Hard Rain (Vin Cooper Series #3)

Hard Rain (Vin Cooper Series #3)

by David Rollins

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Twelve bones are missing.
When a U.S. colonel is found murdered in his Istanbul home, the grisliest detail is the one that links his murder to another that soon follows. To Special Agent Vin Cooper, it looks like there’s a serial killer at large in Turkey.
But looks can be deceiving.

Onetime lovers, now the uneasiest of partners, Vin Cooper and Special Agent Anna Masters follow a trail of clues from Istanbul to Iraq and beyond. The victims were not selected at random. What looked like ritual was rife with clues. As evidence of a conspiracy snakes up the chain of command, these two seasoned special agents must dodge bullets, defuse bombs, and avoid being buried alive in their desperate effort to short-circuit a plan for world domination more audacious than they could ever have imagined.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553590029
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/31/2010
Series: Vin Cooper Series , #3
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 657,913
Product dimensions: 7.16(w) x 11.08(h) x 1.21(d)

About the Author

David Rollins is the author of The Death Trust and A Knife Edge, both international bestsellers. A former advertising creative director, he lives in Sydney, Australia.

Read an Excerpt


They weren’t fooling anyone. The place was called the Hotel Charisma because it had none. I sat in the lobby and passed the time with a pencil, using it to reach down into the fiberglass cast on my left hand and scratch an itch on my wrist. The bellhop at the front door pored over a few curled brochures for a cheap local belly-dancing joint while he chain-smoked something that smelled like horse blanket. I wasn’t sure which one of us was more excited. I watched this spectacle as I waited for Special Agent Masters. She was upstairs, doing whatever she was doing—washing the flight out of her skin, I supposed. There was no hurry; even if he was important, the victim had been dead three days: He wouldn’t be drumming his fingers, impatient for us to get on with it.

A guy wearing baggy MC Hammer pants, a waistcoat that would have been small on a ten-year-old, and a red hat the shape of an ice bucket wandered in off the street past the bellhop. He saw me and came over to sell me a glass of something out of a polished metal urn strapped to his back. He insisted. I resisted harder. Eventually he gave up and wandered off to pester a couple of tourists standing around outside with their snouts buried in a guidebook. I went back to scratching with the pencil and staring absently out the window at the parade of stragglers coming and going. It was a new day in Istanbul, and outside, things were starting to liven up.

While I waited, I recalled the victim’s particulars. His name was Colonel Emmet Portman, and he was six foot two, eyes of blue, and just a little too perfect to be true. Well, maybe not perfect. According to his medical records, Portman’s sperm count was down to a handful of stalwarts. Basically, the guy went to his grave shooting blanks. I was surprised to find that bit of information in his file. I wondered what interesting details my file might contain, but then I reminded myself that I didn’t have to wonder. I knew what was in there: several hand grenades that would ensure I retired as the Air Force’s oldest major, if I chose to stay on to the bitter end.

Where was I? Yeah, Colonel Portman, U.S. Air Attaché to Turkey, who now resembled a human being in kit form prior to assembly. The colonel was divorced and childless; his ex lived in Van Nuys. Aside from that, Portman was so perfect he could have stepped straight off the production line. He’d been third in his class at the Air Force Academy in ’79; he completed the Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base in ’81; there was a stint in West Berlin during the height of the Cold War; he’d helped put together Reagan’s bombing raid into Libya in ’86; a conversion to A-10 Thunderbolts came next, just in time to bust Iraqi tanks in Gulf War I; then it was on to a posting to Lakenheath, England, where he commanded the 493rd Fighter Squadron—“the Grim Reapers.” The job of Air Attaché to Turkey followed. Along the way, he’d collected a number of medals including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, and the Distinguished Flying Cross: valor, achievement, and flying ability. No doubt about it, the colonel already had a gold star on his forehead. General’s stars on his epaulettes were just a matter of time. Only he got himself murdered, and pretty messily murdered, judging by the snapshots doing the rounds.

