REVIEW: The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard


The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a novel that, while having received good feedback, never really took root with its intended audience as well as it deserved to. I consider it one of the best books of my lifetime, and most impressively, it’s not even in a genre I generally prefer.

In this small-town drama, we meet Jody Linder, who lost both her mother and father when she was an infant. Her mother, vanished, is presumed dead (though Jody hopes otherwise), and her father was murdered, presumably by Billy Crosby.

At least, he’s the one who confessed to the murder and did the jail time for the crime, leaving behind his own wife and son. In a town as small as Rose, Kansas, that left quite the black mark on the family—particularly Billy’s son, Collin, who never believed his dad was guilty of the crime in the first place.

Now an adult, Collin has used his law degree to fight for his father, resulting in Billy’s release. And that’s where the story begins: with Jody’s three uncles knocking on her door to deliver the bad news that Billy is back in town.

But is Billy the monster he once admitted to? The one who truly ripped Jody’s family apart?

Or is it her own family’s secrets that Jody will be most horrified to face in the end?

Even if I thought I could guess how this story might conclude, the secrets unearthed as I read often created so many more questions and new mysteries that, by the end, I think I suspected every possible outcome except the one Nancy Pickard so skillfully delivered.

While the book is perfect for fans of Psychological Thrillers, I’d not hesitate to classify this also as a bit of a literary read, primarily for it’s rule-bending approach to point of view and her mastery of character development, and even the language itself.

If you’re looking for a read that will keep you guessing, with the dark edge that comes with stories of betrayal and haunting secrets, then you’ll want to push this gripping mystery to the top of your to-be-read pile right away.

REVIEWED BY: Rebecca Hamilton (New York Times Bestselling Author)