The Scent of Rain and Lightning
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The Scent of Rain and Lightning

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  12,002 ratings  ·  1,777 reviews
One beautiful summer afternoon, from her bedroom window on the second floor, Jody Linder is unnerved to see her three uncles parking their pickups in front of her parents’ house—or what she calls her parents’ house, even though Jay and Laurie Jo Linder have been gone almost all of Jody’s life. “What is this fearsome thing I see?” the young high school English teacher whisp...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Ballantine Books (first published February 5th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trudi
I was browsing in my library’s fiction stacks one day when I came across Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning. Let me just say I was smitten from the start as you’ll never meet a bigger sucker for a great cover or even better title. I’ve been cruelly disappointed using this method to ferret out books in the past, but I’ve also stumbled upon some real gems.

I grew up in the Maritimes of Canada – Newfoundland to be precise – a craggy, fogged in island rock that’s bathed in the sun’s rays...more
Nancy
Thank you Goodreads! --Another First Reads win!

I particularly wanted to like this book because it was a freebie from first reads. However, I found the plot trivial and predictable, the characters unbelievable and the ending wrapped up just a little too neatly without enough substance to warrant it. I’d be more specific, but I don’t want to ruin the plot line for those who haven’t read the book. But, just let me say this—Pickard’s story didn’t hold me in suspense like a good mystery should. She e...more
Becky
Mar 30, 2010 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers
Recommended to Becky by: FirstReads Giveaway
I received this book as a FirstReads giveaway. Initially, I was drawn to the cover and the title - if you know me at all, you know that there's nothing I love more than thunderstorms and a good book - so I was thrilled when I won this one, even before really knowing what it was about. I knew it was a kind of cold-case mystery, and that was enough to get me to request the book. Well, along with the gorgeous cover, that is.

The edition I read is an Advance Reader's Copy, so there were some grammati...more
M. Garzon
I read this book because it got starred reviews from both Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, but after reading it I can’t help wondering at those accolades. The prose is not particularly poetic, the characters (though likeable enough) are not compelling, and the plot is not that engaging. I had no trouble setting it aside when it was time to go to bed, and I’m the type of person who is easily and thoroughly absorbed by a good story.

I wonder whether the reviewers at Booklist and Publishers Weekly w...more
Beth
I absolutely loved Nancy Pickard's The Virgin of Small Plains  A Novel of Suspense by Nancy PickardThe Virgin of Small Plains: A Novel of Suspense, but this book is even better. Nancy is a magician at making you feel what her characters are feeling and at weaving enough suspense into her writing that you just know that something dreadful is going to happen on the next page, and you have to get to it to find out what. She uses different viewpoint characters who only see part of what's going on and understand even less, and lies, and hidden objects to draw yo...more
Rose
A young woman (26) whose father was killed 23 years ago and whose mother went missing, presumed dead, finds out that the murderer has been set free and is coming back to town. We now go back in time to 1986 and learn about all the events that took place leading up to the infamous crime.

Once we have all the information regarding the events of the past, the author takes us back to the present to see how the story unfolds. This is a mystery so not too much can be said here. I am not one who reads...more
L
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael
Several recent mystery stories from Laura Lippman have delved not only into the whodunnit aspect of crime fiction, but also the impact it has on the characters and the community. Following that trend is Nancy Pickard's "The Scent of Rain and Lightning."

On a hot afternoon, Jody Linder is visited by her three uncles to let her know that Billy Crosby is being released from prison. Billy was sent to jail 23 years earlier for the murder of her father and on suspicion of doing something to her mother....more
Kari
Some writers ease the reader into their story, but Nancy Pickard dives right in with The Scent of Rain and Lightning. By page six, she has set up the framework of her novel and by the end of the first chapter, the reader is hooked on a tale of murder, mystery, family and love.

