Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Let Me Die in His Footsteps” as Want to Read:
Let Me Die in His Footsteps
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Let Me Die in His Footsteps

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,589 ratings  ·  281 reviews
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
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Dutton
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Let Me Die in His Footsteps, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Linda Kelley
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,589 ratings  ·  281 reviews

Sort order
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
In 1952 Kentucky the legends say that if a girl between her fifteenth and sixteenth birthday looks down into a well at midnight she will she her future husbands face. It's Annie Holleran's night to do that.
She sneaks onto the Baines' property though to stay away from the nosey eyes of the neighbors. She doesn't want anyone finding out what she sees.
What she and her sister find though is the body of the Baines matriarch.

The rules growing up were that if a Holleran saw a Baines that they would c
Diane S ☔
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am always drawn to these southern gothic toned novels. This has two different storylines, one in the near past and one in the present, two families, The Banes who have all boys and the Hallorans, who have all girls. Of course the novels draws from this, using wanting and having to illustrate good versus evil. Or is anyone purely both? Also some of the women in this town have a little extra knowing and the book starts with one of the superstitions and customs in which this town believes.

This a
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“She wore her hair down this morning even though I told her it would be best if she’d bind it and cover it over. Being as it was a solemn day, I thought there would be something almost obscene about the beauty of her hair when it catches the sun. Falling down near about the center of her back, it glows. No other way to put it. Folks can’t help but stare, even though she’s not new to them, even though they don’t want to look. They’re afraid to look. They’re afraid of those black eyes. But she’s w ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The cover of Let Me Die in His Footsteps is my favourite thing about this book. The cover depicting someone falling into a field of lavender is gorgeous. It's kind of like the writing. It has an eerie beautiful quality. But somehow I felt like the writing distanced me from the characters and the story. Set in two time periods -- the 1930s and 1950s -- the book tells the story of two generations of daughters growing up in rural Kentucky. Alternating between these two time periods, the story gradu ...more
Text Publishing
Trust us. It's a ripper.

"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

“Rich and evocative, Lori Roy's voice is a welcome addition to American fiction." Dennis Lehane

“A Faulkner-ian tale of sex and violence from the Kentucky hills.” Kirkus

'Faulkner-ian' doesn't quite roll off the tongue, I'll ad
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review
It's an atmospheric mystery with two timelines and two narrators, about lies in the past and consequences in the present. Nice, descriptive prose with some gothic vibes, very readeble and with interesting twist.
In both parallel stories, the narrator is a teenager, which I usually dislike, but both of the main protagonists are convincing and with strong narrative voice.
The most interesting part was (for me) the structure of the story - in both timelines, we follow almost the same cast and simila
Kim Fay
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
At the Bouchercon mystery convention this fall, I arrived to hear a panel early and saw, in an empty row, a galley of this novel. I became such an admirer of Roy after reading "Until She Comes Home." I looked around, saw no one, slipped the book in my bag and decided that if anyone came looking for it, I would deny everything! Having read this book, my admiration grows. Roy is an excellent storyteller, and she reaches into the depths with her characters - in this case, a family and townspeople o ...more
Let Me Die is one of those novels where I'm hesitant to say too much out of fear of giving away its secrets - and trust me, this is a novel you'll want to discover all on your own - but I worry my reluctance to go into detail is going to make for a rather lackluster review when Let Me Die is actually one of the best books I've read this year and will absolutely be appearing again on my Top Reads of 2015 list! So please, please don't assume that my vagueness or tight-lipped review means I hated t ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Got to the half way point and this is too superstition heavy and psychic ridiculous for me to desire to continue. I simply do not care to find out Annie, Caroline or any of their relatives' outcomes. Nor Juna's crime or secret either.

It's not poor writing. Just terribly overdrawn. And the Kentucky pokey lavender farm natural mode mood and description becomes, to me, immensely redundant and repeating. Others might be entertained or enthralled by the know-how.

I just wasn't. This book is not ringin
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: southern gothic lovers
Shelves: first-reads
Won from the First Reads giveaway.

I loved this book. It had great suspense and mystery. The language is lovely and I will be thinking about the characters for a long time to come. I am usually able to predict outcomes, but I didn't with this one. I would like to read more of the authors work.

The cover is really pretty even if it's kind of incorrect. She's laying in wheat or something that was photo-shopped to look like lavender and her nightgown is totally not 50's-ish. Also, I don't think Annie
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a great thriller/historical fiction. Let Me Die in His Footsteps has many layers. The two stories had me dieing to find the intersections. When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. Now that I am done, I can’t shake the complexity of the families.

