Narrated By Charles Kahlenberg
Elsie’s Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
What would you do if you couldn’t stop killing?
John Hilt lives the American dream. His corner office looks out on Dallas’ beautiful skyline. His amazing wife and children love him. His father and sister adore him. John has it all.
Except every few years, when Harry shows back up. Harry wants John to kill people. Harry wants to watch the world burn.
Murderous thoughts take hold of John, and as flames ignite across his life, the sky doesn’t send cool rain water, but blood to feed their hunger.
Elsie’s Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐
John Hilt’s past keeps coming back to haunt him, literally! Harry puts murderous thoughts into his head and John fights mightily against them. After all, he has a hell of a lot to lose, his wife, family, and job. But it seems the pull of the “perfect” life is no match against Harry.
Red Rain goes back and forth intertwining John’s current life with the earlier version of himself. Giving the listener a glimpse into how John became the man he is and his struggles. This audiobook is a terrifying look into the mind of a killer and the way David Beers weaves this story, you actually feel sorry for John!
This, 6 ½ hour audiobook is narrated by Charles Kahlenberg and he does a wonderful job narrating this fully voiced production, his gruff voice fits this story perfectly. I found his pacing a little slow for my taste, but I can see how a slow drawl will appeal to most who listen to this little gem of an audiobook.
This audiobook was gifted to me exchange for an unbiased review!
John knew he was dreaming, though that didn’t make it any better. He hated the dream, yet knew it the same as he knew his wife, an old lover–someone that he had spent the most important moments of his life with. Because, when John got right to the point, what other moments were there besides those like his dream?
He held the gun in his hand, barrel facing the ground.
He knew what came next, because he was only reliving what had been done years ago. It didn’t matter how many times he dreamt this, it always ended the same. He couldn’t change it and perhaps that’s why everything went so wrong–his inability to change anything.
John watched the seventeen-year-old dream-version of himself lift the gun up, the barrel shaking from both excitement and fear. He had never done this before, despite everything else that had already happened in his seventeen years of life. Somehow, he stayed away from this. Until now.
He stood on the black asphalt, the trees surrounding him hiding the moonlight above. Who was the girl in front of him? He didn’t remember her name, not now anyway.
Is that true, John, or do you just refuse to name her after all this time?
Perhaps the dream version of himself knew, but now, he walked among this past the way a ghost might walk around the world. He wanted to reach out and tell himself to stop, to put the gun down–or at least part of him did. Another part though, wanted to watch it happen.
The girl was crying. Hot, fat tears ran down her face, swelled on her chin, and then fell–disappearing into the dream’s darkness. John looked at her, lips quivering, body shaking from fear instead of the winter night’s bitter cold. Her eyes said she hoped that this would all work out, sparkling in the moonlight, but that she knew it wouldn’t. Hope and knowledge rested in the seventeen-year-old version of John, too. Hope that this would be as good as he dreamed, and a quiet knowledge that it never could.
Still, the gun didn’t stop its ascent, shaking the same as the girl on her knees.
“Please,” she said.
The last word she ever spoke.
John pulled the trigger, momentarily closing his eyes at the gun’s roar. He only closed them for a second though, as everything inside of him wanted–no, needed–to see what happened next.
He watched her forehead balloon outward as the bullet wrecked the skull beneath. Blood spurted from the front of her head, and the bullet smashed through the back, sending brain and bone splattering on the car behind her. Her eyes stood open, but the life inside them was gone. Blood dripped down from the hole in her forehead, over her eyelids, turning the white of her eyes red.
She remained there for a second or so, as if in shock, unable to believe that her head was no longer intact. Then she fell backwards and to the left–her head hitting the car door–before falling to the ground. Her hair trailed behind her head, smearing the already cooling blood.
John watched the younger version of himself stand there, alone in the cold night, with the gun’s report still echoing in his ears.
* * *
John opened his eyes and looked across the dark room, expecting to see nothing but the chest-of-drawers against the opposite wall. Sweat pooled across his skin, causing a chill to run over his entire body despite the blanket draped over him.
He blinked twice, not moving an inch. He wasn’t looking at the chest-of-drawers. He saw someone that he hadn’t seen in a long time, someone that he hoped to never see again.
Harry stood across the room, his hands in his pockets, looking directly at John.
Harry had aged, just as John had, which didn’t make a lot of sense because Harry never aged a day after thirteen. Still, he stood there, looking a bit heavier and a bit older.
Maybe he’ll leave. Maybe this is just the dream’s hangover.
“Hey, John,” Harry said.
John looked to his right, seeing Diane still lying asleep.
“You know she won’t wake,” Harry said and John almost groaned at his voice. John closed his eyes, turning his head so that if he opened them, he would only see the ceiling.
God, please, make this a dream. Please.
“Still doing the praying thing, I see. When did that start? It was most definitely after I left, but I hoped it would pass. Just doesn’t make any sense … ya know, given everything.”
John didn’t open his eyes but he couldn’t shut out Harry’s voice. Harry who shouldn’t be here, who was nearly twenty years dead, but who stood across the room all the same.
The dream. He should have known what the dream meant. That Harry was coming–or he was near, at the very least. Though in this case, Harry had been waiting the moment John woke up.
“Go away,” John said. “I don’t want you here anymore.”
“Come on, we both know that’s not entirely true. If you didn’t want me here at all, then I wouldn’t be here, would I? I’m not the one running the show, John. You are.”
“Please go, Harry. Please. I need more time. I need … I can’t do that again.”
Harry didn’t move, kept his hands jammed in his pockets, but his voice wandered as if it were taking a stroll. “Need is a funny word, I think. I’m not sure that need is completely in the equation between the two of us, but I’m not sure it’s out of that equation either.”
John listened to him prattling on, only caring that Harry wasn’t leaving. That Harry was still here, standing in John’s room.
“Look, go back to sleep,” Harry said. “We can discuss this all in the morning. We’re not going to get all of our work done tonight, that’s for sure. There’s a lot to do, John. A whole lot.”
John blinked and when his eyes opened, the chest-of-drawers stood alone, the moonlight from the window behind slicing through the room but showing nothing of Harry.
It was a dream. Just a part of the dream. He wasn’t here … you’re okay …
John thought the words, but he didn’t know if he believed them. When Harry arrived, he arrived. Because for Harry, despite what John wanted, there was plenty of work to be done.
About The Author
David Beers writes thriller novels in Dallas, Texas. When not writing, he obsesses over stories in the news about unexplained deaths and paranormal happenings to the point that his friends and family wonder if he should see a psychiatrist.
Before publishing novels, David received awards for his short fiction seen in numerous publications, including the New York Times mentioned Every Day Fiction.
David scribbles weekly on topics from crime to horror movies at his website, http://www.davidbeersfiction.com. He loves interacting with fans through email, hand written letters, and smoke signals, so feel free to contact him!