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Publisher's Summary

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Attica Locke's best seller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

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.

When a girl goes missing on election night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville - a hamlet for upwardly mobile blacks on the north side of Houston - Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He's been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man's life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

©2015 Attica Locke (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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An Author You Need to Know

When I realize I am listening to a book that is way above average, I sit up straight and concentrate on every spoken word while I am smiling big. I probably look strange to other commuters on the train or my neighbors while I am on a walk, but I couldn't help it with this story. Attica Locke's third book confirms she understands pacing, character development and how to provide a satisfying "whodunnit" conclusion.

The book opens in 1996 on election night in Houston. Many residents of upwardly mobile Pleasantville, a suburb of Houston, are listening to election results where their dreams may finally be realized -- the election of Axel Hawthorne as the city's first black mayor. At the same time, a young girl goes missing. Are the two events related? Are the politics dirty?

As good as this book is, I urge you to read "Black Water Rising" first in order to follow Jay Porter (attorney with a conscience) from the beginning. Great for you, because that story is a great debut for Attica Locke. I still rate that book as the "best first chapter I have ever listened to with Audible". You are very fortunate if this is an author you have yet to listen. You are in for a very enjoyable experience.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Great story, well told

Economically written story with no holes. Exciting and well narrated. I wish this was a series! I cared about the characters and want more. Excited to discover this author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Review of Pleasantville by Attica Locke

I am a native Houstonian who grew up in the Fifth ward, Therefore, I was very familiar with the areas described in this book. The story line was compelling and I would recommend it.

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Wonderful read!

An engaging and well written story. I recognized the reality in this community, plus it was a good crime/law drama.

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Loved it!

Both the story and the performance were excellent! I highly recommend this book! One of the best thriller novels I've ever read.

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good not great

I found actually to be a good story, what I did not like about it was over abundance of detail for the multiple characters, some of which were not that relevant to know that much about.

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Nice Listen

A little drawn out, but worth the wait. I will probably give the author another try. I just did not love any of the characters. I guess that was part of the authors skill. Even though the main character draws sympathy, you can't like him a lot. He keeps you at a distance, just like in the book Narrator was good.

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Page turner

Attica Lock did a good job of keeping the road twisting in this book. I found myself rushing to return to this read.

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amazing book

Where does Pleasantville rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

attica locke is fantastic. she does noir and hart-bitten perfectly, thus turning on its head a genre that is generally reserved for white males. in the meantime, she tackles intraracial tensions (mostly related to class), the demise of civil rights in america, the demise of voting rights, and the general erosion of american democracy. all in a serious page turner. loved this book.

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Buy It! Share It! Read It/Listen to It Again!

Any additional comments?

This is an awesome tale of community activism, power, influence, and politics. Attica created an engrossing story superbly told, full of flawed people, a troubled champion, southern charm, and a political campaign. Jay Porter is honorable, intelligent, empathetic, and strong as he fights for Pleasantville’s survival. I loved the way secrets are revealed and characters unravel. I really appreciated the author's attention to the dynamics of family, community, and policy. Buy it, read it, and then share it!