Book Review: The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

I bought this book.


My rating for The Scent of Rain and Lightning – 4
The Scent of Rain and Lightning”, a fictional novel by Nancy Pickard introduces us to Jody Linder, daughter to a murdered father and a missing mother. The story takes places in the town of Rose, Kansas and has all the lovable and quaky characters one would expect from a small town.
This book, which is billed as a mystery, is a well written book. The story is readable, literary, the characters are well drawn and the mischief and mayhem which can gives small towns their unique characteristics are felt on every page. Each person in the book has their own nuances and by the end you feel as if they are friend, neighbors or even related in some sort of way. These are complex characters which are deeply tied to their town and their history.

The real strength of the “The Scent of Rain and Lightning” is the personification of small town politics and psychology. The concepts of innocent and guilt, as well as the potent combination of money and justice are examined and give the reader a lot to think about.

As her uncles come to tell her that her father’s murderer, Billy Crosby, was released by the governor of Kansas, the reader is swept back to the events before and after the murder.  As a silent observer knowing the impending doom, the reader is introduced to the characters in the book as the action progresses.  We meet the Linder family, as well as the Crosby family and other characters whose influence is felt in the small town of Rose, Kansas.

The second half of the book happens in real time, when Jody starts hearing rumors and innuendos which threaten to tear down her belief structure and ideals.  This half tests Jody’s relationship with her family, friends and herself.

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