In the spellbinding and suspenseful Let Me Die in His Footsteps, Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, author 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 Annie runs through her family's lavender fields toward the well on the Baines’ place, hoping to see her future in the water. Instead, she finds a body, and Annie's future becomes inextricably tied with her family's dark past.
In 1936, the year Annie's aunt, Juna Crowley, came of age, there were seven Baine boys. Before Juna, Joseph Carl had been the best of all the Baine brothers. But then he looked into Juna's black eyes and they made him do things that cost innocent people their lives. With the pall of a young child’s death and the dark appetites of men working the sleepy town into a frenzy, Sheriff Irlene Fulkerson saw justice served—or did she?
As the investigation continues 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.
The scents of Lavender and regret are heavy in this suspenseful coming-of-age novel centering on two generations of rural Kentucky women and those unlucky enough to become enmeshed in their lives from Edgar-winner Roy (Bent Road). The devastating tale alternates between chapters set in 1936 narrated by Sarah Crowley and chapters set in 1952 from the third-person perspective of teenage Annie Holleran, whom Sarah has been raising as her daughter. But the key figure, never heard from directly, is Juna, Sarah's younger sister (and Annie's birth mother), a seductive, sinister force responsible for sending one man to the gallows and a boy to his death. Gifted (or cursed) with Juna's startling black eyes and a sixth sense country folk call "the know-how," the spirited Annie has been making nearly everyone uneasy for as long as she can remember. Annie's discovery of a dead body on a neighboring farm leads to the unearthing of long-buried, still-dangerous secrets. This powerful story inspired by the last legal public hanging in the U.S. should transfix readers right up to its stunning final twist.