Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar can fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted. 

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising (description from Goodreads)

This had been sitting on my shelf for months and I would stare at it and stare at it, knowing I would be in for an amazing read once I actually picked the damn thing up and cracked it open. Finally last week, it happened. Finally, a thriller sparked my interest! I've been in a mystery slump!

Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, was terrific as well. She immediately hooks you in with vivid descriptions of the setting and the inner turmoils of her characters. This time it was the deep south, Louisiana, which is steeped in history and vibrancy. I loved the main character, Caren. She was tough yet refined. I liked how she ran her job, the complexities of running a historic plantation as a black woman. 

It was edgy at times, the current racial tension between the characters and the past story line about the actual people living and working on the plantation, was intriguing and intense. This book had a lot going for it; a love story, history, politics, murder. I enjoyed the hell out of it and definitely look forward to reading more of her books.

On a cool side note, this book was published as the first book in the Harper Collins imprint, Dennis Lehane Books. What a backer to have as an author! Dennis Lehane is one of my favorites so it was easy to trust this book would be a good one.

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
Publisher: Harper Collins (Dennis Lehane Books)
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 374 
Price: $25.99
Challenge: Sadly, this would be one of my first book reviews for my very own A-Z Mystery Author Challenge. Yay! Go me, I know.

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Marce said...

Not completing your own challenge, go in the corner Michelle lol. I'm not completing yours and many others his year either, sigh

One of my author interviews they recommended this book. I don't think it will be me though. Glad you really enjoyed it.

Learned something Newman didn't realise Dennis L started publishing, wow.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Awesome review. I probably would have passed this up, but it sounds really good.

Ryan said...

I actually didn't like Black Water Rising as much. I wonder if I would like this one any better.