This was a good, twisty read. I almost dropped it to 3 stars, just because the third act was precisely what I had predicted, until Pickard threw a curveball that surprised me while also fitting perfectly. Great ending!
“It had come as a relief when she had been forced to go into the hospital in Emporia, where she could be given drugs that made her sleep, sleep through an investigation that did not include her sons, sleep through the quiet departure of her older boy to another town, another college, and sleep through the funeral and burial of a beautiful girl who’d had a name, who’d had a family, who’d had a life.”
The Virgin of Small Plains takes place in a small Kansas town, where an unidentified girl is found dead in a snow storm in the mid 80s. Twenty years later, her identity death remain a mystery, despite a stream of people coming to worship at her grave in the hopes of receiving a miracle. Abby, whose boyfriend disappeared the night that the virgin was found, finds herself determined to solve the mystery behind the young woman’s identity and murder, even if it means dragging up some dirty doings in the town’s history.
Pickard’s writing is good, though the story was a bit heavy on the romance when I would have preferred more about the murder. Still, a solid mystery and well-paced plot had me flipping the pages as fast as I could.