The Virgin of Small Plains

Nancy Pickard, Author . Ballantine $23.95 (335p) ISBN 978-0-345-47099-7

Pickard (Storm Warnings ) probes the truth behind miracles and the tragedies behind lies in this mesmerizing suspense novel set in Kansas. While rounding up newborn calves during a 1987 blizzard, Nathan Shellenberger, sheriff of Small Plains, and his teenage sons, Rex and Patrick, discover the naked frozen body of a beautiful teenage girl. Later, Nathan and Dr. Quentin "Doc" Reynolds bash the girl's face to an unrecognizable pulp, since they know who she is and fear that either Patrick or Rex's best friend, 17-year-old Mitch Newquist, is her killer. Witnessing this terrible scene is Mitch, hidden in Doc's home office supply closet where he's gone for a condom to use with Abby, Doc's 16-year-old daughter. Mitch's father, a judge, forces Mitch to leave town after the boy admits what he saw. In 2004, Abby and Rex—now the sheriff—find another blizzard victim, Mitch's mother, dead near the marker commemorating the still-unidentified "virgin." Readers may wish the author supplied more detail about the dead girl's background, but some cleverly planted surprises and the convincing portrait of smalltown life make this a memorable read. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/20/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 531 pages - 978-0-7862-8794-9
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-4057-5
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-0-340-92184-5
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-0-345-47100-0
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 271 pages - 978-0-345-49372-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-4238-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-4668-3
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