Audiobook Review: The Scent of Rain and Lightning


(to listen to the thunderstorm while reading the review, click on the image)

I decided to enhance your listening experience by adding 10 minutes of listening pleasure while reading this review. I’m also being a bit of a smart ass (in my opinion) because listening to the thunderstorm is far, far more soothing than listening to the narrator reading the story. The narrator plays such a critical role to the audiobook experience and unfortunately for listeners of The Scent of Rain and Lightning the listening experience is the furthest from soothing you can get. I continued through the 9 CDs though, only because I was invested in the story, but it was definitely not because of the narrator. Her normal reading voice was perfectly fine, however, when she decided to bring to life the voices of Billy Crosby, a young Jody Linder and a variety of other male voices, the effort was aggravating, cringe-worthy, and more like nails screeching down a blackboard. In short, horrible. I definitely took stars off for this story, because as it is an audiobook review, points need to go to narration.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning gets its title from a part in the book where Jody’s uncle Chase tells her to come outside and enjoy the smells outside after the rain. Rain & Lightning also play a major role in the story, as Jody’s father is murdered and her mother goes missing late one night during a terrible, terrible thunderstorm, forever leaving Jody Linder terrified when these events occur.

Jody Linder also lives in the absence of her parents, to be raised by her paternal grandparents. The Linder’s are the wealthiest ranch owners in the sleepy-town of Rose and wield considerable power both in town and its collective conscience. So on the night when Hugh Jr. (Hugh J.) is found murdered in his home and his wife Laurie has disappeared, the easiest person to pin this crime on is the town’s only bad-ass and all-around-son-of-a-bitch, Billy Crosby.

However, after serving 23-years in jail, Billy is out and his temper hasn’t settled in those years serving in a maximum-security prison. Jody, who’s spent her entire life fearing and hating Billy Crosby, begins to make new realisations and asks a number of questions concerning the night of her parent’s murders. She considers the possibility that the evil man convicted perhaps isn’t guilty of this particular crime after all.

The story really started to pick up steam in the final 2 CDs (and the annoying attempts at different voices finally stopped torturing my ears) and up until this point, the only one person I truly enjoyed was the matriarch of the family ranch, Annabelle Linder. I did say that the story itself kept me invested in it, but it was a very, very difficult listen. I also thought I had the mystery somewhat figured out by CD 2, however the one person involved was off and in the end it ended with a great bang and not really how you would think it was going to wrap up, not so callously I suppose. Some of what I guessed was correct. :-)

If you do choose to pick this story up, I encourage you to read in book form, not audio. :-( 3 stars overall because although the story itself was a very good one, the audio experience was not.