The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
Publication Date: 2010
The Short Version:
When the man who went to jail for murdering her parents is released from prison, Jody Linder is first shocked then curious to learn more about what really happened 23 years ago
Why I Read It:
I needed a book with a weather term in the title for the What’s in a Name Challenge and the library fates led me to a good one.
From the inside cover flap:
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 Hugh-Jay and Laurie Linder have been gone almost all of Jody’s life. “What is this fearsome thing I see?” the young high school English teacher whispers, mimicking Shakespeare. Polished boots, pressed jeans, fresh white shirts, Stetsons—her uncles’ suspiciously clean visiting clothes are a disturbing sign.
The three bring shocking news: The man convicted of murdering Jody’s 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 uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.
Every once in a while browsing the library website and searching for random words leads me to a real gem. I was looking for a book with a weather term in the title for the What’s in a Name Challenge. This one popped up in the search and the description caught my attention right away.
I’d never read anything by Nancy Pickard but I checked this out from the library hoping it would be OK. It was far more than OK. By the time I’d read first two or three chapters I was praising the random library fates. Then I mentioned it on Twitter and several of my blogging friends immediately responded that they had really liked this one.
I did too. The book opens in 2009 with Jody Linder finding out that the man who went to jail for murdering her father and suspected of murdering her mother has been released from prison. After that opening scene setting the book goes back to the days before the murder and the whole first half is spent describing the events leading up to the crime. This whole section definitely raises a lot of questions and suspicions.
The second half of the book takes place back in 2009 and is about what happens after Billy Crosby returns to town and Jody begins to ask questions of her family and friends about what happened when she was only three years old. She soon discovers that what she has been told all her life by her loving family may not be the entire truth.
This was a suspenseful story and I’m so glad I read it. I definitely recommend this one. Pickard does a great job of keeping the reader questioning the supposed facts of the case right along with Jody.