Rain is a book that could only be written by an Englishman. John Marsh is a bookseller tormented by the tragic accident that enfeebled his wife and left her in a semi-vegetative state in a home. When an old patron leaves a message for him, little does he know his life is about to change; because the rain is coming. Rain is a dark, disturbing, and violent supernatural horror novel with superb moments of suspense and terror. The characters are memorable and dynamic, faced with a power that is truly terrible and unremitting. Any fan of Stephen King will love this dark jaunt. Normally, I'd give four stars to a novel that so thoroughly frightened me and gave me a glimpse at the dark side of reality, but there is a real reason why I would give any novel five stars: the book marked me. At its core, Mr. Saunders has intuitively placed a metaphor that resonates throughout the darkness and despair of the work: Rain. Bad times, like rain happen to each of us. Why? Sometimes, it is just because we were there. Tragedy strikes us, we were born to the wrong parents, or old age creeps up upon us. It is what seems elemental about our existence and the evil in the novel. The characters navigate this inner and outer-darkness to persevere, survive, and turn their eyes to the hope that the rain will pass, and that a new day will dawn. Such is all our hope, and it is a rare thing to read a book that reminds us of this in such a way that we truly taste the depth of human suffering and also the human hope that, also, seems elemental to our existence. Rain is a great first novel, from a writer who, one senses, has tasted that darkness, and reaches out to guide us through it in a novel with real literary merit.