Monday 26 July 2010


Twenty-six years ago, when she was only three months old, Jody Linder's father was murdered as she slept in her cot. Her mother vanished, presumed dead.

Local trouble-maker Billy Crosby confessed to the murder and was locked up, leaving his wife and son to face the consequences in the small Kansas town of Rose. But his son Collin, now a lawyer, has successfully petitioned for a retrial, which means that - for now - Billy is back in town.

Jody is horrified - the man who tore her family apart is living just a few streets away. So why does she find herself wondering if Collin is right? What if Billy was innocent, and her close-knit family has been hiding a terrible secret all these years?

Well, what can I say? I'm a sucker for small town mysteries, especially if there's some sort of dark family secret, too. And this book totally fit the bill. Not to mention that it's an amazing story!

Jody Linder lost her parents at the age of three. Her father was murdered in the house she's recently decided to call her own, and her mother disappeared. The local bad boy at the time was arrested and sent to jail for their murder, but now her three uncles have popped in to tell her that Billy Crosby is getting out of jail. Of course Jody freaks out, but is also determined to do a little investigating of her own. Because all of a sudden, a fact that she thought was absolute is getting questioned. A lot of people in the town of Rose have started to voice their opinions about whether they believed Billy really committed the murder. Including her lover, Red.

The story starts with Jody as a woman and leading her own life, preparing to start working at the local high school as a teacher, but we're soon taken back to September, 1986 when the murder/s took place. Told in the POV of several people, we get to follow most of the members of the Linder family as they get on with that fateful day and all of the events leading to Hugh-Jay's murder are lived by everyone. Of course, no one knows the truth, including the reader. Although the mystery does eventually unravel in an awesome and very unpredictable way. I thought I had it several times, but I was wrong.

This book was definitely a page-turner for me. Once I got started, I couldn't put it down. Seriously. I read most of it yesterday. I had the last twenty pages to go and polished them off early in the morning because I just couldn't wait! I couldn't get this story out of my head, and I think it'll stay there for a while yet.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning is an intense thriller that kept me turning each page with the expectation of getting to the truth. Instead, it kept throwing me deeper into the thick of things and the tangled web of this family and town. This is a great, well-written book with a vivid location, characters, and a satisfying ending too. I particularly enjoyed the story of Jody and Collin. I found it sweet in a very innocent sort of way.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning, May 2010, ISBN 978-034-092207-1, H&S Fiction Paperback (C)

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