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The Cutting Season: A Novel | [Attica Locke]

The Cutting Season: A Novel

Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property.
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Publisher's Summary

In Black Water Rising, Attica Locke delivered one of the most stunning and sure-handed fiction debuts in recent memory, garnering effusive critical praise, several award nominations, and passionate reader response. Now Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a riveting thriller that intertwines two murders separated across more than a century.

Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate's owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean.

As the investigation gets under way, the list of suspects grows. But when fresh evidence comes to light and the sheriff's department zeros in on a person of interest, Caren has a bad feeling that the police are chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she ventures into dangerous territory as she unearths startling new facts about a very old mystery - the long-ago disappearance of a former slave - that has unsettling ties to the current murder. In pursuit of the truth about Belle Vie's history and her own, Caren discovers secrets about both cases - ones that an increasingly desperate killer will stop at nothing to keep buried.

Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is at once a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future, and a high-octane pause resister that unfolds with tremendous skill and vision. With her rare gift for depicting human nature in all its complexities, Attica Locke demonstrates once again that she is "destined for literary stardom" (Dallas Morning News).

©2012 Attica Locke (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (270 )
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4.1 (233 )
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  •  
    Annie WAKEFIELD, MA, United States 06-30-14
    Annie WAKEFIELD, MA, United States 06-30-14
    ratings
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    22
    2
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    "Finally!"

    After reading Gone Girl all the mysteries I've listened to have fallen flat - until this one. I loved everything about this book. A telling sign for me is I rarely needed to use the rewind feature because I was so engrossed. Highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth A. Menendez Frederick, MD United States 06-30-14
    Elizabeth A. Menendez Frederick, MD United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2013

    bbeth0607

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    3
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    "A Fascinating read"
    Where does The Cutting Season rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of my favorites so far because of how realistic it is and how plausible the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was a fascinating look into a culture vastly different than my own but written in a way that I could completely understand why Caren (the main character) makes the decisions she makes. It was also a great look at what happened to all those plantations that I had previously thought of as romantic.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any scene that described the plantation, as well as the scenes where you get a glimpse of how brilliant Caren is and how compassionate she is toward other people.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great little mystery as well as a great look at modern day Louisiana. It took me by surprise as I wasn't sure I would like it initially. But I did and couldn't wait to get back to it when I did have to pause along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Panthera Southern California 12-05-13
    Panthera Southern California 12-05-13 Member Since 2013

    Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.

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    "Good Mystery !"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a good unique mystery. I enjoyed it. The author is very good at describing the atmosphere. As you listen, you can visualize almost every aspect of the story. The narrator voiced all of the characters very well and it was easy to tell who was speaking. Perfect book for a rainy day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Williams Syracuse, ny 11-26-13
    Nina Williams Syracuse, ny 11-26-13

    Nina=]=]=]

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    "Very Good"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cutting Season the most enjoyable?

    The pace. It did a good job with the pace of the drama. There were times where I was listening to it in bed and getting scared. I slept with all the lights on. It was great!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Karen. The main character. She was a single mom and I could relate. The personal things she was trying to battle was really honest and raw.


    Have you listened to any of Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    N/A


    If you could take any character from The Cutting Season out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    If not Karen, her ex-husband. Other than the fact he was engaged to his pregnant girlfriend, I'd totally date him.


    Any additional comments?

    It had a really slow beginning. At first I was confused and wondered when things were going to get moving. But once they did, I couldn't put the book down! Hence why I only gave it four stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothea Raleigh, NC, United States 10-16-13
    Dorothea Raleigh, NC, United States 10-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    3
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    "Just ok"

    The storyline had great potential that just went no where. Little disappointing. Wanted more of a ghost story, not a murder mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristina Tampa, FL, United States 06-28-13
    Kristina Tampa, FL, United States 06-28-13 Member Since 2013

    Love Mystery, Fantasy, SciFi and Books that have a catching of tone, effectiveness to capture the mines and ears of me.

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    "Drawn Out"
    What disappointed you about The Cutting Season?

    Attica Locke, the synopsis of the book is misleading, the book and the history really didn't come together, you wrote more information about the plays, the visitor and what they were like versus why Jason matter, her mother and Ines death, I had to get to the last 60 mins on what, why and where and NO MYSTERY in that! I love Books and Imagination and the only imagination that I was left with was what the visitors were like.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Attica Locke again?

    Yes, I think her thought process has to be open to imagination , I don't know if writing a book is hard but if I can not Imagine what, where and Why and the beauty of a movie in words of the mind when it drafts with the Author; The main principles of a logic to a story regardless if it is a Mystery.


    What didn’t you like about Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s performance?

    She is good


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    but it can be better


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Lodge Georgia 04-28-13
    Michelle Lodge Georgia 04-28-13 Member Since 2011

    freestylene

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    "Great Listen"
    If you could sum up The Cutting Season in three words, what would they be?

    Authenic, gripping, well performed.


    Any additional comments?

    The story begins a little slow, but the listener is well rewarded for sticking with the story. One of the best audio books that I have listened to this year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnna Adams Cleveland, Ohio, US 04-12-13
    JoAnna Adams Cleveland, Ohio, US 04-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great! Could not stop listening."
    Would you listen to The Cutting Season again? Why?

    Yes I really enjoyed it.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    You just could not anticipate what would happen next.


    What about Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s performance did you like?

    Love the voice inflections and changes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivonne Bexley, OH, United States 04-07-13
    Ivonne Bexley, OH, United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great listen!"

    If you like detective stories and mysteries, especially those that break the mold, I highly recommend this one. Its protagonist is an African American woman and the mystery to be solved connects the times of slavery in the United States with contemporary issues of undocumented migrants in farms. Very well done and a great performance read. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book by Attica Locke!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharron Asheville, NC, United States 03-14-13
    Sharron Asheville, NC, United States 03-14-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Lackluster second novel"

    After enjoying Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, I expected another fast-paced, tense, and action-filled story. The Cutting Season was a disappointment in all three areas. Aside from the finding of a body in a shallow grave, everything else in the first 3/4 of the book seemed like background or side-story. Very little happened to advance the plot.

    As I started to listen, I groaned aloud at the narrator's voice. She sounded like a cranky child. But within a few minutes I got used to her, and appreciated her clear diction and the appropriate emotional content of her reading. Quincy Tyler Bernstine's narration actually improved the story.

    A romantic scene seemed to be added for no purpose at all; it gave little insight into the characters beyond making me like them a bit less for their questionable encounter. As with much of the text, it had nothing to do with the plot.

    I have already recommended Black Water Rising to many friends, and will continue to do so, but I've also started adding "but avoid Locke's second book."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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