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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

3.9 (324 )
5 star
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3.9 (281 )
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4.1 (281 )
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Performance
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  •  
    tracey 11-14-12
    tracey 11-14-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listen while you work!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Cutting Season the most enjoyable?

    I was able to download the novel on my phone and listen to it while at work and in the car.


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

    Absolutely! Ms. Locke's words painted vivid pictures that I could see.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were so many, I can't pick just one.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I really enjoyed listening to it while I worked.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot wait for the movie verison of this book to be made!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    terri United States 11-05-12
    terri United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept me guessing"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great "who done it" by a relatively unknown author. The Cutting Season was so good I'm already reading Black Water Rising by the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elkins Park, PA, United States 10-29-12
    Mary Elkins Park, PA, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2014

    An avid listener of Audible whether I'm driving, cleaning or cooking. My children are frequently telling me to remove my earbuds!

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    "LOVED THE STORY, LOVED THE NARRATOR"

    Enjoyed the Gothic feeling of the plantation and the spooky feeling I got in the pit of my stomach every time Caren had to race across the plantation in the dark. I thought Quincy Tyler Bernstine did a good job with the narration, especially Caren's internal dialogue. Might have wished for a better outcome for Caren and Eric, but then it would be a romance novel. It's well worth a listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlene North pole, AK, United States 10-29-12
    Charlene North pole, AK, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A little disappointed"
    If you could sum up The Cutting Season in three words, what would they be?

    Historical, slight suspenseful, Based in South


    What did you like best about this story?

    The historical aspect of the Pre-Civil war house, how buildings on plantation were set up. Mindset of writing from slave perspective, strong female main character. I'm glad I used a credit on the book instead of buying it out of cycle.


    What aspect of Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s performance would you have changed?

    Too much feedback on some of the words spoken


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

    The cook because she had the whole life story of the house and it's deep secrets since she was old and lived there all her life


    Any additional comments?

    I expected the book to be better based on other comments. It was not very suspenseful which book was advertised as, certainly not a top suspense writer like Rollins, Patterson, Coulter etc.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Charleston Chicago, IL USA 10-23-12
    Robin Charleston Chicago, IL USA 10-23-12 Member Since 2007

    avid reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Suspense, atmosphere, characters all great!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cutting Season to be better than the print version?

    I have read another book by Attica Locke,and it enjoyed it immensely. However, I must say that the narrator greatly enhanced my appreciation of this novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The setting -- a southern plantation; and the suspenseful mix of past and present crimes, with a hint of class warfare.


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

    Pace of speech, accents.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Gothic tale of the new/old South.


    Any additional comments?

    I never did get the main character's affection for that old plantation. It just seemed like a dreadful place and I thought that it was bizarre for her to think that it was a fit place for a child.
    This is not a book that will gain fans for old Dixie -- not that I was ever one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bear 10-05-12
    Bear 10-05-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent story, great characters!"

    This wasn't a book that I would have chosen on my own, but I let myself be guided by C. Telfair's review and I'm glad I did. The book was so good that I was sad when it ended. I hope that I forget enough of the book to listen to it again soon. At first I didn't think the narrator would be strong enough, but she surprised me. She gave each character a distinct voice, and she brought out the funny twists in the characters and story. Thanks C. Telfair!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 10-01-12
    Sandra 10-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exceptional"
    What did you love best about The Cutting Season?

    I liked everythig about this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Attention keeper.


    Which character – as performed by Quincy Tyler Bernstine – was your favorite?

    All characters were my favorite.


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

    All of them


    Any additional comments?

    Well done. I would recommend this book to everyone.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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