“Let’s go,” said Special Agent Anna Masters as she walked past. She was wearing a pair of faded jeans and a leather jacket, a New York Fire Department cap, and Ray-Ban Aviators. The Ray-Bans weren’t necessary—it was cloudy and the sun was a long way from clearing the buildings. Most likely, Masters just didn’t feel comfortable with eye contact. Eye contact with me, at least. I stood and followed her out onto the narrow hillside street.

OK, perhaps I should bring you up to speed.

My name is Vin Cooper, aged thirty-four. If you guessed from the name that I’m male, congratulations. Maybe you’re in the wrong job. I’m also Caucasian, currently around 215 pounds, and closing in on six foot one inch. My hair is brown, eyes a murky kind of green. No distinguishing marks on my face, though, as I already mentioned, I’m currently wearing a cast on my left arm, from elbow to knuckle. I hold the rank of major in the AFOSI, which is the acronym for the following mouthful: the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations. I’m a “special agent,” which is a fancy title for an internal affairs cop. There are roughly 310,000 personnel in the USAF, give or take, and some of them need weeding out, particularly the murderers, deserters, extortionists, and rapists. We transfer those guys to the Army.

We’ve got all kinds of criminals in today’s Air Force, committing all the crimes that make it worthwhile getting out of bed, seizing the day, and locking it up. At least if you’re a cop.

Anyhow, somewhere along the way I seem to have earned a reputation for solving the more serious of these crimes. At the moment, what the people back in D.C. are hoping is that I’ll—or, should I say, we’ll—figure out who murdered our Air Attaché. We know someone broke into said attaché’s house, sliced him up into bite-size pieces with a battery-powered saw, and laid him out on the carpet in all his sectioned, jointed glory. But we’re hoping for a few more details.

Back to Special Agent Anna Masters. You could say we’ve met. In fact, until recently, Masters and I were an item. That is until she told me she was swinging from the chandelier for some attorney from the JAG corps. A little less than twenty-four hours have gone under the bridge since she delivered this news flash. In fact, she gave it to me an hour before we boarded the flight to Istanbul together. With timing like that, she should do stand-up.

“Did you say something?” Masters asked, turning those piercing Ray-Bans of hers on me.

“No,” I said.

“Oh. I could have sworn you said something.”

“You imagined it,” I informed her.

“Are you going to say something?”


“Are you giving me the silent treatment here?” she asked.

“I don’t talk to exercise my mouth. When I’ve got something to say, you’ll hear it with your ears.”


A cab mooched by, the driver hustling for a fare. We took it.

“You are Americans?” asked the driver after Masters gave him the destination. He was looking in the rearview mirror and lighting up a cigarette.

Not a bad guess, given that we were headed for the U.S. Consulate-General.

“Yes,” said Masters.

“I like Americans.”

Masters nodded.

“I like Americans. And Japanese.”

“Why’s that?” I asked.

“Because you are rich.”

“No . . .” Masters said, shaking her head. She leaned forward to check the meter was running, concerned this guy might also be taking us to the cleaners. Relieved to see the glowing numbers tick over, she sat back and stared out the window.

The rear seat of the cab was uncomfortable, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the flight over, and not because we were sitting in economy. The problem arose because the flight was packed, and that forced us to sit together. Shoulder to shoulder. For more than twelve hours.

“Do you think this guy knows where he’s going?” she asked suddenly, as the cab turned down a narrow cobbled street.

“Beats me. Why don’t you ask him?”

Masters leaned forward again. “Excuse me, sir. Is it much farther?”

“No. We are here,” he said, pulling over.

I glanced out the window. Where were the security cameras and the bulletproof glass? This didn’t look much like a U.S. Consulate-General-type building, unless it was running a little tourist souvenir business on the side.

“You come and see Turkish rug,” said the driver, turning around. “They are the best—double knotted.” A guy trotted out from the shop with a smile that reminded me of a Chrysler’s grille and opened Masters’s door.

“What? No! We don’t have time,” Masters replied, angry, not moving from her seat.

“But my cousin has beautiful rug. You must see,” the driver pleaded.

