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

Title: The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Author: Nancy Pickard
ISBN: 9780345471017
Pages: 336
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

When Jody Linder was just three years old, her father, Hugh Jay, was murdered and her mother, Laurie, disappeared.  Now, twenty-three years later, Jody is a grown woman who has been raised by her caring, if overprotective, family.  She realizes how much she needs that family when she receives the devastating news that Billy Crosby, the man accused of murdering her father and kidnapping her mother, is being released from prison.  There were inconsistencies in the evidence that convicted him and the investigation was not as thorough as it should have been, so Billy is coming home.  While Jody is angry, she also feels a burning desire to understand what really happened that night, and begins to wonder if what she has been told her whole life really is the truth.

Review:

I’ve wanted to read The Scent of Rain and Lightning for a long time, but it took me awhile to actually pick it up for some reason.  Once I started it, though, I had to wonder why it took me so long.  It was a gripping read that I couldn’t put down, as I journeyed with Jodi to understand the truth about what happened to her parents.

I absolutely love mysteries, and The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a satisfying blend between a mystery and a thrilling work of contemporary fiction.  The book starts slowly and builds suspense as the reader begins to understand the inner workings of the Linder family.  It’s clear from the beginning that there is a lot under the surface with this family, and that Jodi doesn’t know everything about her childhood.  The question is whether any of this information is relevant to the murder mystery, and Pickard does a wonderful job keeping the reader guessing on that front.

Pickard’s character development is solid, especially with Jodi.  The reader comes to understand her very well over the course of the novel.  Even when she begins to realize that her questions are taking her a place where she might not want to go, and certainly somewhere she can’t return from, Jodi still pursues the truth.  I appreciated how committed she was, as well as how much she respected the memory of her parents and the wishes of her family. 

I can’t say enough good things about the suspense of The Scent of Rain and Lightning.  I was on the edge of my seat for much of the novel, determined to find the truth behind this literary mystery.  The book takes a turn that I didn’t love at the end of the book, but I still really enjoyed it from beginning to end.  I look forward to seeing what Nancy Pickard does next, and in the meantime, I’ll be checking out her previous novels!

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from Amazon.com
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore

Comments

  1. I’m glad the plot and character development is good, because frankly I’d read the book based on the title.

  2. I’m glad the plot and character development is good, because frankly I’d read the book based on the title.

  3. One of the author’s previous books I just loved is called The Virgin of Small Plains. I highly highly recommend it. It’s another literary mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

  4. One of the author’s previous books I just loved is called The Virgin of Small Plains. I highly highly recommend it. It’s another literary mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

  5. This is a book that I haven’t heard much about, but it sounds as if you really liked it and I would be interested in seeing what I thought of it. I love it when a book has great character development and keeps you guessing, so this would probably make a really good read for me. Thanks for your earnest and thoughtful review. I am adding this one to my list.

    Oh, also, I am about halfway through The Emperor of all Maladies, and loving it. I am listening on audio, and don’t get much time to fit it in, so it’s going a little slowly, but I do thank you for the recommendation!

  6. This is a book that I haven’t heard much about, but it sounds as if you really liked it and I would be interested in seeing what I thought of it. I love it when a book has great character development and keeps you guessing, so this would probably make a really good read for me. Thanks for your earnest and thoughtful review. I am adding this one to my list.

    Oh, also, I am about halfway through The Emperor of all Maladies, and loving it. I am listening on audio, and don’t get much time to fit it in, so it’s going a little slowly, but I do thank you for the recommendation!

  7. I really liked this too, the twists it took and the vivid storytelling.

  8. I really liked this too, the twists it took and the vivid storytelling.

  9. I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. Like you, I wasn’t in love with the ending, but it didn’t change how I felt about the story overall.

    Terrific review, Swapna!

  10. I read this book last year and really enjoyed it. Like you, I wasn’t in love with the ending, but it didn’t change how I felt about the story overall.

    Terrific review, Swapna!

  11. Contemporary fiction with just the right blend of mystery seems to be a winning combination! Sounds like a book I would enjoy.

  12. Contemporary fiction with just the right blend of mystery seems to be a winning combination! Sounds like a book I would enjoy.

