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Rainy Street Stories-Reflections on Secret Wars, Espionage and Terrorism

Rainy Street Stories-Reflections on Secret Wars, Espionage and Terrorism

Rainy Street Stories is a composition of powerful reflections on today’s espionage, terrorism, and secret wars. These stories, essays, and poems by John Davis, a retired intelligence officer, take place from Europe, to Asia, and back to the Americas. He lived overseas for many years, where he served as a soldier, civil servant, and gifted linguist. Davis writes with a thoughtful, compassionate, and fair assessment of his lifetime lived during wars and conflicts which were his generation’s legacy from World War II. He recounts mysterious, sometimes strangely suggestive, even curiously puzzling tales. Each will cause the reader to think.

Davis draws from actual encounters from unusual circumstances, in conversations at utterly unexpected times, and chance meetings, historical site visits, or his readings to illustrate his reflections. Moreover, he is influenced by carefully listening to others who experienced history, from attentive study of human nature, observation of international events, but also by remaining open to surprises, the better to distill the essence of a hidden truth. Those people about whom he speculates, events he interprets, motives he muses about, or wonders he reveals will remain with you for a long time. These are not writings to be read in a night, but to be reflected upon over the coming years.


“In John Davis’ prologue to Rainy Street Stories, he says what he has written will “find fellow feeling with the film noir genre.” That’s the perfect description for this series of short reflections, more fully developed essays and poetry focused on the ambiguous profession of espionage. Davis says these narratives are simply reflections, but they’re more than that – they are compelling and beautifully written. And as Davis promises, that feeling of film noir permeates this collection.”— Joey Kennedy, Pulitzer-Prize winner.

“John Davis, recently retired from Army Intelligence, provides us with the conundrum of America in the current world of terrorism and hidden wars. How do we maintain our freedoms as we change and adapt to the new realities of engagement? While he gives us some answers, he describes the choices that we must make through analogies that clearly make the decision much easier. As he tells us in his prologue, “Nowhere is there a free pass from choices of good and evil.” It is as if he is alluding to the fact that it is not only Intelligence professionals, but all of us in a free America that must, on a daily basis, make a Hobson’s choice from among more than two equally unpalatable alternatives.”– D. Clark MacPherson, SoHo Journal.

“Poet and counterspy John W. Davis has written a cache of messages about deceit and loyalty, evil and good, danger and safety in his new Rainy Street Stories. His collection strings essays and incidents with poetic impressions interspersed like clues leading down the narrow alley that skirts the border of promise and betrayal, protection and sabotage. The good guys look more like the bad guys – like “secret brothers,” Davis puts it — than anyone could have guessed. This unusual memoir reveals nothing and still tells everything about Davis’ real-life career in Cold War espionage. With vignette tributes to heroes of resistance and musings on true patriotism, this book offers complex and compelling … reading for the thoughtful American.”— Kay Campbell, Huntsville Times award winning journalist

“Rainy Street Stories is a riveting book that reflects not only how the intelligence community operates but also defines Mr. John Davis’ character. Mr. Davis offers important insights into the historical as well as current challenges the Intelligence Community faces. The factual accounts cited in his book are a must read for all operational and analytical professionals serving in the intelligence community.”–Louis J. Kubik – US Marine Corps Reserve, retired, Department of Defense Civilian Counterintelligence Officer with two separate tours with the CIA.

“This little book deserves to be read by many, in many different walks of life. Rainy Street Stories is a wonderful testimony to the crucial importance of truth, goodness and, yes, Grace, in keeping our all too human character from going badly, sometimes horrifically astray. John W. Davis’ collection of short pieces is an unwavering affirmation of the enduring power of virtuous principles in this often cruel and cynical world. Truly, it deserves to be read by many and its lessons taken deeply to heart.”–Gray Sutherland, author, poet and translator.

“John W. Davis’ Rainy Street Stories is a remarkable collection of vignettes, poems, short essays, prayers, and reflections that like gaslights in the fog help us glimpse the spectral outlines of a shattered world. That shattered world is our world, or the world we once believed we lived in, a world of goodness and moral coherence, but which has been turned by our own greed and violence into a killing field. Rainy Street Stories captures perfectly the confusion and ambiguity of this broken world, and the devious ways good people must master in order to function in it. But Rainy Street Stories also arouses hope that the broken pieces are not scattered beyond recovery, but are waiting for our commitment to reintegrate them into a whole fully lit by our passion for truth and the common good.”–Rev. Mr. George Dardess, PhD., former professor of English, Tufts University and author of Meeting Islam, A Guide For Christians.