Although Dansky’s first non-tie-in novel is ostensibly the tale of a young man who returns from the big city of Boston to find his rural, isolated childhood home haunted, the real stars of FIREFLY RAIN are the setting and the voice. Maryfield, North Carolina comes alive in these pages. I could feel the humidity, see the storm-laden sky, smell the must of the old town library, and practically hear the fresh mud squelch under Jacob Logan’s boots. The sense of place in this novel is effortlessly and superbly evoked. Also excellent is the voice Dansky employs to tell the tale. Related in first person by Jacob, the prose evolves with his changing mindset so that at the start he’s utilizing a sophisticated Boston vocabulary, but as the story progresses and Maryfield sinks its hooks in him, his manner of speaking and even thinking are slowly transformed into local jargon. It’s a subtle trick employed by a confident writer, and it works very well. FIREFLY RAIN is a strangely gentle haunted house story, not full of the conventional chills and creep-outs one might expect from the genre, but it’s an effective, accomplished, original and, I suspect, deeply personal one.