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Before I downloaded J. R. Rain's book "Dark Horse" and "The Mummy Case", I had no knowledge of the market for independent releases. Since I did not know what I was getting myself into, I was not prepared to invest too much money in the project. That's why I chose one of the many free copies that were offered from Amazon.com. I had, as I said before, no prior knowledge of this kind of publishing, so it was quite by chance that I chose J. R. Rain's book "Knight Horse - Two Novels".
Both stories are about a private detective Jim Knighthorse. In "Dark Horse" he must solve a brutal murder of a young girl, and in "The Mummy Case" he must find the killer of a mummy?!? So much for the action. How was the literary qualities of the books ?In the 1980s I watched the TV series "Mike Hammer" with Stacy Keach. I loved Mike Hammer and his ironic comments. And I loved that Mike Hammer was allowed to be the narrator in his own story. For this reason, I was immediately excited about Jim Knighthorse. Mike Hammer, Philip Marlowe and now Jim Knighthorse are essentially the same character, described by different authors. Do not misunderstand me. This is meant as a compliment to all the authors. I really, really like stories that are written in first person. In fact, I must say that with Jim Knighthorse, J. R. Rain are pushing all the right buttons to make me listen. For a limited time, the first two books was free to download, but I will have no hesitation to buy the next book in the series. They are well written, humorous and interesting. It is clear that the stories are written with love for the classic narrative style from the 1940's.
So let's go back to the question of whether self-publishing is inferior to books published by a publishing house. The answer must be: Not necessarily. Off cause you will find some writers at Amazon.com that never should have approached a blank sheet of paper, but such types can also be encountered in a 'real' bookstore. Conversely, there are really talented writers who publish their books through Amazon.com and they are, in any way, comparable to their more established colleagues. And J. R. Rain must definitely be among them.