Annie and Caroline are growing up in the 1950’s and Juna and Sarah are growing up in 1930’s. In a small town in Kentucky, they both represent the family Holleran. Half way between ages of 15 and 16 things happen to all the girls
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it

This book won the Edgar Award for 2016. Since the prize for mystery novels was created in 1954, I have read eight of the early Edgar winners as part of My Big Fat Reading Project. Four of the first eight winners were written by females and their books were great reads. (See list below.)

I have not read any recent winners and only one in the last decade was written by a woman. The prize has always been given to a mix of well known authors and ones you don't hear much about otherwise. On a whim, I
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, mystery, thriller
Roy, Lori. Let Me Die in His Footsteps. Dutton. June 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780525955078

Set in rural Kentucky in 1952, Let Me Die in His Footsteps is a Southern mystery that explores coming of age in a town that never forgets. Told in first person narration, the novel alternates between Sarah in 1936, and Annie 1952. The novel begins with Annie, telling her story in present day of growing up in a small, superstitious town that is clinging to the fear that Annie’s Aunt Juna created in 1936. While Sara
Nan Williams
Jul 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: soap opera lovers
There are more holes in this tale than in Swiss cheese! The only reason I finished it was that a friend thought I would like it and got it for me.

The author flips back and forth between 1936 and 1952. Mostly the characters are the same, but have different functions. Or we have the same families 16 years later or the same names for different characters. In 1936 we have Mama and Daddy and Grandma. In 1952 we also have Mama and Daddy and Grandma, but they're different people. And then our protagon
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
The book goes back and forth from Sarah and Juna’s story in 1936 and Annie’s story in 1952. This is a family full of secrets and though separated by many years they secrets are still relevant and unnerving as we find out what the truth really is.

Like Lori Roy’s Bent Road that I reviewed back in 2012 this is a book about family relationships and struggles. I am walking a fine line here not wanting to give too much away. Back in the 30’s the family’s crop was tobacco, in the 50’s it is lavender. (
Juletta Gilge
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was good, and it kept my attention. It was slow to start, and the switching between timelines got annoying, but that was because once you get further into the book, every single chapter ends on a cliffhanger. The ending was slightly predictable, but the characters were enjoyable and felt real.
This was definitely an interesting story and I found myself hooked into it from the very first page.

Roy’s voice is incredible. I love what she does with accents to a level of envy. It’s not stream-of-consciousness or any kind of broken English or anything. It’s all in the play of sentence structure. A subtle use of a word that makes a sentence grammatically incorrect but so incredibly right for the character who’s talking or thinking. She doesn’t really use apostrophes to show words that are dro
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Atmospheric but lightweight. Ultimately the prose is tiresome in its repetition. I get it, these are simple folk with their homespun superstitions, who don't know what to make of young women with blonde hair, black eyes, and a burgeoning sexuality. The last third of the book doesn't grapple with any of the darkness that Roy goes to the trouble of showing us in the first two-thirds. Catharsis is not earned, for the characters or this reader.

My biggest problem with this book is this: the author sa
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)
The review was first posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds as part of the blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours.

Actual Rating 3.5 Star

I love historical fiction. I honestly love reading different authors perceptions about how they view the past and the instances of that constitute past!

This is the first Lori Roy novel that I have read and I have to say I am impressed.

The story is set in a small town of Kentucky - a town that hides animosities between two families, a girl who has "the sight"
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
This was an eerie little book, a bit reminiscent of Sharyn McCrumb. It was a moody, rather dark mystery set in the Kentucky hills and filled with local legend, feuding families, mysterious deaths and disappearances, and LOTS of secrets. It was a sad little story for many of the characters, and tragic for several. My main problem with the story was my inability to really like anybody in it. No one was especially charismatic. Even the main characters Sarah and Annie, a mother and daughter who were ...more
Katie McGuire
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I fell in love with the cover immediately upon hearing about the book and was very excited to get a chance to read it thanks to an ARC sent via YPG. Some fascinating plot points and genuinely surprising twists in the end, and while I can't point to anything I strongly (or even mildly) disliked, this one left me feeling fairly...neutral, I suppose is a decent word. Not quite as full of dark magic as I was hoping/expecting. And though the writing is strong, it felt a bit tedious at times, and I fe ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. My favorite of Roy's three books. Great character development and an intriguing plot. I enjoyed reading the story from the different perspectives - both past and present. Excellent read - highly recommend.