“No!” Masters grabbed the front seat with both hands. “We want the U.S. Consulate-General and we want you to take us there now. Do we need to take another cab?”

Customer Reviews

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Hard Rain 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy his stories, plots and characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
RNichols More than 1 year ago
Book #2 in the Vin Cooper series. Definitely not as good as the first, but all in all entertaining. There were a few to many far fetched situations for this reader. David Rollins has a gift to tell a story and I will continue to read the Vin Cooper series, I'm hoping the next installment is a bit more believable. Read the book to keep up with the series, but don't expect to much from this one.
GiovanniG More than 1 year ago
I have to say right from the get go that I am a huge fan of David Rollin's work. You may want to read what I am going to write with a grain of salt. Vin Cooper is one of my favorite fictional characters. David Rollins doesn't have a dozen novels with the character under his belt like some in the genre, but that has been part of the ride for me; I got in on the ground floor. The other novels in the series are A Knife Edge, and The Death Trust, both excellent, just my opinion. David Rollins has put together another incredible ride in Hard Rain. Special Agent Vin Cooper is in all his glory and he is one amazingly crafty, savvy, smart ass. The wit and humor that flows through the novel is cutting, laugh out loud. If you are a lawyer (I am not spoiling anything),expect a few jokes at your occupation's expense. I personally loved them all; I wish there were a few more. Rollins has a gift of being able to inject the humor into the storyline not as a distraction , but a way of making his main character more human and believable , thus enhancing our experience. I guess what I am trying to say is that it all works and fits in the right places; nothing seem to be out of line. The plotline is a serious one and made me think more about the sacrifices made by those that defend us, and the way our government works to care for them afterward. The seed is planted, registered, and received without the overbearing sledgehammer. Hard Rain is a great ride. Once I got it in my hands and started to read it, I knew I didn't want to stop. Rollins crafts an excellent novel and executes it very well. The ride doesn't end till the very last word; I love it. He makes us care about his characters and their quest for justice for those wronged. Vin Cooper is worse than a dog with a new bone, he just won't let things go, and it takes him places that he didn't think he would be, wise cracking the whole time. If you enjoy this genre of novels in the least, you need to give this novel a go. At the minimum start with A Knifes Edge and begin the journey; Vin Cooper and David Rollins are that good. This novel comes out in paperback form at the end of the month, click on the Amazon box and enjoy the ride. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook, Shelfari, and Crimespace. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, Book Blogs, and the Gelati's Scoop Facebook Fan Page; also look for our posts on Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Nobles, and the Bucks County Library System. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; we will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com
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harstan More than 1 year ago
The U.S. Military Attache to Turkey, Colonel Emmet Portman vanishes for three days. When he is found dead in his home in Istanbul, alarm spreads amidst the American government. Whoever killed Portman tortured him before brutally murdering him. Air Force Office of Special Investigations Special Agents Vin Cooper and Anna Masters arrive in Istanbul to investigate the gruesome homicide; as Vin puts it they are USAF internal affairs cops. However, before they can begin their inquest, other associates of the late Colonel are also killed in horrific ways. The obvious response is a serial killer is on the loose. However, the victims are diverse and vary in what is left behind; the only commonality is the abduction and execution are done with military precision.. However, with Portman's email being erased, Vin and Anna wonder why a crazed killer would do something of this sort making them wonder if someone needed to conceal something, but what and who remain elusive. As the two agents investigate on non-verbal terms (one can say a lot with a one finger salute) while the body count rises, they begin to uncover a military conspiracy to encourage coups to topple Middle Eastern governments, but neither is sure how to expose it without harming American interest; that is if they live long enough to do so. This is an entertaining over the top thriller that has the audience accompanying the bickering lead couple (arguing when they rarely talk to each other) as they hop the globe starting in the Middle East going on to Africa and Tennessee. Fans will enjoy the action and the rapidity of the story line but what makes the tale fun is the lead couple working a deadly international case once again (see The Death Trust) while on non-speaking terms ever since she informed him she is "Dancing on the Ceiling" for JAG lawyer Col. Richard "Dick Wad" Wadding. Harriet Klausner