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Extended Audio Sample The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel Audiobook, by Nancy Pickard Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,186 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nancy Pickard Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9781455197903
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One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder, a young English teacher, is unnerved to see her three uncles parking their pickups in front of her parents’ house—or what she calls her parents’ house, even though they have been gone almost all of Jody’s life. The three bring shocking news: the man convicted of murdering Jody’s father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas.

It has been twenty-six years since that stormy night when Jody’s father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby that night. Now Billy has been granted a new trial, thanks in large part to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence.

Jody knows that sooner or later she’ll come face-to-face with the man who she believes destroyed her family. But what she doesn’t expect are the heated exchanges with Collin. Having grown up practically side by side in this very small town, Jody and Collin have a long history of carefully avoiding each other’s eyes. Now Jody discovers that underneath their antagonism is a shared sense of loss that no one else could possibly understand. As she revisits old wounds, startling revelations compel her to uncover the dangerous truth about her family’s tragic past.

Engrossing, lyrical, and suspenseful, The Scent of Rain and Lightning captures the essence of small-town America—its heartfelt intimacy and its darkest secrets—where through struggle and hardship people still dare to hope for a better future. For Jody Linder, maybe even love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A terrific book: charming, well-written and insightful. I enjoyed every minute of it.”

    Joy Fielding, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Highlighting the ripple effect of people’s actions, The Scent of Rain and Lightning is an in-depth tale of unraveling lies and deceit in perfect Pickard fashion.” 

    Suspense Magazine

  • “With exquisite sensitivity, Edgar-finalist Pickard probes a smoldering cold case.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “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.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A decades-old mystery is solved and a woman’s haunting questions put to rest in Pickard’s latest thriller…Pickard shows her storytelling skills, weaving elements of deception, revenge, and romance into a novel with full-bodied characters who deal with tragedy as best they can; Annabelle Linder’s encounter with Crosby’s wife is particularly moving. From an award-winning author, this is engrossing fiction with an eminently satisfying denouement.”

    Booklist (starred book review)

  • “Tavia Gilbert demonstrates remarkable range in her narration of Pickard’s spine-tingling thriller…Gilbert’s performance as convicted murderer—and town pariah—Billy Crosby crackles with pentup rage…[this production] demonstrates Gilbert’s remarkable ability to heighten the suspense through vocal nuances and pacing. Gilbert also delivers an especially winning turn in her portrayal of Jody as a little girl too young to understand the sordid events around her. An edge-of-your seat listen.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • “It might have been tempting to make all the characters sound alike (since all of the action takes place in rural Rose, Kansas), but Gilbert voices the richly drawn characters in distinct fashion…Rose, Kansas, simmers with secrets, and as the plot unfolds, listeners gradually learn the truth and the fatal consequences in this memorable story.”

    Booklist (starred audio review)

  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, October 2010
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Booklist Top 10 of 2010: Crime Fiction in Audio
  • A 2010 Agatha Award Nominee for Best Novel
  • An Indie Next Notable Title, April 2010
  • A Barnes & Noble Recommends Selection
  • A 2011 Macavity Award Nominee for Best Mystery Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 2/15/2014

    " Overall, I liked this book and enjoyed the suspense of reading it. I must admit that the entire plotline is pretty cheesy and reminded me a bit of a Lifetime movie--but hey, I like some Lifetime movies. The writing was strong, although a little overdescriptive at times. The twist near the end surprised me without being totally unbelievable, so Pickard did a good job of setting that up. Being from Missouri, I loved the small town and farm in Kansas setting (reminded me of home). Not an amazing book, but still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/13/2014

    " This was pretty good. The author lives in Merriam KS and writes about a small KS town where a double murder takes place. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 2/10/2014

    " I really liked this book. Murder in a small town - characters were very likeable and the ending was very satisfactory. I had a hard time putting it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacey | 2/8/2014

    " I really enjoyed this one. Kept me interested until the very end. Well written. Engaging story. Would recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary Mutton | 2/4/2014

