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.
"Mystery + Atmosphere = A Definite Winner!"
Writing in the tradition of Dennis Lehane and Greg Iles, Attica Locke, a powerful new voice in American fiction, delivers a brilliant debut thriller that readers will not soon forget. Jay Porter is hardly the lawyer he set out to be. His most promising client is a low-rent call girl and he runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy strip mall. But he's long since made peace with not living the American Dream and carefully tucked away his darkest sins: the guns, the FBI file, the trial that nearly destroyed him.
"Promising Young Writer"
Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn't yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he's ready to quit.
"An Author You Need to Know"
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.
It's 1996, and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police, was all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to Sandy Wolcott, a defence lawyer. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder.
Just after dawn Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for the past four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long after, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A young woman lying face down in a shallow grave, her throat cut clean.
On a dark night, out on the Houston bayou to celebrate his wife’s birthday, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a distressed woman from drowning, he opens a Pandora’s Box. Not the lawyer he set out to be, Jay long ago made peace with his radical youth, tucked away his darkest sins and resolved to make a fresh start. His impulsive act out on the bayou is heroic, but it puts Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him is practice, his family and even his life.
"Good mystery thriller"