March 2010 Indie Next List
“Nancy Pickard manages to write like the prairies where she locates her story--big, unexpected, unforgiving, and generous all at the same time. The story follows Jody Linder and her extended family as they face the release of the man convicted of killing of Jody's father, and now grated a new trial. The family struggles once again with the murder and its impact, and finally with the question of justice and the truth.”
— Susie Wilmer, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO
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 uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.
Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss.
As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.
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About the Author
Nancy Pickard has won numerous mystery awards for her short stories and novels, including an Anthony Award for "Say No to Murder, " a Macavity Award for "Marriage Is Murder, " and two Agatha Awards for Best Novel, for "Bum Steer" in 1990 and "I.O.U" in 1991. She was also nominated for an Edgar Award for "I.O.U." A former reporter and editor, she is a past president of Sisters in Crime, the international association of mystery writers and fans. She lives in Kansas, where she is working on a new mystery to be published by Pocket Books.
“Pickard has the storytelling gift.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Nancy] Pickard writes richly textured fiction about families and relationships, about hatred and lust and love, about loyalty and betrayal, and most of all about the corrosive power of secrets.”—The Boston Globe
“A novel that simultaneously qualifies as a gripping read, a master character study and as literary . . . exceedingly rare.”—The Kansas City Star
“Pickard’s tales of Kansas life are filled with gravitas and small-town drama. . . . The Scent of Rain and Lightning seems certain to earn her a much-deserved larger audience.”—The Denver Post