    " Enjoyed this murder mystery. Good vacation read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana ****Reads Alot**** | 1/26/2014

    " I can't say enough good things about this book. I stayed up all night reading it and I am paying for it dearly today but it was worth it. I just could not put the book down all the characters in the book were equally entertaining. I was very surprised with the ending. This book keeps you wanting to know more. I would highly recommend this book if you want drama and mystery !!! I will definately be reading more of Nancy Pickard in the future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 1/24/2014

    " Good quick read..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 1/20/2014

    " Liked the characters, the plot and the setting in a small town in Kansas. As I spent many childhood summers in a small town in South Dakota, I could really relate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauri | 1/8/2014

    " Good contemporary murder-mystery thriller set in western Kansas. The storytelling was compelling, without any major violence or anything really disturbing, so that was nice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/14/2013

    " very sad story. Well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 10/11/2013

    " Good mystery and quick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine US | 10/9/2013

    " It was a decent book - don't know that I'd recommend to anyone, but I didn't dislike it. I'm glad it ended the way it did, I believe it added value to know what really happened. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Lee | 8/3/2013

    " Not nearly as good as her first novel, just okay. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 7/23/2013

    " fast read but gets really predictable in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 5/28/2013

    " not my usual type of book wasn't really expecting much but ended up liking it more than i thought i would . Happy ending too which always is a nice thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Macy | 1/10/2013

    " A great read! Nancy Pickard kept my guessing until the end! Loved the way she developed the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenna | 11/25/2012

    " It was a page-turner. Crime novels are too suspenseful for me. They are kind of fun though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 9/26/2011

    " Stayed up too late last night finishing this book and was pleasantly surprised by twists and turns right up until the very end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/23/2011

    " I purloined Monica's library book when she was in town this weekend. Kind of a mystery, this one held my interest until the end (quick read) where I felt like it kind of fell apart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 5/22/2011

    " A very interesting situation with a convicted killer released and the daughter of his victim living in the same small town. Interesting characters and very well-written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 5/21/2011

    " I really enjoyed most of this book -- the characters were really well developed and the story was interesting but it all fell apart in the last few chapters. it felt like the ending of the book was just thrown together. It just didn't make sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marci | 5/19/2011

    " I just really enjoyed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 5/16/2011

    " Enjoyed this book. Told in a series of flashbacks. A murder takes place in the 80's. The man convicted and sent to prison is released in the present still protesting his innocence. Didn't see the ending that unfolds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joshua | 5/12/2011

    " A wonderful read... I am officially a Nancy Pickard fan! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 5/10/2011

    " This was an awesome book!!! So good, it kept me guessing! What a great close nit family and I loved the ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/9/2011

    " I didn't feel well prepared for the ending, but this book is a good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/8/2011

    " This story really fell flat for me. It read like a mediocre romance novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 5/7/2011

    " A mystery as a mystery should be - only with Kansas storms, grandmas and uncles. Just like I like it. Cheers to our author from the great state: a master of her craft. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hawley | 5/7/2011

    " Another fabulous read by Nancy Pickard! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 5/6/2011

    " Good read with a shocking ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 5/2/2011

    " Hard book to put down once you get started. Likable characters and intriguing mystery. Nothing life changing here but a good, quick read. "

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About the Author
Author Nancy Pickard

Nancy Pickard is a four-time Edgar Award nominee, most recently for her debut, The Virgin of Small Plains. Hailed by mainstream critics, the novel was also honored by the State Library of Kansas to be the “Kansas Reads” book for 2009. She is the winner of the Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Agatha Award, Barry Award, and Shamus Award. She has been a national board member of the Mystery Writers of America and president of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Merriam, Kansas.

About the Narrator

Tavia Gilbert, an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry, is an eight-time Audie nominee and the recipient of thirteen Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, Tavia is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children’s and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible recently named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of this highly acclaimed actress, “as close as you can get to a full cast narration with a solo voice.” Tavia is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.