O Virgin of Small Plains, de Nancy Pickard, é mais um romance candidato aos Prémios Edgar de 2007.
Numa fria manhã do Inverno de 1987, em Small Plains, no Kansas, Rex Shellenberger, um rapaz de 18 anos encontra o corpo de uma jovem nas terras de pastagem do seu pai. O corpo estava nú, congelado e a sua pele era tão branca como a neve que lhe servia de cama. Mesmo morta parecia-lhe a rapariga mais bela do mundo.
Após o seu enterro, começaram a surgir alguns fenómenos que afectaram positivamente a vida dos que visitavam o seu túmulo. Estes milagres, iniciaram como um culto à volta da chamada “Virgin of Small Plains”.
Dezassete anos depois regressa à terra Mitch Newquist, que desaparecera precisamente na noite em que a jovem morrera. Porque razãoé desapareceu nessa noite e será que teve algum envolvimento na morte da jovem
January 23, 2004
Abby Reynolds braked her truck on the icy highway, startled by what she imagined she saw off to the side of the road. That can’t be, she thought, as she squinted into the snow, trying to see more clearly. When the wind blew an opening in the blizzard, Abby realized that it was not a hallucination. It was not an impossible illusion sketched on the early morning air by the gusting snow. It was . . . good grief! . . . it was Nadine Newquist in a bathrobe, surrounded by swirling white, struggling through drifts on the old cemetery road, as if she were determined to visit a particular grave on this particular morning.
My God! It was Nadine: the judge’s wife, Mitch’s mom, Abby’s own late mother’s lifelong friend. It really was Nadine, a woman who was sixty-three years old and speeding toward early Alzheimer’s at about the same rate that Abby’s pickup truck was sliding sideways on Highway 177.
What the hell was Nadine doing out there?
She was all by herself, in a bathrobe, for God’s sake, in a blizzard . .
Abby pumped her brakes with a light touch of her foot, didn’t slam on them like a fool, but her truck started to spin anyway, going round and round on the two-lane blacktop like a two-ton skater on ice.
She let her steering wheel alone, waiting for it to stop spinning before she touched it again. Coffee sloshed out of her lidless thermal cup in its holder by her knee; the smell of it filled the cab of her truck. She could still taste her last sip of it, along with the fruit and cereal she’d had for breakfast—all of which was now threatening to come back up her throat.