Quentin Spade always felt like his older brother Rex was his mothers favorite, and to a large degree it was true. Rex was a rebel rouser and loved the ladies, so much so that his wife had divorced him, not a common thing in 1913. So when Quentin gets a telegram that his brother has been killed, he takes what he believes will be a quick trip home to KY. When he arrives at his mothers home, she is distraught over her son's death.
Shortly after the funeral she has a talk with Quentin, in which she admits that in essence Rex had been the favorite of her three children, she had a younger son Charles, who died very young from typhoid. Telling Quentin he is all that she has left she asks him to extend his visit, because she is in a bitter lawsuit with her cousin, Captain Ronald Jackson, over a land dispute and wants Quentin's help and support!
Quentin soon rekindles an old friendship with a former school friend Katie May Cooper, his feelings soon turn into more than friendship, with her encouragement he takes up painting something he had given up years earlier. When his mother finds out he is becoming serious about Katie she does everything she can to discourage it, but Quentin is looking forward to the future, finishing law school and perhaps marrying. So why when his life was going so well would he commit murder? Did he actually do it, or did he take the fall for someone else?
This story was written by transitioning between the past and present, a young college girl, writing a paper for one of her classes starts researching the story and is determined to unearth the truth, problem is, because there was never a trial for the murder, facts are very limited in the case so can the truth ever really come out?
This story was slow to start, it took several chapters for it to really take off, but once it did it became an engrossing tale, the story is told in such a way it makes you feel like your sitting on a neighbors porch listening to the tale.
We got a very close look at the relationship between Quentin and his mother, she was a domineering lady, someone that I really couldn't like, she felt as if she was better than the people around her. I felt like since her favorite son Rex was gone she was determined to keep Quentin under her thumb. It was nice to see the relationship between him and Katie May develop, even though it never actually comes to fruition. The ending of the story surprised and saddened me.
Overall once this story found its footing it became a totally engrossing novel of deceit, greed, love, and hatred which set against the backdrop of a tiny town in Kentucky, with characters you will think about long after you finish the last page!