After aspiring opera singer Tessa loses her voice in a fire, she needs both a place to heal and a way to keep music in her life. She retreats to her aunt’s apple orchard in rural North Carolina to collect folk ballads. But amid the autumn splendor of this isolated Appalachian community, she uncovers an unnerving connection between a murder case and a long-ago disappearance. Tessa gets a glimpse into an almost-forgotten world, encounters a corrupt, small-town political dynasty, and finds superstition and prejudice at every turn.
She’s also drawn to Zeke, the handsome but enigmatic orchard caretaker, who shows her that mountain justice is neither impartial nor just. But battling a conspiracy of silence, Tessa isn’t sure if she can trust him. Yet somewhere in the mists of the Blue Ridge Mountains, evil lurks, and a killer is determined to keep the past where it belongs—dead and buried.
The Sound of Falling Leaves is the second book I’ve read in recent days with an Appalachian / Blue Ridge mountain setting. Yay! I’ve visited this area often, so it was easy to put myself at the farmhouse and orchard in the small town of Buckthorn.
With just enough description, Lisa Carter creates a smooth atmosphere that drew me into the mysteries, superstitions, and relationships of this southern community. I really enjoyed getting to know Tessa and Zeke, learning their history, and seeing their growth. They’re interesting characters with burdens begging to be lifted.
This story is far from predictable. It holds surprises, mysteries, conspiracies, and danger sure to get your heart pumping, and romantic elements that make this story balanced and oh-so-satisfying.
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. Opinions expressed are completely my own.