The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel
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One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.
Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss.
As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.
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window seat with Jody slumped asleep in her arms. The child had cried after her father left, and then finally gave in to the hot and humid day, to her tears, and to the accumulated exhaustion of a morning spent being a three-year-old who loved to hop up and down stairs, and twirl until she fell down, and run a groove into the carpet around the big walnut dining room table. Long after Hugh-Jay’s truck turned the corner, long after her arms went numb from holding Jody, long after the telephone
thought, remembering the nasty way he had looked at her chest, to say nothing of the swing he had taken at her. Serves him right if it was ruined and he never got it back. She grabbed it from the floor and carried it with her outside to make sure it got soaked in the rain. IT WAS 10:00 P.M. when they ran through the rain to their vehicles. Meryl let Belle off at the bank and then left to check on the power situation at his office. Chase chauffeured his sister-in-law to the big stone house.
to find out about us, it’s not goin’ to be like that.” Out of consideration for her. That’s what he meant. Maybe she wasn’t the more mature of the two of them after all, she thought. She dropped her face into her hands again. “Oh, dammit, Red.” “What’s the matter, babe?” This time the wry laughter was hers. “What’s wrong? Red, I don’t want to have to be fair. I don’t want to start believing what nobody else that I love believes.” She didn’t see the flinch that passed across his face at those
hear.” Red looked back toward the road. Nervously, he shuffled his boots in the white dust. It was about a five-hour drive from Lansing, where the prison was. “Come on, Jody. I’m not leaving unless you do.” She thought about staying, on the chance of getting a look at Billy Crosby, but the only defensive weapon she had with her was her backpack. “I find it really hard to believe he’d make a special trip just to look at the scenery,” she said, with an edge of sarcasm. “Maybe not. I’m just
and wanting with all of her heart to give back to him the same profound feeling. It felt so wonderful and so impossible that she wanted to weep. Finally, she pulled away and Collin released her. Jody looked into his eyes once more and then turned and walked away from him. One hesitant step. Two steps. She didn’t hear him do the same so she guessed he was watching her go. Unable to bear leaving him, she turned around to see if he was there, which was why she could see the shocked and frightened