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Extended Audio Sample The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel, 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 Gilber Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 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
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, October 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by Stacey | 2/8/2014

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

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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.