Our reviews of
The Scent of Rain & Lightning by Nancy Pickard
General Fiction (View all)
Twenty-six years ago, when she was only three months old, Jody Linder's father was murdered as she slept in her cot. Her mother vanished, presumed dead. Local trouble-maker Billy Crosby confessed to the murder and was locked up, leaving his wife and son to face the consequences in the small Kansas town of Rose. But his son Collin, now a lawyer, has successfully petitioned for a retrial, which means that - for now - Billy is back in town. Jody is horrified - the man who tore her family apart is living just a few streets away. So why does she find herself wondering if Collin is right? What if Billy was innocent, and her close-knit family has been hiding a terrible secret all these years? Haunting and powerful, this is Nancy Pickard's finest achievement to date.
Reviewed: February 2010
After having thoroughly enjoyed her previous novel, The Virgin of Small Plains, I couldn't wait to read this next number and was once again delighted to find an intelligent and well constructed read which provided a much needed lighter change of pace. Both books offer great characters, strong plots and an interesting mystery to solve, with a satisfying love story thrown in for good measure. Pickard also works in the atmosphere of the Kansas countryside, using the uncertainties of the weather in that part of the world to good effect. Her dramas take place in a rural setting too, so readers who enjoy a country environment should find the fine descriptions of American farming life very much to their liking. A perfect choice for a faster or holiday read this; you will be compelled to read quickly to get to the climax, but will probably not be able to guess the solution, the author cleverly staying just out of reach.
Reviewed: March 2010
This has all the ingredients for a thoroughly enjoyable lighter read; crime, romance, family secrets... perfect for the cold, and hopefully wet, weekends that will be coming up shortly. Pickard drops the reader right into the heart of rural Kansas, and particularly the much loved and highly respected cattle farming Linder family, moving on with their lives after tragedy struck 23 years ago. An excellent storyline and strong characters make this a real page turner.
Reviewed: March 2010
Twenty three years ago, a murder is committed. The wife of the victim is never found. The case is reopened as a result of new evidence coming to light. The tragedy is that one crime is committed, while an attempt is made to cover another. This demonstrates the power of a wealthy family inadvertently perverting the course of justice, their prejudices influencing the decisions made by the police. Pickard writes in a casual and natural way which keeps the reader interested. A Greek tragedy for modern times.
Reviewed: April/May 2010
Set in rural Kansas, this is a tale set around the Linder family, who are a wealthy and respected cattle farming family. Twenty years after the murder of her father and the disappearance of her mother, Jody returns as a 26 year old to teach at the local school. The whole family has put the past behind them as best they can, only to find that the man jailed for the murder is to get a new trial, based on fresh evidence, reigniting the anger and heartache again. Secrecy and betrayal make this an interesting read.