- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Dutton (June 2, 2015)
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.
Buy, read, and discuss Let Me Die in His Footsteps
Lori Roy was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas where she graduated from Kansas State University. Her debut novel, BENT ROAD, published in 2011, was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, named a 2011 New York Times Notable Crime Book and named a 2012 notable book by the state of Kansas. BENT ROAD has been optioned for film. Her second novel, UNTIL SHE COMES HOME, was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best Novel. Her upcoming novel, LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, will be published June 2nd. Lori also serves as treasure for the Sisters in Crime organization and is a liaison to the Author Coalition. She currently lives with her family in west central Florida.
The problem with books like Let Me Die in His Footsteps is that they’re so well-crafted, and the characters are so vivid, that you want tell everyone you know, “Read this book. It’s amazing.” But because the plot is so delicately woven – a perfect combination of Southern historical fiction, coming-of-age drama, and murky mystery – you don’t want to spoil it for anyone. This is a book you need to come to with a fresh palate. This is a novel you need to experience without any preconceived notions of what it’s about.
So, here’s what I will say: Lori Roy is a talent to be reckoned with. From the first scene on the opening page, to the very last line of the novel, I was hooked. I fell into the rhythm of her words, and let myself be submerged in this story, and when I finished it, I was almost surprised to find myself at home in suburban Texas, and not in a Kentucky farmhouse surrounded by lavender fields. It’s that gripping. It’s that atmospheric. It’s that good.
I wanted to get to the end of Let Me Die in His Footsteps, because I wanted to now how the story resolved itself.
I hated reaching the end, because it meant leaving Lori Roy’s rich tapestry of a world.
Goes well with: A dish of coffee ice cream and a glass of cool water, eaten while sitting in a chair that’s far too big, in the wee hours of a sultry summer night.
If you live in the USA or Canada, and want to win a copy of Let Me Die in His Footsteps, comment on this post and tell me about your first kiss. Alternatively, find my post about this review on twitter (I’m @melysse) and retweet it. (Be sure to follow me if you do that.)
Winners will be notified by email before they’re announced NEXT MONDAY, and you have until 11:59 PM CDT on Sunday night to enter. Be sure the email address in your comment is a valid one (only I will see it.)
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Thursday, May 21st: FictionZeal
Tuesday, May 26th: Feminist Reflections
Wednesday, May 27th: Sweet Southern Home
Monday, June 1st: Joyfully Retired
Tuesday, June 2nd: For the Love of Fictional Worlds
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