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Let Me Die in His Footsteps: A Novel Hardcover – June 2, 2015
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In the Clearing
When hunting a killer, no case is closed for homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite. Learn More
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"Open Let Me Die in His Footsteps anywhere and Lori Roy’s melodious voice will float off the page….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." --New York Times Book Review
"Let Me Die in His Footsteps is a hybrid of mystery, coming-of-age and Southern gothic literature…it’s taut and evocative – things simmer and tickle and sizzle underfoot, and the book practically smells like a lavender field." --LA Times
“It teems with family feuds, forbidden love, second sight and wronged innocents, all held together by Roy's taut style and gift for suspense.” –Tampa Bay Times
"With pithy characters and a winding plot leading readers to dark places they won't anticipate, this is a story of sisters, lovers, mothers and daughters, and what can happen when evil slips its way between those ties." --Associated Press
“A richly detailed, highly suspenseful Gothic novel filled with indelible imagery.” –Huffington Post
“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.” --Booklist (starred review)
“This powerful story…should transfix readers right up to its stunning final twist.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A Faulkner-ian tale of sex and violence from the Kentucky hills.” --Kirkus
“The richness of [the] characters makes their decisions crackle. . . . Which, as any Harper Lee fan will tell you, is what makes these stories endure in our very protective hearts. . . . While intense and at times a little ruthless, Roy's novel has elements of both what we love about the southern gothic mixed with the other perennial American classic: the coming-of-age tale. This is a dark story of adolescence in all of its awkward, terrible, exhilarating glory. And that's what makes it sing.”—Bustle
“Edgar Award winner Lori Roy…serves up a mystery with a thick, rich blend of Southern Gothic mainstays…This coming-of-age story dropped into a world of hardscrabble existence has an almost painful poignancy.” –Fort Worth Star Telegram
"There are echoes of Flannery O’Connor here: poverty, violence, malevolence, and grace. Roy’s writing is spell-like, using a simplicity of language, deft characterization, an understanding of the dark side of human nature, and relentless plotting in order to pull together every aspect of the conjuring necessary to create a masterpiece of Southern Noir" -- Historical Novel Society
"Reading Lori Roy is a sinuous, near-physical experience, her stories so rich and well-told they twine into the reader in a manner both gentle and profoundly deep. I consider her writing a love-sonnet to American letters. Simply lovely." --John Hart, Edgar-Award winning and New York Times bestselling author of The King of Lies and Iron House
“Rich and evocative, Lori Roy's voice is a welcome addition to American fiction." --Dennis Lehane
"This is a beautifully observed story whose details of time, place, and character are stunning little jewels sure to dazzle the eye on every page. . . . Quite simply put, I loved this book." --William Kent Krueger, Edgar-Award winning author of Windingo Island and Ordinary Grace
“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.” --Library Journal
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The author does a fantastic job of evoking time and place with just enough detail and description to evoke a lifestyle of hardship in a land that is both bleak and fragrant. This is a woman's story, with female characters that are complex and well rounded. The male characters sometimes come across as mere accessories to the story, even though they often drive the events. The wisdom and power reside with the women.
The alternating time periods do slow the pace, leading to some frustrating moments when I found myself wishing this story could move along. I found the ending to be gratifying and in some ways unexpected. This was an interesting, unpredictable story that was well written and suspenseful. The gothic elements made this a chilling read and an enthusiastic recommend.
Roy is clearly a talented writer and at times I can see what all of the fuss is about: her character are beautifully flawed, which made this one of the strongest, most appealing parts of the work for me. I do prefer books where the characters are neither perfect nor completely awful. There are some great interactions and character descriptions, along with some very well done world building.
Unfortunately what turned me off of this book somewhat was the jumping between time periods and the fact that this ultimately wasn't the type of book I'm really into, at least not at this point in time. No matter how hard I tried to get into this I just kept finding my attention wandering. I know that this may make some feel that the book isn't any good but that's really not the case here: this is something that you'll either like or dislike.
So... would I recommend this book? Ultimately, yes. This would appeal most to fans of slow, gothic "hidden family secrets" type of mysteries and to fans of books like Gone Girl. (Which I didn't like despite liking the author's other work.) It's definitely something that I can see becoming a popular summer read and one that will likely become the focus of several book groups. I'd just recommend that if you're somewhat on the fence about this, check it out at the library first. If you're a fan of Roy's work or you're pretty sure that you'd like this book, feel free to add 1-2 stars to my rating.Read more ›
Lori Roy is a fine writer. She evokes such realistic settings. Her characters are so very lifelike and rendered in such loving detail. Her writing is so very literary full of flowery phrases. But I hate her style of storytelling. The plot is so freaking tedious. Some event that should take half a page is dragged out to four to five pages with endless description and side stories. Characters come and go and there are so many of them. A reader could skip four or fives pages at a time and little would be missed because the pacing is so languid. When violence happens, it is described in almost a perfunctory manner unlike everything else in this book. Personally, I hated this book. Others will disagree as it is nominated for an Edgar Award for best novel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For me this book has everything I like a book to have- interesting characters, a great plot, suspense and seasoned writing! Read morePublished 18 days ago by P.Bergbauer
No wonder this book won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel. I stayed up waaaay too late reading it. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rhonda Lane
A total bore. But then I do not like third person present and long internal dialogue, especially from the beginning.Published 24 days ago by Books & Stuff
All of the plot twists kept me interested. Enjoyed reading the book as told from the point of view of two different storytellers.Published 1 month ago by Kim Peck
I enjoyed this book. Suspenseful, and I found the characters and the setting very compelling.Published 1 month ago by Jeannette Tanaka
Was slow at the beginning but then got very intense, couldn't put it down!Published 1 month ago by Lisa Aguilar
The author creates two plot lines 16 years apart (1936 and 1952) set in rural Kentucky. The family histories are complex ... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Carl Kallina