A Novel of Arkansas in the 1840s
A murder mystery unsolved for
160 years and a vivid account of Arkansas in the decade following
Opening with the senseless killing of a boy, and not just
any boy but the scion of a proud family, Lankford’s
novel is the stuff of classic fiction. Who would harm such
a promising lad; perhaps the folks whose farmhouse is nearest?
A man lives there who has sworn to get even with the boy’s
father. Has he done so by killing an innocent? To many it
is sensible to assume so. A posse is formed, a manhunt ensues.
Is it really necessary, given the blood feud between the boy’s
pa and the man whose house overlooks the killing scene?
Lankford’s novel is based on extensive historical research;
it may even contain more fact than fiction. Yet it is the
unsolved murder at the core of the story that propels the
reader from page to page. And it is the quest for resolution
that drives the characters—in their interwoven stories—in
search of an answer to the identity of the killer. Lankford
delivers a very satisfying historical novel, delivered within
the setting of real Arkansas history.
professor emeritus of Lyons College, Batesville, Arkansas,
is the author of many books and the recipient of many awards,
including the Arkansas Historical Association’s Lifetime
Achievement Award. He is the editor of Bearing
Witness: Memories of Arkansas Slavery and wrote the
introduction to Cavorting
on the Devil’s Fork: The Pete Whetstone Letters of C.
F. M. Noland.
5 3/8 x 8 3/8, 208 pages
Distributed for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.