I really liked how Mr. Inman worked contrasts into A Hard Winter Rain and how well those contrasts meshed the characters together. There is Harry's world weariness sprinkled with a dash of pep here and there. Sean is experienced in many ways and filled with a few edges, yet is innocent in others with a gentle softness. There are also the contrasts of the backgrounds of Jefferson McCray and Jimmy Smith with who they are and how they work. The biggest contrast is between what a killer does and why he does it. It is all of those contrasts with how they shape the characters in the story, as well as the story itself, that make this a great read for me.
Harry Connors is a hairdresser who first "meets" Sean Andros when a few regulars at Harry's regular haunt send him to Harry as a present for his 44th birthday. During the intervening year, they have "met" a couple more times, but now young Sean is in need of help and turns to Harry. As events escalate, and with police a seemingly unviable option, will Harry's help be enough?
Sean Andros is tired—tired of hustling, tired of trying to make the rent, tired of running from his past.
But the past can chase you down in a heartbeat. Suddenly Sean’s living a nightmare again and casualties are stacking up around him. The only person he can trust is Harry, a man twice his age and the closest thing to a friend Sean has ever known. Harry Connors has loved Sean since their first night together, and now, with danger hard at their heels, Harry will do anything to protect the tough, strangely vulnerable young man who begs him for help.
Harry had better be serious about offering protection, though, because the demons threatening Sean’s life are no joke. Only a hard winter rain will wash away the evil that drove Sean Andros to the streets, and Sean and Harry are going to have to be strong if they plan on sticking around for the sun.