Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Julie's Review: The Scent of Rain and Lightning

Summary: One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night. Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss. As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.

Review: The Scent of Rain and Lightning sat in the TBR pile since August 2010! Just goes to show that I have too many books that are waiting for my eyes to feast upon them. Nancy Pickard wrote a wonderful book about murder in a small town and how it affects not only those directly involved but the residents of the town as well. We are introduced to Jody Linder as she sees her three uncles pull up to her house and she knows it's not good news because all three of them are dressed in their best. What she doesn't expect is for them to tell her that the man who murdered her parents has had his sentence commuted and he's coming back to Rose.

The novel then takes us back to 23 years prior and the events that set up the murder. Ms. Pickard spends most of the novel setting the stage for the event by letting us get to know each of the players in the story. What Ms. Pickard does well for the reader is to have you fully believe whatever the characters tell you. If Hugh Linder tells you that Billy Crosby killed his son than you believe it beyond a shadow of a doubt. As the novel goes on, things are slowly revealed and you begin to doubt what you've believed the entire time. Imagine being Jody and all she's known is to hate Billy Crosby her entire life. He took away a life she could have lived with her mom and dad.

I can't share much more of what happens without giving away the twists that the novel makes towards the very end. I will say I was totally shocked and didn't see it coming. I'm not even sure if there were clues that I should have picked up on.

I really enjoyed the setting of the novel and all of the characters. From the Linder family to the residents of Rose, they all are an integral part of the story.

I will most definitely be checking out Ms. Pickard's The Virgin of Small Plains.

Final Take: 4.75/5



Teena in Toronto March 17, 2012 at 11:57 PM  

I finished it tonight and wasn't all that crazy about it.

Stephanie @ Read In a Single Sitting March 21, 2012 at 1:06 AM  

I love a small-town setting, so this one might be one for me--even if I'm a little squeamish when it comes to murder!

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