Don Carpenter's Hard Rain Falling is a tough-as-nails account of being down and out, but never down for good--a Dostoyevskian tale of crime, punishment, and the pursuit of an ever-elusive redemption.
The novel follows the adventures of Jack Levitt, an orphaned teenager living off his wits in the fleabag hotels and seedy pool halls of Portland, Oregon. Jack befriends Billy Lancing, a young black runaway and pool hustler extraordinaire. A heist gone wrong gets Jack sent to reform school, from which he emerges embittered by abuse and solitary confinement.
In the meantime Billy has joined the middle class--married, fathered a son, acquired a business and a mistress. But neither Jack nor Billy can escape their troubled pasts, and they will meet again in San Quentin before their strange double drama comes to a violent and revelatory end.
Don Carpenter (1931-1995) was born in Berkeley, California. In 1947 he moved to Portland, where he finished high school, went to college, married, and became the father of two children. He wrote articles, stories, and screenplays. George Pelecanos, the author of fifteen crime novels set in and around Washington, D.C., lives in Maryland. His novel Right as Rain is currently in film development.