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The Virgin of Small Plains: A Novel of Suspenseby Nancy Pickard
Synopses & Reviews
Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his fathers pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl hes ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him. The mysterious dead girl–the “Virgin of Small Plains”–inspires local reverence. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave; some even believe that her spirit can cure deadly illnesses. Slowly, word of the legend spreads.
But what really happened in that snow-covered field? Why did young Mitch Newquist disappear the day after the Virgins body was found, leaving behind his distraught girlfriend, Abby Reynolds? Why do the towns three most powerful men–Dr. Quentin Reynolds, former sheriff Nathan Shellenberger, and Judge, Tom Newquist–all seem to be hiding the details of that night?
Seventeen years later, when Mitch suddenly returns to Small Plains, simmering tensions come to a head, ghosts that had long slumbered whisper anew, and the secrets that some wish would stay buried rise again from the grave of the Virgin. Abby–never having resolved her feelings for Mitch–is now determined to uncover exactly what happened so many years ago to tear their lives apart.
Three families and three friends, their worlds inexorably altered in the course of one night, must confront the ever-unfolding consequences in award-winning author Nancy Pickards remarkable novel of suspense. Wonderfully written and utterly absorbing, The Virgin of Small Plains is about the loss of faith, trust, and innocence . . . and the possibility of redemption.
Some of the leading citizens of Small Plains, Kansas, are determined to keep the truth buried when a long-ago murder resurfaces with devastating and deadly consequences.
About the Author
Nancy Pickard is the creator of the acclaimed Jenny Cain mystery series. She has won the Anthony Award, two Macavity Awards, and two Agatha Awards for her novels. She is a three-time Edgar Award nominee, most recently for her first Marie Lightfoot mystery, The Whole Truth, which was a national bestseller. With Lynn Lott, Pickard co-authored Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path. She has been a national board member of the Mystery Writers of America, as well as the president of Sisters in Crime. She lives in Prairie Village, Kansas. Visit her website at www.nancypickardmysteries.com.
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