Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Scent of Rain and Lightning, by Nancy Pickard

This is a structurally odd book with major leaps between times and perspectives. Unlike many mysteries, here you get the answers to the book-long questions directly from the perspectives of the killer and victim. The Linder family of Kansas ranchers is central to the story; they seem best at working hard, taking their responsibilities seriously, and being honorable. Their version of love is not unconditional, certainly not spoken or overt, but none the less clear as glass. The eldest son in the family is murdered one stormy night and his wife disappeared, and a pretty brutal guy is convicted of the murder. Twenty-three years later his conviction is vacated, and he returns to town. It's not a comfortable read, but compelling.

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