ARC from publisher.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really atmospheric and kept me guessing. Perfect fall read.
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it
How families deal with secrets is the focus of many a novel, but because families, and secrets, come in such a wide variety, there’s plenty of room left.

The book opens in 1952, with Annie, a 15 1/2-year-old (the 1/2 is important) girl living with her parents, sister and grandmother on a lavender farm. Annie knows -- pretty much everyone knows, though no one says -- that she is actually the child of her long-gone Aunt Juna, remembered as a wild-eyed and frightening young woman. Juna, we learn, w
Benish Khan (Queen.Beenie)
The premise sounds confusing, so here's a quick summary. Annie Holleran crosses into a forbidden territory on a dark night in Kentucky 1952. Even though, she has been well warned by her family members - Annie and her curiosity gets the best of her. This novel is about two families who are surrounded by the evil that has been passed down generations. They are constantly in a feud as well, which has been passed down decades. Every year, young girls at the ages of fifteen, the girls doll up and go ...more
Lori Twichell
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Switching back and forth between the 30’s and the 50’s, Let Me Die in His Footsteps holds at its center, a crystalizing moment for a small farming community; the last public hanging in America. A mystery that unfolds over multiple generations, little details, clues, and hints are revealed through fascinating narratives encompassing two main voices. Annie Holleran and her mother, Sarah. With vivid exploration of country values interspersed with old wives tales, we learn that Sarah’s sister, Juna, ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Midnight on what is known in her rural Kentucky county as her "Day of Ascension" Annie Holleran falls deeper into the mystery that has haunted her for all of her 15 and a half years. She crosses the rock wall separating her family's farm from the Baines' place to peer into their well. Legend has it that a girl shining a light in a well on that night halfway between 15 and 16 will see the man she is to marry reflected back. Instead Annie finds Mrs. Baine dead, a gun at her side. This story unfold ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lori Roy has created yet another complex, absorbing novel. This one has two story lines – one taking place in the 1930’s involving two sisters Juna and Sarah and the other taking place in the 1950’s involving Annie and Carolyn. A couple of times I did get a bit confused between the two story lines, since there are many characters who appear in both time frames. And it did slow down a bit in certain parts. I think I could have avoided that if I had a block of time where I could just read right th ...more
Kristi Richardson
"Over and over the girls of Hayden County chant . . . Eyes like coal, she’ll lead you astray . . . How many Baines will die this day? And the ropes swing around..."

This haunting story of three young women, two in the 1930's and one in the 1950's, as they live under a curse. They are simple folk, and I don't mean stupid but plain and hardworking, eking out a living. The first family are tobacco farmers and the next one is a lavender farmer. Both tales surround the girl's 15 and 1/2 birthdays, the
Hester Young
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A small Kentucky town, a family with secrets, a young woman with an ability to sense danger, and a man hanged for a crime he may not have committed—safe to say this suspense-with-a-dash-of-romance novel was right up my alley. This was my first Lori Roy book and now I’ve got to get my hands on her other two.

There were a couple little points of confusion—having two different characters in past and present who are referred to as “Daddy” occasionally got me jumbled up—but I was thoroughly engrossed
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Let Me Die in His Footsteps, by Lori Roy 1 8 May 01, 2018 07:47AM  
  • Go-Between
  • Be Ready for the Lightning
  • King Maybe (Junior Bender, #5)
  • The Holy Lance (The English Templars #1)
  • Hellbender
  • Flask of the Drunken Master (Shinobi Mystery, #3)
  • Valley of Ashes (Madeline Dare, #4)
  • Inner City Blues (Charlotte Justice, #1)
  • Lights Out Lucy: Roller Derby 101 (Music City Rollers, #1)
  • The Hidden Side
  • Killing Secrets (Nan Vining Mysteries #5)
  • Blood Hina (Mas Arai, #4)
  • The Night Visitor
  • Mighty, Mighty: A Novel
  • Flint
  • The Secret History of Las Vegas
  • Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love
  • Downward Facing Death (Keeley Carpenter #1)
Lori Roy's debut novel, BENT ROAD, was awarded the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. Her work has been twice named a New York Times Notable Crime Book and included on various best of lists and summer reading lists. UNTIL SHE COMES HOME was a New York Times Editors' Choice and a Finalist for the Edgar Allen Poe award for Best Novel. LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS was in ...more