Rated of 5
by Norman G. (Diamond Bar, Uneven beginning but regained form at the end
I had previously read and enjoyed greatly The Virgin on Small Plains by Nancy Packard and loved the book. I had expected the same level in this novel but for the first 100 pages I felt disappointed as no character really seemed to attach themselves. I felt unconcerned with the events that happened and everyone seemed too good to be true or evil in the extreme. However, after the main character became more developed, the story progressed well with unexpected turns that still held believability. I rated the book a 5, but it is a step below the Virgin of Small Plains.
Rated of 5
by Elizabeth K. (Albany, NY) The Scent of Rain and Lightning
Jody Linder, a young woman of 23, lost her parents to murder 20 years ago. Now the convicted murderer is out on a technicality and we are looking at this crime from many different angles. This is a well-written and easy to read book loaded with all sorts of possible outcomes and it is a pleasure to ruminate on how this crime will be solved and who is actually involved. Great characterization and it keeps you in suspense til the very end. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!
Rated of 5
by Hannah J. (Chicago, IL) Forgiveness Enhances this Beautiful Kansas Landscape
If you want to read a mystery (with plenty of suspense and surprises) that feels like it could happen to you or your neighbors at any given moment, this is the book for you.
Ms. Pickard's writing is rock solid and engaging. She does an excellent job crafting her characters. They feel real. How they murder and react to murder is grounded and well thought out.
What I liked best about this novel is the beautiful panoramic view she paints of this Kansas town and it's surrounding landscape. Breathtaking. Makes me want to go to Kansas on vacation.
If you're not a mystery reader (and I'm not) this book probably won't convince you to start reading them. The plots always seem contrived to me. However, I commend Ms. Pickard for tackling the themes of forgiveness and the human capacity to admit what's right when once we saw it wrong.
I probably wouldn't pick this one up at the bookstore, but it was a worthwhile read.
Rated of 5
by Crystal I enjoy when a book swaps between times
By page 67 I knew who the killer was and after reading chapter eleven I knew why. I didn’t peek at the end pages to see if I was right…I always enjoy the wait because it adds more suspense to the story for me.
The first chapter introduced Judy Linder, her lover, Red Bosch and her three uncles, Chase, Bobby Linder, and Meryl Tapper.
This beginning chapter made me a little wary, certain that the book would waste my time with more on sexual descriptions that never advance the story. Fortunately, while the story wasn’t sparkly clean, the scenes didn’t waste my time or hold up the story.
Chapter two took me to the year 1986 where I spent 155 pages and 21 chapters meeting and getting to know the Linder family and the people of the town Rose, Kansas.
I absolutely enjoy when a book swaps back and forth between times. This one is divided into two parts, past and present. I liked the way the book continued chapter 22, page 169 from chapter one as if the last 155 pages were simply a thought, a glimpse into the past.
Chapter 22 brought me back to the present, and I didn’t see 1986 again until chapter 38. The story was tied up in the present time with two short chapters, 43 and 44.
Though I would have enjoyed a bit more to the ending after 319 pages, my questions were answered and the future was made clear so I was happy.
Rated of 5
by Duane F. (cape girardeau, MO) The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
With all the fury the title conveys, this book thrusts the reader into a story of one family's power over a small town. The Linder family members are the pillars of the community. But now their past history races against the coming storm, which will once again impact the whole town.
As with most small towns, the Linder's lives are intertwined with people's misconceptions of good and evil, have and have not, and love and betrayal. As the storm clouds begin to gather, Jody Linder's world is rocked by the news that the man who murdered her father twenty three years ago, has been released from prison on a legal technicality and is headed directly for her.
As Jody struggles to understand what really happened that night when her father died and her mother went missing, she is faced with the fact that she must re-evaluate her family and herself. The town, long silent about what they witnessed, must also own up to the truth about themselves and how they see the Linders.
This was a book I found hard to put down. It is written with beauty and symbolism. The austere plains allow a coming storm to be viewed from a great distance and not fully comprehend its magnitude. Thunder and lightning give only glimpses of enlightenment, and Nancy Pickard use of how we perceive what we want to see, make this book intriguing and give us much to think about. Her characters have depth and allow us to understand their actions even while we question their motives. This book should be well received and passed on from friend to friend. It would be a good book club read.
Rated of 5
by Marge B. (Dunedin, FL) Hard to put this book down
Nancy Pickard never disappoints, and this new mystery is engaging and hard to put down. She develops the characters slowly, shifting your suspicions and yet surprising you at the end. She's a wonderful writer, moving the plot and the characters along, shifting the pace and the focus to keep painting the picture of relationships in a small town. Wonderful. Just write more like this Nancy!
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