The Scent of Rain and Lightning, by Nancy Pickard

The Scent of Rain and LightningFinished audio 11-2-11, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2010

Unabridged 10 hours.  Reader-Tavia Gilbert

Rose, a small Kansas town, was shocked when one of their most respected families endured a double tragedy.  When Jody Linder learns that her dad’s murderer, Billy Crosby, will be released from prison after 20 years she is in shock.  Jody has been protected and loved by her grandparents and three uncles all her life and the town, too, has treated her with respect and pity.

Bill was the drunken, animal  and wife abusing loser of Rose.  There were no tears shed when he was carted off to jail.  Even his son, Collin, disliked him.  But Collin still wanted justice done so he went to law school and then fought to have his father released.

Jody grew up without her parents.  She and everyone in her family believed that Billy is guilty.  Only a few in town harbored doubts and those few begin to make Jody wonder about what really happened the night her dad was murdered and her mom disappeared.

The story starts with Billy being released from prison and then the most of the majority of the book is step back in time to show the reader why we should care about Billy’s release.  Most of the time I only like this plot device if the flashback is only part of the book.  While I really liked the story itself I didn’t like the fact that the flashback was the majority of the book.  I kept waiting to move on and get to what was going on now, not past history.

I liked it.  Jody was the main character and yet she wasn’t.  The whole cast of characters had their moment in the spotlight as the story was re-told. There was one thing about the end that I hated, but it wasn’t the reveal of what had really happened, I thought that was nicely done.

Overall this was a nice story and my first experience using a Playaway from the library.  I loved the format and how easy it was to use.  I’ve already checked out several others.  It makes cleaning up the kitchen at night so much easier to bear 🙂