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Attica Locke Books In Order

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Publication Order of Highway 59 Books

Bluebird, Bluebird (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heaven, My Home (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Guide Me Home (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Jay Porter Books

Black Water Rising (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pleasantville (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Cutting Season (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Attica Locke was born and raised in Texas. She graduated from Northwestern University. Her first novel, Black Water Rising was a worldwide hit and was nominated for an Edgar Award and a NAACP Image Award in 2010. The book also received a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was selected for an Orange Prize in the UK. Her second edition, The Cutting Season, is a national bestseller and won the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Locke has written scripts for Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros Twentieth Century Fox, HBO, and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. She is also the writer /producer of Empire (Fox drama series). Attica was a member at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab. She presently lives L A California with her spouse and daughter.

Black Water Rising

Black Water Rising is a narrative set in Houston in 1981.The story begins with Jay Porter on a night out with his pregnant wife. They leisurely sail out on a boat through the bayous on her birthday night out. Jay is a stressed ambulance-rider and a troubled ex- idealist. The boat they hired out turns out to be shoddy; the captain is absent. He left his young cousin to navigate the vessel. Besides the slight unforeseen nuisance, the night is beautiful, Jay and his wife enjoy the cold refreshments as they coo and cuddle lovingly. The, gun shots began booming a distance away! Jay rushes to rescue a white lady from drowning. He thinks of calling the police, but there’s a slight irritating complication-the dubious captain isn’t licensed to navigate a boat.

That’s not all; Jay has a juicy past with the police during his college days. He was a known rioter during his activism era. They resolve to drop the woman in the frontage of the police station, where she may walk in…limping-or not.The incident sets as a tangled -unfurling set of problems both past and present. The mysterious night began to nervously, coalesce with an ambitious mayor, Houston’s oil-driven financial system, racial tensions, and the flashbacks significantly well put. We see Jay as a zealous and charming student leader and campaigner for justice. Those qualities still linger in his bones, even if buried by warranted paranoia and caution. Black Water Rising is a book about the struggle over Jay’s actions. They may currently ignite in him to bring him back to the moral principles of his past.

He also wonders whether his former sweetheart, now his Mayor, told on him to the police. He tries to outline what exactly went on the night he was out sailing with his wife. He is trying to figure out what happened that night on the boat–and what happened to get to that. Locke wonderfully reveals the solution to her mystery in phases with a historical perspective. It leaves the reader guessing the details of the outcome it will have for Porter, for whom the stakes are high. The smoothness and tension are replicated in the prose, which is reminiscent but concealed.The murder-mystery- portrayal of the 80s Houston, Texas is seen through the eyes of a young African-American lawyer who has a history of participating in the civil rights movement black power association of the late 60s. It is a story of one man’s individual journey told through flashbacks blended with the contemporary tale that occurs during the Ronald Reagan administration.

The current times may be beyond the civil rights legislation, but ethnic mindsets are still raw. From Jay’s perspective, all whites (and the police) are terrible, dangerous, hostile or untrustworthy people. Attica provides a practical opportunity for white readers into the black experiences of dealing with systematic racism supported by wealthy power structures. Parts of the narrative remind the reader of a time and place as described. The biggest reminder is the lingering outcome of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo and the beginning signals of the 80s oil surplus. Another 1980s lingering fact of the American life is that everybody smoked in their workplace and public spaces. (Most people didn’t die of the killer second-hand smoke.) Moreover, nobody had cell phones.

The story is a well-written thriller that keeps the reader guessing alongside the protagonist. The ending included a characteristic of hope, but short of a happy conclusion.

The Cutting Season

Attica’s second book, The Cutting Season is set in The American South in the 21st century. She takes us to a generational plantation owned by an affluent family. A lot of history, and a dead body. Darkness is slowly fading away. Dawn breaks and Caren takes a walk in the compound of Belle Vie, the historic plantation residence in Louisiana that she has supervised for four years. Today she sees nothing odd, apart from some dug up ground by the fence adjoining the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal dug it out during the night, she asks the groundsman to tidy it up. Not long after that, the man calls her motioning over a dead body. At a distance, Caren doesn’t see her. It was a little messy for her to make out what the mound contained. There she was, a girl, covered in blood and dirt.

The police show up soon after the discovery, an investigation in progress and a staff member has gone missing; no one can track him down. Caren keeps discovering secrets she wasn’t prepared to find out. The more she digs into the girl’s past; the more she finds hidden truths about her life. Caren unearths shocking facts about Belle Vie, the future of the plantation, its past secrets, and clearly understands that no one can be trusted in Belle Vie, its splendor is all a facade.The discovery of Belle Vie and its magnificence tells a comprehensive story of the South. The Cutting Season fuses Black history confronting with modern America, with Obama as president, but as we know, some situations can never change. Attica provides a stark commentary on politics, racial ethnicity, family, love and the law, all as gripping and sad as her first book.

The American South’s disgraceful history tells of how the crimes of the past loop in with the present. The story reads more like a modern-day narrative, explores the history of black culture in a delicate way. Attica seems to have a deep attachment to Southern history. She created a tense mystery encircled by the racial tension in America

Book Series In Order » Authors » Attica Locke

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