Jody Linder is infamous in the town of Rose, Kansas. On a dark and stormy night 23 years earlier, someone shot and killed Jody’s father; her mother disappeared and is presumably dead. From that night on, three-year-old Jody...more
Robert Beveridge
Nancy Pickard, The Scent of Rain and Lightning (Ballantine, 2010)

In the end, as I've mulled this over (I finished it about two weeks ago and have been letting it stew), I feel like I should have liked The Scent of Rain and Lightning a lot more than I actually did. I've been reflecting on this, and I've come spot up against a conundrum that I haven't yet quite figured out how to solve. But deadlines loom, and thus I'm writing the review instead of letting the book stew a bit more. In any case, th...more
Elizabeth Salom (elistar)
While on some levels I did like this book, as a whole I found it to be mostly disappointing. It started out as a typical "whodunnit" and while it could have actually been a good one, about three quarters in it felt like Ms. Pickard ran out of steam. It ended so abruptly, without any real sense of closure for any of the characters or any explanation of how their lives were affected by the unexpected ending. I just didn't feel satisfied. I kept expecting to gain some insight into the main characte...more
Stacey
I won this book in the first reads giveaway. I loved this book. I am a hard core mystery fan and this wasn't a typical mystery. They way that the book is laid out it starts out as more of a story about the murder and then progresses into a "who done it". The characters were very well described and you felt that you had a clear idea of who each person was and what they stood for. The story kept you hooked the whole time. Some people in their reviews said that the characters were not believable, b...more
Nancy (NE)
I enjoyed Pickard's The Virgin of Small Plains and thought I would give her another try. I guess I like contemporary mysteries more than I want to admit and need to stop being a book snob! I don't care for the shallow characterizations and action packed mainstream thriller genre. But I have come to appreciate the work of writers like Kent Krueger, Nancy Pickard and in particular Tana French. When I want something that is entertaining enough to keep me turning pages in the wee hours, has a bit mo...more
Rachel
Won this on goodreads.
This was an enjoyable read. At first I thought the characters were pretty predictable and they kind of are, but there's some pretty surprising twists towards the end (even if they aren't totally believable).
There's not much to say without ruining the book.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
MAY BE SPOILERS

Rose, Kansas, the Linder Ranch, and the Linder family.....

..............Jody Linder was left an orphan at the age of three, and the man who had been accused of killing her parents 20 years ago was being released from jail on this hot, muggy, rainless day in Rose, Kansas. Her uncles arrived together at her home to tell her the news.

The story then moves from the present back to the events that led up to the murder of Laurie and Hugh-Jay Linder. The Linder family owned a huge cattle...more
Andy Miller
This novel starts with a 26 year old woman in a small Kansas farm town learning that the man who was convicted of murdering her father(the same night that her mother went missing, presumably also dead) was being released from prison, largely about concerns about the fairness of the original trial. The book then flashes back to 23 years earlier and details the events and the people involved in the death and disappearance.

The first half of the book was just great, Pickard does a great job creating...more
Nicole
I don't remember where I first saw a description of this book, but something about it kept drawing me back to it and I finally decided it was time to give in to the urge to read it. And I am so glad I did...

On a night in 1986 on a small Kansas town, the lives of the Linder family were forever altered. Three year old Jody was left an orphan after her father was murdered and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Jody's grandparents, aunts, and uncles sheltered Jody from the worst of the investiga...more
Pınar
Yazarın ülkemizde çıkan 2. kitabı olmasına rağmen benim ilk okuduğum kitabı oldu ve gerek dili gerekse konusu ile tam not aldı.

Kitap iki kısımdan oluşuyor. İlk yarıda Linder ailesini kökünden değiştiren olayların geçtiği zamanı anlatırken, ikinci kısımda, Jody’nin babasının ölümü ve annesinin kayboluşunun üzerinden geçen yirmi üç yıldan sonra katilinin hapisten çıkmasını konu alıyor. Bence en güzel tarafı iki zamanı da anlatmış olması. Bu tarz kitaplarda her zaman günümüz anlatılır ve geçmişe pa...more
Carol
I was captured and enraptured by The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard. I haven't read anything by Pickard in years but perhaps it's time to fill in the gaps.

Nancy Pickard is an Edgar winning author so I think I was expecting more of a who-dunnit when I picked this up. There is a murder and you do want it to be solved and justice to be served in the end. Where the story really shines is in its exploration of family with all their flaws. Set in Rose, Kansas, we meet The Linder Family,...more
Judyw Winkleman
I get a lot of used books from my friends and family, but nothing is better than getting a brand new book. Similar to getting a new dress, which as the third girl in my family of six children did not happen very often when I was a child.

I enjoyed this book very much. I started reading and spent several nights up late to get past the next big event.

