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The scent of rain and lightning : a novel
Nancy Pickard
Adult Fiction PICKARD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

With exquisite sensitivity, Edgar-finalist Pickard (The Virgin of Small Plains) probes a smoldering cold case involving the Linders, a cattle ranching family that's ruled the small, tight-knit community of Rose, Kans., for generations. One stormy night in 1986, someone shoots Hugh-Jay Linder dead, and Laurie, his discontented young wife, disappears. The authorities arrest Billy Crosby, a disgruntled ex-employee of High Rock Ranch with a drunk-driving record, in whose abandoned truck Laurie's bloodied sundress is found. In 2009, Billy's lawyer son, Collin, who's certain of his dad's innocence, secures Billy's release from prison and a new trial. Father and son return to Rose, where 25-year-old Jody Linder, the victims' daughter, works as a teacher. Collin's pursuit of justice will force Jody and other members of her family, including her three uncles and her grandparents, to finally confront what really happened on that long ago fatal night and deal with the consequences. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Pretty young schoolteacher Jody Linder doesn't stray too far from small-town Rose, KS, returning to teach at her own high school. Jody is emotionally fragile, yet she's stubborn enough to live in the same house where her father was murdered 23 years earlier-the same night her mother vanished, also presumed dead. Raised by her grandparents and her uncles, Jody's believed their side of the story all her life. Town drunk Billy Crosby was convicted-wrongfully perhaps-of the murder. The bombshell that Billy is being released from prison opens up Jody's personal floodgates. She suddenly realizes how little she knows about her town and her family's motives. New revelations begin a thaw in Jody's heart and unleash in her a new determination to find the real killer. Verdict Stylistically similar with flashbacks, a determined young heroine, and a snappy twist, this novel is a worthy successor to the author's much-acclaimed The Virgin of Small Plains. Pickard's superb storytelling transports the reader into the characters' world, making all too real their dilemmas, their choices, and their willingness to believe the unlikely. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/10; library marketing.]-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Jody Linder
Age: 25
Father was murdered when she was three years old and her mother disappeared; raised by her grandparents and uncles; the man convicted of her father's murder is being released from prison.

Billy Crosby
Convicted of murdering Jody's father 22 years ago.

Collin Crosby
Billy's son; has spent his whole life trying to prove his father's innocence and wrongful conviction of Jody's father's murder.

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