The Wisdom of Rain

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About the author:
Joe McCray is seventy years old. Some might think this is an age where one really shouldn't be launching a writing career. But maybe it's a better time. His has been a long life -- a long, eventful, and revealing life. Maybe others could have come across what he did without living it, but, if that is so, there seems to be a value in actually doing it.
His most important years were spent in San Francisco -- forty of them. The center of those years was his thirty-four years as a practicing trial lawyer, beginning April Fool's Day, 1971, and ending in January of 2005. It was on the latter date that the California State Bar placed him on "inactive" status. At that point, he and his wife returned to the Portland, Oregon, area, where they had attended high school. There, they took over a failing little farm and took to raising two Labrador pups. Finding farming very hard and hunting season short, he began to spend some time mulling over and writing about his practice as fiction. After all, being in San Francisco from 1965 until 2005 was like trying to enjoy a good bottle of wine and some pasta in the middle of a battlefield.

The Wisdom of Rain

Authored by Joe McCray

The third story of the San Francisco trial lawyers DD O'Neil and Joe Cleary begins in the rugged, mountainous country southeast of Butte, Montana. There, in 1955, a fourteen-year-old Danny O'Neil witnesses the brutal torture and murder of a Chinese man by members of a nativist gang known as The Vengeance Legion. DD barely escapes with his own life.

DD's vicious captors are pursued by his famous Irish father, Mick, but a neighbor is shot and killed in the encounter. After another icy pursuit the perpetrators are captured and the trial of the Vengeance Boys becomes the town's main attraction and a test of the legal system - a test which it could not ultimately pass. But then, by a bold and murderous escape from jail, the convicted Legionnaires avoid the wrath of the law and escape to their lair across thawed terrain, only to be ambushed and each fatally shot by an unseen gunman. The gunman's escape across the mountains during the raging rainstorm that obliterates all clues is the stuff of legend - a legend recalled thirty years later in San Francisco.

In 1985, O'Neil and Cleary, in a violent battle on the side of the rank and file of a large trade union against a ruthless empire builder and a self-anointed radical lawyer, have been wounded, others have been killed, and the perpetrators of what can only be called mayhem seem about to get away with it all. Unwinding the twisted campaign to maintain control of Construction Steel Workers, Local 66 - from the schemes of an ambitious deal-maker to the warped machinations of a self-appointed revolutionary lawyer - requires tenacity, brinkmanship and wit. Cleary, relentless in cross-examination, breaks a bemused lawyer on the witness stand in Federal Court and the scheme to destroy the movement begins to crumble. As in 1955, a strange justice is delivered, but not without rain.

Publication Date:
098377482X / 9780983774822
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.25" x 8"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General

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