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The Scent of Rain and Lightning

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,776 Ratings  ·  1,982 Reviews
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 uncle ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published 2010)
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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
May 05, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 16, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  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
Vera (GirlySunglasses)
3,5 stars.
It was better than I expected, especially because it was not a recommendation, but an Amazon Black Friday bargain.

The Scent of Rain and Lighting was a fast read. The characters were not as rich as I'd preferred, but they managed not to ruin the story. The scenarios were wonderful, though. I could easily picture the places in my mind.

The solving of the mystery felt a little forced to me, and the ending (aside from the reveal), predictable.

In short, it was a good read but no masterpiece.
May 26, 2011 L rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
May 21, 2010 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Jun 01, 2011 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, book-club
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
Jun 29, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2010
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.
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
May 13, 2010 Kari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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,
May 30, 2010 JoAnn/QuAppelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fantastic book.....I had no idea until the very last chapter what had happened and who was responsible for this cold 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
Mar 29, 2010 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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.
Nancy (NE)
Mar 27, 2014 Nancy (NE) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

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
Andy Miller
Nov 24, 2012 Andy Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jun 17, 2016 Pınar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Judyw Winkleman
Apr 30, 2010 Judyw Winkleman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Sarah Ryburn
Mar 14, 2015 Sarah Ryburn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
In accordance with FTC guidelines, I'll begin with the disclosure that I won a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads program.

Review: Pickard's novel 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 s
Sep 20, 2010 kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 16, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
Tejas Janet
Oct 28, 2015 Tejas Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost 4 stars so I rounded up. There were some inconsistencies I didn't like, but overall well above average for the genre. Had some really good suspenseful moments.

Fun read but ending got too suddenly neat and tidy without enough clues to see what really happened. It was like it kept shifting from unreliable narrator to unreliable narrator. But since I was able to track what happened, 4 stars instead of 3.
Jan 28, 2012 Terri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
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
Carolyn S.
Aug 29, 2014 Carolyn S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
felt like the end was a bit sudden. It was just wrapped up too neatly and very suddenly. Loved the rest though:)
Jan 16, 2016 LORI CASWELL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Nancy Pickard takes us to Rose, Kansas where a man’s conviction of murder has been overturned and he is returning back to the scene of the crime. That shakes up the whole town but especially the family of the man who was killed and whose daughter-in-law is still missing. Their daughter Jody takes us through her story and finds things may take her down a very unexpected path.

Colin Crosby, the son of the man convicted of murder had a very interesting story as well. His father treated him terribly
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
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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 about Nancy Pickard...

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