainy Day Killer is the fourth in Michael J. McCann’s Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series: dark American police procedurals featuring Homicide Lieutenant Hank Donaghue and Detective Karen Stainer of the fictional Glendale Police Department in Maryland. In this book they are pitted against a cunning and horrifying serial killer who is moving across the US, taunting the police and abducting, raping, mutilating, and murdering women, specifically on rainy days. When it realises the full extent of what - or who - it is dealing with, the Glendale PD calls in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, one member of which happens to be Detective Stainer’s fiancé. As the wedding day approaches, the Rainy Day Killer starts to take a worryingly keen interest in the bride-to-be.
Although I had not read any of Michael J. McCann’s earlier Donaghue and Stainer novels, that did not affect my understanding or enjoyment of this book. The central story is self-contained and well-written and the characters are clearly drawn, realistic, and believable. McCann’s writing is very strong and his plot is tight enough to keep you turning the pages; I cared about what happened to the characters. The Rainy Day Killer commits some particularly nasty and unpleasant crimes and you might be glad of a strong stomach at some points. At times, I was reminded of Patricia Cornwell’s early Kay Scarpetta novels. Although the story has a fairly swift conclusion, which left me with one or two questions, that does not take away from a very enjoyable and thrilling novel. I will definitely be reading the preceding books.