The ole’ painful hint and wink – “The Scent of Rain and Lightning” by Nancy Pickard

February 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm 1 comment

“The Scent of Rain and Lightning” by Nancy Pickard, Published in 2010 

Let me start by saying the experience of reading this book was a lot like when I find myself watching a whole hour of really bad reality T.V.  The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills ends and I think “holy crap, I just watched a whole hour of this terrible show.”  When I finished this book I thought “wow, I just read that whole thing” (Note to self: go back to the 50 page rule immediately).

Jody Linder is the granddaughter of rich ranchers in a small Kansas town.  When Jody was three years old her father was murdered and her mother disappeared, all that was found was her bloody dress in a truck.  Billy, the town’s hellion, is arrested and sent to prison for the murders. Jody grows up in the care of her grandparents always hoping that her mother is alive somewhere.

Ghewgill - Lightning in Kansas (by)

Image via Wikipedia

Over twenty years after the murders, Billy is released from prison because the governor has determined that the case against Billy was tainted. Jody begins to doubt that Billy is guilty of the crime and mystery ensues.

Pickard is so heavy-handed that at times I had to laugh. For example when Jody’s lover has his garage door closed that just seems weird, apparently. Then later Jody wonders about the garage door. And then again it is mentioned, what is up with the garage door? Oh surprise reader, the closed garage door is a bad sign and it is just unfortunate that Jody is too dumb to figure this out in time. And guess what else, storms are important here – oh you caught that from the title you say? Good super sleuthing dear reader.

There is also a lot of happenstance that is unbelievable. Jody just happens to be at the right place at the right time a lot.  It made me wonder why it took 20 years to solve this mystery with Jody’s fabulous luck.  It also made me wonder if Pickard spent so much time winking at the reader that she started to get a nervous tic in the form of writing badly.  This was all almost as painful as watching that Dana lady on RHWBH try to get everyone to be her friend…almost.  My brain needs a break, I need to go read some Dickens or something.


Entry filed under: February 2012. Tags: , , .

I freely admit to being a wimp – “Midwives” by Chris Bohjalian “If you want to empower a people, give them a story to share” – “The Tiger’s Wife” and “The Healing”

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Nella  |  February 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

    That’s hysterical – I find i do that sometimes, too. I think it’s when I’m tired and don’t have to concentrate on the writing at all.


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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