I recently joined a book club and we just finished The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard. I liked this story. A great mystery/mild thriller. There is some sexual content, nothing graphic, but mentionable. Nancy is from Kansas and set the book in a small farming community in a fictional city in Kansas, but really did her research and describes is so well even mentions monument rocks that do exist just by a different name. The first 120 pages seemed a bit scattered to me at first; so many characters introduced, but then I realized I needed to know all of that to get the small town feel she describes so well. By the 125 page I felt I knew the Linder family, friends, workers, etc. very well. I like the detailed descriptions and twist.
Jody Linder is primarily the main character and Nancy Pickard does a great job of giving the background story, leading up the night of Jody's father's murder and her mother's disappearance. Jody's uncle shows up on her doorstep to tell her the accused killer is moving back to Rose, KS; the story roller coasters from there with brilliant twists and turns. You get to know the entire family and most of the townspeople without feeling like it's too much information. I could imagine this entire town devastated by the murder of Hugh Jay Linder in the 1980s. The parents and siblings of Hugh Jay deal with the death differently, but all of them are changed by this horrible event. I will briefly say Jody's mother, Laurie, was my least favorite character; a character you love to not love. A recommended read!