Let Me Die in His Footsteps:
Setting – Kentucky
Dutton (June 2, 2015)
Published by The Penguin Group
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book ISBN-13: 978-0525955078
In the spellbinding and suspenseful Let Me Die in His Footsteps, Edgar Award–winner Lori Roy wrests from a Southern town the secrets of two families touched by an evil that has passed between generations.
On a dark Kentucky night in 1952 exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses into forbidden territory. Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near Baines, not since Joseph Carl was buried two decades before, but, armed with a silver-handled flashlight, Annie runs through her family’s lavender fields toward the well on the Baines’ place. At the stroke of midnight, she gazes into the water in search of her future. Not finding what she had hoped for, she turns from the well and when the body she sees there in the moonlight is discovered come morning, Annie will have much to explain and a past to account for.
It was 1936, and there were seven Baine boys. That year, Annie’s aunt, Juna Crowley, with her black eyes and her long blond hair, came of age. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna’s eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served—or did she?
As the lavender harvest approaches and she comes of age as Aunt Juna did in her own time, Annie’s dread mounts. Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. If Annie is to save herself, her family, and this small Kentucky town, she must prepare for Juna’s return, and the revelation of what really happened all those years ago.
I was so excited to read this but I almost stopped reading it within the first few pages. An event takes place that after what I went through losing my son in March I was unsure if I was going to be able to handle it. After a few deep breaths and some tears I decided to keep going. I am glad I did. This is a very compelling story. I skimmed parts that hit too close but that didn’t take anything away from the story.
The book goes back and forth from Sarah and Juna’s story in 1936 and Annie’s story in 1952. This is a family full of secrets and though separated by many years they secrets are still relevant and unnerving as we find out what the truth really is.
Like Lori Roy’s Bent Road that I reviewed back in 2012 this is a book about family relationships and struggles. I am walking a fine line here not wanting to give too much away. Back in the 30’s the family’s crop was tobacco, in the 50’s it is lavender. (Isn’t the cover beautiful.) Life has never been easy for this family, some people say they are cursed. The Baines and the Cowley’s have a history and when Annie ventures on Baine land the past comes back and eerie things are brought to light.
Roy has written quite a story and creating some flawed and fascinating characters. A few characters in both time periods are believed to have the “know-how” or the ability to know something is about to happen. This is a very dark read and full of tragedy. The author tells the story and she doesn’t pull any punches. Her style is very descriptive. There are a few twists and I started to see where the story could end up but I was only partly right.
A would call this book beautifully haunting, a bit chilling. It has stayed with me since I finished it.
Find out more about Lori Roy on her webpage here.
Thanks to the people at Dutton I have 1 copy to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”