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The Cutting Seasonby Attica Locke
Synopses & Reviews
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 page-turner 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).
Caren Gray manages Louisiana's stately Belle Vie, an antebellum plantation-turned-tourist attraction where the past and the present coexist uneasily. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation snaps up sugarcane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the plantation property, her throat cut clean through.
As the sheriff's department zeroes in on a suspect, Caren suspects the police are chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling secrets about the long-ago disappearance of a former slave that has unsettling ties to the current murder—secrets that a desperate killer will stop at nothing to keep buried.
Taut, hauntingly resonant, and beautifully written, The Cutting Season is a thoughtful meditation on how America reckons its past with its future.
“The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical novel that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica Locke is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”
—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of Wench
Attica Lockes breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousianas Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.
About the Author
Attica Lockeis a screenwriter who has worked in both film and television. A native of Houston, Texas, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
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