Lightning on a Quiet Night

Lightning on a Quiet Night

by Donn Taylor


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In the years following World War II, a town too proud of its own virtues deals with its first murder.

Despite the implications of this crime, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in it. While the sheriff tries to find the murderer, Jack and Lisa's contentious courtship reveals the town's strange combination of astute perceptions and surprising blind spots. Then they stumble onto shocking discoveries about the true nature of the town. But where will those discoveries lead? To repentance or to denial and continuation in vanity?

"Taylor's powerful historical romance is filled with passion and heart, spiced with mystery and a keen understanding of the human condition." ~ Publishers Weekly

Written for the General Market (G) (I): Contains little or no; sexual dialogue or situations, violence, or strong language. May also contain some content of an inspirational nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781941103319
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: 11/03/2014
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Raised in Mississippi, Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in Renaissance literature and taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His published works include three suspense novels and a book of poetry. He is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences. He lives near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.

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Lightning on a Quiet NIght 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Lightning On A Quiet Night is a captivating book. Once you get into it, it is hard to put down. It is a small town mystery after WWII. There is suspense along with romance present. I would encourage anyone to read it. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
I am not sure why I chose this book. It is not quite the type that I would usually choose, however, it is good to step out of your comfort zone once in a while. The story is set following World War II in a small town that has discovered its first murder. A veteran is trying to open up the charms of the town to another, however, she is not sure. As the relationship develops and as the murder is being solved there are secrets about the town that come to light. This book was given to me by in exchange for my honest review.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
Lightning on a Quiet Night was a great book. I couldn’t put it down. Every spare minute I had to read, I wanted to see what was going to happen next. I’m going to read all the books by this author because it was a really good book. I received this book for free from the author and The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. I have posted my review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Deeper Shopping (if it is there).
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Lightning on a Quiet Night is an interesting read. It did take me a bit to get into it, but once I did, I could not put it down. It is definitely worth picking up and I recommend it. 4 1/2 stars. I received this book from in exchange of my honest opinion, which was given.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
The small-town community named Beneficent holds on to their views of a near-perfect community of Christian residents. I found their self-righteous beliefs representative of the community where I grew up, and was able to relate to the mentality that bad things just don't happen in Beneficent. Townspeople are shaken by the murder of a popular teenage girl. Who in their community could possibly commit such a heinous crime, certainly not one of their own? It has to be an outsider! Lisa Kemper is appalled at the ridiculous mindset in the community. Her association with war hero, Jack Davis is based on suspicion, with an attraction she can't quite comprehend. Characters throughout this well written small-town mystery are believable and representative of small-town America. They are as varied as members of any community. Personalities are creative and well depicted, a gossipy woman who can't control her nosiness, a sheriff so laid back one wonders if he knows his business, as well as a wealthy banker and his family, people who are well respected. This is a great story of "people" and the perceptions they hold, as well as an unpredictable mystery that captured my attention throughout. I found it difficult to put this book down, wanting to discover what would be revealed in the next chapters. I highly recommend this book for the action and discoveries that the author creates. The underlying themes of faith and redemption are commendable. I'm anxious to read more books created by this author. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
CarolJo More than 1 year ago
Lightning on a Quiet Night is the story of a small town in Mississippi following World War II. The story was interesting but it was difficult to keep all of the characters in town straight. It seemed to move a little slow although there was plenty of action and romance. Following two murders, the townspeople learn that you have to rely on God and not yourself. I received this book from in exchange for my honest opinion.
Maryar39 More than 1 year ago
"Lightning on a Quiet Night" starts out slow and gentle, introducing several characters, and some of their history, until a person feels a bit bewildered by it all. And then after a few chapters, it grabs you and doesn't let go until you reach the end! The story takes place in 1948 in a small town in Mississippi. The people that live here feel that everything is good, that their town is the best thing around, and that nothing bad can ever happen. When a girl is murdered the townsfolk are astonished, and they are quite certain the murderer is from some place else. An awakening is about to happen here and the people will never be the same again! Donn Taylor has written a beautiful story filled with mystery, suspense and romance. But it is more than that, because sometimes we need to experience change. Sometimes we grow the most in life when we are hurting. That is also when we learn to lean on God and learn to forgive. And these people in Mississippi are going to need to do some changing and growing! Taylor has created a story filled with emotions and old fashioned values, where neighbors know and look out for each other, and where pranks don't physically harm anyone. They love their town and take pride in it. But, pride can sometimes be a problem... This story is clean (there is an affair going on, but nothing graphic) and easy to follow. I enjoyed "Lightning on a Quiet Night" and you probably will too. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
chrisGA More than 1 year ago