The story is written about a small town called Rose, Kansas. Jody Linder's father was murdered and her mother disappeared when Jody was a young child...more
Phyllis Laatsch
Overall, this was a decent read. The writing is good, but the story doesn't really stick together, so couldn't give it a higher grade.

I felt the characters were incomplete - Jody only quotes Shakespeare once, but it's at the beginning so I thought she would be referring to literature a lot more but she doesn't. Collin is always good, always quiet, always nice to Jody and is basically two-dimensional.

And they harped on how Jody's grandparents had near-adopted so many troubled boys and given them...more
Sarah Ryburn
this is my first "first-reads" selection. i was drawn to it by the description of pickard's writing as "blurring the lines between mystery and literary fiction." to label this short novel as "literary fiction" stretches the definition of the term a bit.

she does have some nicely turned phrases: "...she trotted back to her truck, feeling as if something within her had both opened and focused, like a long-slumbering dinosaur waking up to turn its eyes toward dinner." reminds me of yeats, the final...more
kari
Sep 20, 2010 kari rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I haven't read a mystery in a while and I'm so glad I did. This book, start to finish, is terrific. Here is one that I thought, well, I'd just do the first chapter and see if it's interesting, but then I was hooked.
One chapter.
I couldn't put it down.
Excellent writing. Interesting characters. The plot pulls you, keeps you reading and and yet there aren't any car chases or lots of running around. It's just a well-developed plot that is rolled out in such a way that you find yourself trying to fi...more
JoAnn/QuAppelle
What a fantastic book.....I had no idea until the very last chapter what had happened and who was responsible for this cold case.....one night and so many people in the small town of Rose affected in such awful ways Every bit as good as Pickard's last book, "The Virgin of Small Plains ".

I was hooked from the first page and was on the edge of my seat until the last page. I had no idea of who the villain was until the very end.....and cannot imagine why anyone would think this book was predictable...more
Kelly
I liked this book but I didn't love it, although I'm not sure that I can put my finger on exactly what was missing. For some reason, I just did not connect with any of the characters except for Belle, who made me chuckle because she's the same way with her mom that I am with my own! The female lead characters were relatively strong for the most part, but the males were just one-dimensional descriptions on a page. As for the murder mystery itself, I felt like the author dropped too many in-your-f...more
Donna Galanti
I wanted to read this after being totally sucked into Pickard's The Virgin of Small Plains. See my review of that powerhouse of a book here.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I so wanted the same experience! I wanted to read a scene and be like, OMG, did that just happen and go back and read it again. I wanted to be surprised and fall deeply in love with the characters.

Alas, this did not happen for me here. This book was easy to read and I did keep turning the pages, but it lacked the depth...more
Terri
Jody's parents were murdered over 20 years out and now the killer is out of jail. Only maybe he didn't do it. The emotional struggle and depth of characters kept me hooked. I loved this book
Büşra Bal
Oct 21, 2012 Büşra Bal marked it as to-read
Beklemekten helak oldum. Gel artık :D
Jen
Mmm…okay. I am in a book club with my two sisters. I will not name them here, partly because I want to protect their privacy and partly because I already feel badly enough about making them share genetic traits.
I’m the oldest of the three girls and am an omnivorous reader. Granted, I might not like everything I read, but when I’ve got the shakes from word withdrawal and need to read something I don’t let finding only a small fold-out on Playtex tampon application get me down. Toxic Shock is rea...more
Rad Ryan
I've picked it up in Mall of Asia's National Bookstore, I'm deciding what to buy, The Scent of Rain and Lightning or The Passage, and I said to myself that maybe I should try a different genre not like I have to buy every book which surrounds vampires, a vampiric book.


And so I picked it up (shh its not because of the genre! I just want to cover up that The Passage the hardbound one, is not ok with my budget. 899 pesos I think.)


Together with The Time Traveler's Wife, I bought the two.
And I'm not...more
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(from Wikipedia)

Nancy Pickard (born 1945) is a US crime novelist. She has won five Macavity Awards, four Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, and a Shamus Award. She is the only author to win all four awards. She also served on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and began writing at age 35....more
More about Nancy Pickard...
The Virgin of Small Plains But I Wouldn't Want to Die There (Jenny Cain, #8) The Whole Truth (Marie Lightfoot, #1) The 27-Ingredient Chili Con Carne Murders (Eugenia Potter, #4) Generous Death (Jenny Cain, #1)

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