Let Me Die in His Footsteps
author : lori roy
pages : [hardcover] 336
favorite character : annie
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.
By the time I’d gotten to reading the e-arc I received of Let Me Die in His Footsteps, I’d forgotten the concept of the novel. But I like going into books not knowing much about what may happen and thought that I’d enjoy the journey and process that would come with discovering what the story was going to tell me. Unfortunately, I feel like this novel was much too slow in its buildup, and failed to keep me interested even though there was an attempted air of mystery and intrigue.
The characters were what made it fall flat for me. Even those who were supposed to be menacing felt dull around the edges. There was nothing particularly exciting or memorable about most of them. In fact, I finished the book just yesterday and already the names and roles are starting to blend together confusingly–I’m sure other readers would struggle with this, too, and yet it seems like there are many out there who would enjoy this book more than I did.
Reading this was getting me a little out of my book comfort zone but it was a disappointing reach for me as unfortunately I didn’t find something to love in this book. I may attempt to read another novel by Lori Roy at some point in the future but as of now, basing all judgement on this read, I think I would take a pass on that. It wasn’t so much the storyline that got to me–though it did drag on and lost my interest–as the writing style that was boring and flattened to me.
While some readers may enjoy this book, I won’t be recommending it. There are better mysteries out there to captivate all types of readers and I’d reach for those before this one.