  13. I have been wanting to read this one as well. I have the audio on my iPod. I think I need to bump it up. I don’t know why I’ve been holding off either!

  14. I have been wanting to read this one as well. I have the audio on my iPod. I think I need to bump it up. I don’t know why I’ve been holding off either!

  15. Just picked this one up at a library sale. I’m sure I’ll love it!

  16. Just picked this one up at a library sale. I’m sure I’ll love it!

  17. It sounds like the tension in this book is perfect!

  18. It sounds like the tension in this book is perfect!

  19. Fabulous review — I’m a bit of a wimp so I’m not sure I could handle the tension — but it’s so on my TBR for that very reason! 😉

  20. Fabulous review — I’m a bit of a wimp so I’m not sure I could handle the tension — but it’s so on my TBR for that very reason! 😉

  21. Okay, you’ve convinced me – this one is definitely going on the to-read list!

  22. Okay, you’ve convinced me – this one is definitely going on the to-read list!

  23. just added this to my to-read list! sounds like something i would like.

  24. just added this to my to-read list! sounds like something i would like.

  25. @Sandy: I picked up this book last year based on the the title! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed after you read it. It’s very good.

    I wish that the author would have fleshed out the turn at the end that Swapna mentions. Other than that, I have no complaints.

    Swapna, will you be reading The Paris Wife by Paul McClain soon? I would love to hear your review of that book.

  26. @Sandy: I picked up this book last year based on the the title! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed after you read it. It’s very good.

    I wish that the author would have fleshed out the turn at the end that Swapna mentions. Other than that, I have no complaints.

    Swapna, will you be reading The Paris Wife by Paul McClain soon? I would love to hear your review of that book.

  27. I have been wanting to read this ever since I saw the cover – something stunning about it.

  28. I have been wanting to read this ever since I saw the cover – something stunning about it.

  29. I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages so I’m glad to hear it’s good. My favorite by her is The Virgin of Small Plains – it was really good.

  30. I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages so I’m glad to hear it’s good. My favorite by her is The Virgin of Small Plains – it was really good.

  31. Jeff – The Paris Wife is sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently to be read. I hope to get to it soon, but I really have no idea when it will happen!

  32. Jeff – The Paris Wife is sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently to be read. I hope to get to it soon, but I really have no idea when it will happen!

  33. Oooh, good to know. I have the audio of this one laying around somewhere, but I hadn’t been sure about it. I’ll definitely have to read it now.

  34. Oooh, good to know. I have the audio of this one laying around somewhere, but I hadn’t been sure about it. I’ll definitely have to read it now.

  35. @Swapna-I will wait patiently.
    Meanwhile, I will cull your site for books to pick up at the library today.

    My name is Brianne. When I log in to leave a comment, it posts my husband’s name (Jeff)instead of mine for some reason. =)

    Have a nice day!

  36. @Swapna-I will wait patiently.
    Meanwhile, I will cull your site for books to pick up at the library today.

    My name is Brianne. When I log in to leave a comment, it posts my husband’s name (Jeff)instead of mine for some reason. =)

    Have a nice day!

  37. I’m glad you liked this! So many have recommended this one to me and I still haven’t picked it up. I should fix that.

  38. I’m glad you liked this! So many have recommended this one to me and I still haven’t picked it up. I should fix that.

  39. Glad you liked it. I have her book The Virgin of Small Plains to read soon.

  40. Glad you liked it. I have her book The Virgin of Small Plains to read soon.

  41. Another book in my huge TBR pile. It keeps staring at me to pick it up. Hopefully I can get to it soon!

  42. Another book in my huge TBR pile. It keeps staring at me to pick it up. Hopefully I can get to it soon!

  43. Anonymous says:

    I’ve just finished the book The Scent of Rain and Lightning. This was a very good book, kept you guessing all the way through. I nearly read the whole thing one evening, couldn’t put it down

  44. Anonymous says:

    I’ve just finished the book The Scent of Rain and Lightning. This was a very good book, kept you guessing all the way through. I nearly read the whole thing one evening, couldn’t put it down

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->