Published by Dutton on June 2, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Thrillers
ARC provided by TLC Book Tours
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
This was a great thriller/historical fiction. Let Me Die in His Footsteps has many layers. The two stories had me dieing to find the intersections. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. Now that I am done, I can’t shake the complexity of the families.
Annie and Caroline are growing up in the 1950’s and Juna and Sarah are growing up in 1930’s. In a small town in Kentucky, they both represent the family Holleran. Half way between ages of 15 and 16 things happen to all the girls that change everything for them and the town they live in. The Baines are the family next door. There were seven sons in Juna’s time, but twenty years later, in Annie’s time, there is only the mother. When she falls over dead, the mystery of what kept these two families apart begins to unravel for Annie. The truth about Juna and Sarah come out and Annie’s life will never be the same.
I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked this book up. Lori Roy kept me on the edge of my seat. I was reading as fast as I could. I couldn’t get to the secrets fast enough. We aren’t exactly given cliffhangers, just the slow build up of something. Tragedy stains both of these stories. The writing is in both Sarah’s and Annie’s POV. We get a glimpse into the hopes and desires of two young women. These two girls could not be more different, but somehow they are family.
In the midst of all of this someone dies. The last man in America who dies by hanging was executed in Kentucky. That part is real, but the rest of the story is fiction. The story is not written in upbeat prose. Despite the deaths and the darkness lurking within the family, there was hope just below the surface. There were quite a few surprises in this book. It was no surprise I didn’t see it coming because the author doesn’t give us a good picture of the facts until the end. In the end, I was left feeling good about the ending. I would recommend this book for thriller/historical fiction fans. Since the reader is left anticipating the next thing throughout most of the story, I think this is more of an acquired taste. It really worked for me, though. Like I said the story really stuck with me, and that is something I can’t say about everything I read. I would read more from this author, for sure.
About the Author
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.
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