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Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near Baines. Aunt Juna was the start of all the hatred between the families, and even though she’s been gone a good many years, the hatred has stayed put.
On a dark Kentucky night in 1952, exactly halfway between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthdays, Annie Holleran crosses over into forbidden territory. It’s been that way since Joseph Carl Baine was hanged in 1936. But local superstition says that tonight Annie can see her future in the Baines’ well.
What she sees instead, there in the moonlight, is a dead woman. And suddenly the events of 1936, events that have twisted and shaped the lives of Annie and all her kin, are brought back into the present.
Juna will come home now, to finish what she started. And if Annie is to save herself, her family and this small Kentucky town, she must face the terrible reality of what happened all those years ago.
Inspired by the true story of the last lawful public hanging in the United States, Let Me Die in His Footsteps is a gothic masterpiece filled with tension and dread.
‘In the lavender-scented landscape of Lori Roy’s fine novel, secrets from the past emerge like long buried locusts, and the world of young Annie Holleran is changed forever. This is a beautifully observed novel whose details of time, place, and character are stunning little jewels sure to dazzle the eye on every page. Annie’s journey from the comforting lies of childhood to the hard truths destined to shape her as a woman is one that readers will long remember. Quite simply put, I loved this book.’
‘Reading Lori Roy is a sinuous, near-physical experience.‘
‘This Depression-era story is a sad one, written in every shade of Gothic black. But its true colors emerge in the rich textures of the narrative, and in the music of that voice, as hypnotic as the scent coming off a field of lavender.’
‘[A] hybrid of mystery, coming-of-age, and Southern gothic literature…It’s taut and evocative – things simmer and sizzle underfoot, and the book practically smells like a lavender field.’
‘A richly detailed, highly suspenseful Gothic novel filled with indelible imagery.’
‘An atmospheric, vividly drawn tale that twists her trademark theme of family secrets with the crackling spark of the ‘know-how’ for a suspenseful, ghost-story feel.’
‘Powerful…should transfix readers right up to its stunning final twist.’
‘A Faulkner-ian tale of sex and violence from the Kentucky hills.’
‘There are echoes of Flannery O’Conner here: poverty, violence, malevolence, and grace. Roy’s writing is spell-like…A masterpiece of southern noir.’
‘Young love, Southern folklore, family feuds, and crimes of passion…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.’
‘This is a page turner: it has a tension-filled, gripping plot with quite a few twists and a heart-stopping climax. A brilliant novel that will have readers seeking out earlier works by this talented author.’
‘Primitive beliefs, killings and a public hanging all feature in this brilliantly written novel – southern gothic at its best.’
‘Let Me Die in His Footsteps is a lyrically written semi-gothic novel…It embraces a powerful atmosphere that glowers from its pages, leaving a dark, brooding impression that is hard to shrug off.’
‘About as Southern and as gothic as Southern gothic can get…Excellent writing makes it scarily believable.’
‘A beautiful, disturbing and insightful novel from a writer who continues to impress.’