The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

Cover to The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

When Jodi Linder was three, the unbearable happened. As told in Nancy Pickard's The Scent of Rain and Lightning, one Saturday night, her father was murdered and her mother disappeared. Jodi grew up in the small town of Rose, Kansas, wrapped in the fierce protective circle of her three uncles, safe and cherished, but distrustful of happiness.

When Jodi Linder was 26, the unthinkable happens. Billy Crosby, the man convicted of killing her father, has been released from prison and returns to Rose, loudly protesting his innocence of the murder. In a small town, it’s hard to keep your distance from anyone, and Jodi finds that she starts to run into Billy’s son Collin just about everywhere. Collin is a lawyer who wants to live peacefully in Rose and wants to prove his father’s innocence.

Collin and Jodi form a tentative friendship, which deepens into something more. But how can the town orphan and the son of the town pariah be anything but sworn enemies? When Collin begins digging into the past, he and Jodi discover that small-town loyalties and small-town wealth can cover up long-held secrets.

A film adaptation of this novel was released in 2017.