***Bloomsbury lead summer fiction 2014 Mary Byrd Thornton could understand how a reporter couldn' t resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother's Day, 1966. A suspect to whom nothing would stick. A neighborhood riddled with secrets. No one, especially the bungling or complicit authorities, had been able to solve the crime. Now, thirty years later, the reporter' s call will reel a reluctant Mary Byrd from Mississippi back to Virginia where she must confront her family-- and, once again, the murder' s irremovable stain of tragedy. Lisa Howorth' s remarkable Flying Shoes is a work of fiction, but the murder is based on the still-unsolved case of her stepbrother, a front page story in the Washington Post. And yet this is not a crime novel it is an honest and luminous story of a particular time and place in the South, where even calamitous weather can be a character, everyone has a story, and all are inextricably entwined. With a flamboyant cast, splendid dark humor, a potent sense of history, and a shocking true story at its heart, Flying Shoes is a rich and candid novel from a fresh new southern voice about family and memory and one woman' s flight from a wounded past.