"Have you ever been walking, walking down that ol' lonesome road . . . " Muddy Waters leaks out of the jukebox in a black truck stop off Highway 59 in East Texas. The bell on the front door clangs as Randie Wynstan, an urban woman in her 20's wanders inside. Geneva Sweet, 60's owner of the roadside cafe famous for its fried pies and barbecue, takes one look at Randie's somber expression and knows . . . "You're the wife of that boy they pulled out the Attoyas Bayou, ain't you?"
After traveling well over a thousand miles, searching for her missing, almost ex-husband, Randie's real journey begins in Lark, Texas, population 178. In a bayou swollen with the town's history, tow bodies have been discovered inside of a week: Randie's husband, a black lawyer from Chicago, and a local white girl.
The residents of Lark have lived in segregated peace for as long as anyone can remember, but two mysterious deaths cause racial tensions to bubble to the surface. Everyone in town has an opinion about the two homicides, especially Wallace "Wally" Jefferson III, white businessman and town patriarch. He is the first to bend the evidence in the direction of Geneva's cafe. Wally and Geneva, the town's most prominent figures sit on opposite sides of a highway that seems to divide white and black, each group blaming the other for the two murders.
In a town the size of a high school graduation class, secrets run as thick as Texas barbecue sauce. And truth can be as slippery as a rattlesnake. 'Cause a legend ain't nothing but a lie told more than twice. Randie soon discovers that today's questions can only be answered by solving yesterday's mysteries.
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