Let Me Die in His Footsteps

Dutton. Jun. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780525955078. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698194434. F
The last lawful public hanging in the United States, held in Owensboro, KY, in 1936, provides the inspiration for this atmospheric suspense novel. The story opens with Annie Holleran sneaking away to her neighbor's well in the dead of night. Local folklore holds that if you look into a well at midnight, you will see the reflection of your future husband. But for Annie, the events of that evening have far-reaching consequences. There's a rift between Annie's family and the Baines family next door—a gulf that dates back to when Annie's Aunt Juna, a dark-eyed beauty, cast a spell over the Baines boys. Roy's tale moves back and forth in time between Annie's experiences in 1952 and those of her mother, Sarah, and Juna in 1936 when one of the Baines sons was accused of a terrible crime.
VERDICT In her third novel (after the Edgar Award-winning Bent Road and the Edgar-nominated Until She Comes Home) Roy describes life on a lavender farm in rural Kentucky in vivid detail, and the mystery of what happened years ago will keep readers engaged until the end. Her engaging story of young love, Southern folklore, family feuds, and crimes of passion is bound to satisfy readers who enjoy Southern fiction and coming-of-age tales. [See Prepub Alert, 12/8/14; Dutton is pushing to breakout Roy with extensive marketing.—Ed.]

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