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
The summary of the book sounded good so I thought I would give this book a try. Honestly, I think the summary sounded more appealing than the story proved to be. There wasn't a whole lot of depth in the characters. I spent most of the time waiting for the climax and when that finally arrived...flat. That's the best word I can use to describe it. The mother/daughter bond didn't seem particularly strong. She tries to help one of her employees and although we know this person is important, I don't know if he was important to her, the historical property she takes care of or simply someone to save. Either way, I felt like I wasn't able to care about these people since the author doesn't give you enough to care about them.
And again, the climax was rather confusing. She has no phone, we assume she needs some help and when she was able to get to a phone, she starts talking about information! (I don't want to give away too much.) She doesn't say call 911, she doesn't say she is worried about her daughter and her ex-husband or boyfriend, I can't recall.
And unfortunately, the end of the book was frustrating! You think its going to go one way, you assume, hope it's going to go one way and yet again, this falls flat.
I'm aggravated with the author and the book. It was a true disappointment. I know everyone sees things differently and I'm sure there are others who will love the book. This is just my opinion which in the overall scheme of things, probably doesn't matter very much at all.
Complex plot and characters. Part mystery part social commentary on race relations in the American south. Tight story (until the very end when it stretches the imagination). Excellent narrator.
I had high hopes for this story, but it fell short in so many ways. The main character was just awful, I couldn't for the life of me understand why she did any of the stuff she did. I am returning this. I am so mad I wasted a credit and my time listening to this. The narrator was ok, her voice didn't bother me. The story just need a little more work or something. I see she wrote another book I might try that one.
Great murder mystery weaving a past into a present murder, setting to rights a terrible, historical wrong done to past slave family. A story that very well could have been many a family in post civil war times...
Absolutely fantastic. I loved the narrator. Very soothing . I love everything about southern historical settings. This is my first book by attica locke, but not my last. This is my first review out of hundreds .. I am a very picky reviewer .
Yes, captures the conflict of the past and present
The complexity of the story.
The passion and presence of the characters
Donovan's Grandmother - to hear her stories of her life and dreams.
I was excited about this one from the description but was, especially at the end to be anticlimactic, have a non-suspenseful ending (although the meat of the story suggested it would be otherwise) & have mixed plot points that seemed out of sync. The author writes beautifully but had a weak plot here, in my opinion.
The most frustrating part was the main character. Was she a wanna-be detective, historian, lawyer???
The narrator can become annoying and didn't offer much voice variation.
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