A beautifully written and gripping historical novel that unravels one of the darkest moments in America's past. This novel is set in Mississippi ... Show synopsis A beautifully written and gripping historical novel that unravels one of the darkest moments in America's past. This novel is set in Mississippi during the 1900s and tells of two brothers, Leighton and Tandy Payne, and the haunting legacy of their tough planter father Sam. Leighton, the eldest, sold the old plantation as soon as his father died and moved to the nearby town of Loring. A good and well-respected man, he's Loring's mayor and editor of the local paper. As the story opens his brother, Tandy, rolls back into town after being run out of New Orleans. Relations between the two are more than difficult, for though Leighton feels contempt for Tandy, he also fears him. Quite rightly, for Tandy's smallest actions seem to unleash the repressed hysteria and violence of the deep South during Reconstruction. His immediate target is the black postmistress, a woman who grew up on his father's plantation. As the plot unfolds it simultaneously looks to the past, slowly unravelling the dark mystery at the heart of old Sam Payne's plantation. The characters are warmly and finely delineated, and the plot, though complex, is utterly enthralling and compelling.