This was an intriguing romance between two people who seem to want very different things but find themselves drawn to each other anyway. However, the main character in the story is their town, Beneficent, which boasts the motto, “A Town as Good as Its Name” and “the complacency of the townspeople who thought they made it that way.” Its citizens idealized it as “good people in a good town, leading good lives and not wishing anybody any harm”, but under the tranquil surface we find deceit, gossip, animosity, theft—and murder. The image of the perfect town filled with harmony and rightness is shaken, and the inhabitants must deal with the new reality. The book was well written and quite believable. Lisa and Jack both change and grow as the story progresses, and the action and suspense build to a heart-pounding climax as the danger to both of them increases. The ending of the story is uplifting and memorable. There is a powerful message here, warning against letting any place or person or image become an idol in our lives. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery and suspense and inspiring romance. I received this book through The Book Club Network, but the opinions expressed are my own.
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
This was a good read. It took me a few chapters to get into the read, and the suspense didn't build as much as some other recent books I've read in that genre. However, this was much more than just a suspense read. This was about a group of people who took too much pride in their own good works and learn some valuable lessons. The faith thread wasn't a redemption one, and I found that I enjoyed that as it has been a theme in most books this year. This book had a different feel and writing style that was refreshing. I did have a hard time connecting with the characters in this story. I never really felt as if I knew them well. The plot and faith theme were well written, however. I would recommend this read as it was enjoyable and by no means a "cookie cutter" type read. Three and a half stars. I was given this read through book fun for my honest opinion which I have given.
pautoyoung More than 1 year ago
I struggled staying focused during the first few chapters of Lightning On A Quiet Night by Donn Taylor. The storyline seemed to “jump” around from one character to the other. I continued to read and began to understand that the background on several characters was presented during these first chapters to help the reader understand them in the midst of the plot. I am so glad that I hung in and continued to read the book. The storyline kept me interested and surprised at some of the twists and turns until the conclusion. Beneficient, Mississippi is a small southern town. The setting is in 1948 after World War II. The citizens are extremely proud of their town and its reputation of Christian community closeness free from crime. Lisa Kemper and her father are Northerners who have recently moved into the community. Mr. Kemper is to manage the chemical plant his company is building in Beneficient. Dissatisfied with small town southern living, Lisa is hanging in with her father until she begins graduate school the following year. Jack, a war veteran and hometown boy who was a member of the 1942 championship basketball team, owns a growing farm inherited from his parents when both were killed in a car accident while he was in the war. He is very proud of his town and grateful to the community for its help while he was deployed. The peaceful town’s atmosphere is disrupted with the murder of a teenage girl. Who could do such a thing? “No one from their town; must be an outsider,” is the mindset of all the locals. The death begins the intertwining of Jack and Lisa’s lives. As the couple begins to become acquainted, the town’s reputation faces other tribulations besides pride – greed, lust, theft, murder. What will happen to the citizens of Beneficient and their town? This book is well worth the time to read and find out. I received a copy from the author and publisher of The Book Club Network in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read from author Donn Taylor. The town of Beneficent is not the squeaky clean the residents like to think. A young high school teen was murdered and rumor has it that an outsider is responsible. But as the story progresses, your impression of the characters change, and you realize through the story that life sometimes doesn't go as you planned. Faith through God will lead you in the right direction.
CathyElliott More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of Donn Taylor's work and praise his books often. With LIGHTNING ON A QUIET NIGHT, he's produced another powerful read. While it nails the murder mystery category at a comfortable pace, the book has other traits to recommend it - an engaging love story with very real and flawed characters and a historical setting that gave this reader a nostalgic tug on the heart. I loved visiting life in Beneficent with neighbors nosy (Mrs. Telebits) and nice, where heroes joined in the community, and everyone attended the ball games. It's small town life turned upside down with the murder of a local cheerleader, setting events in motion that reveal a side of folks formerly hidden. The writing is stellar and injected with a clever humor Donn does so well. I was caught up in the tale from first page to the compelling, even moving climax. (Please tell me there is a sequel!) Highly recommended read.
anemulligan More than 1 year ago
1948 and the boys were home from the war. It was an era of innocence, where people only saw the good. A good, nostalgic time for this book to be set. It is somewhat different from Taylor's other books. Those who know me know I shy away from thrillers and suspense, but this story is so compelling, I had to keep reading. With characters you'll care about and snippets of Taylor's tongue-in-cheek humor, it's a book I highly recommend. 
DonnaFletcherCrowDC More than 1 year ago
Lightning on a Quiet Night is an engaging story told in Donn Taylor's poetic, clever prose. Set in a small southern town shortly after World War II. Beneficent is a perfect town, yet rocked by murder and riddled with gossip. This is a story of despair and complacency, of violence and peace, of resentment and forgiveness. A story of people. Thoroughly enjoyable read with a theme as enduring as Mark Twain's "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg." Donna Fletcher Crow,  A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary, The Monastery Murders
Running_Writer More than 1 year ago
I've read most of Donn Taylor's books, and this one is, I believe one of his best. Set in 1948, he creates a memorable world when life was simpler and recovery from the war hard. Lightning is a serious book, but Taylor has a subtle humor that will leave you laughing out loud from ironic names like Mrs. Telebit,the town gossip, to character descriptions. Mr. Hahn was 4-E during the war. The proof was in the size of his family because the only thing a Mississippi farmer can plant in January is babies. When the FBI is called in and boards at Mrs. Telebits, the investigator says, "She keeps asking who the murder suspects are, and I keep naming your deputies." The plot itself weaves a love story in with murder along with history in a narrative style that's compelling and will keep the pages turning until the end. When you pick up this book--buy some of Taylor's other work. You will not be disappointed.