In Black Water Rising, Attica Locke made one of the most stunning fiction debuts in recent memory. Now she returns with The Cutting Season, a riveting thriller that intertwines two murders separated by over a century.
Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation-turned-tourist attraction where the past and the present coexist uneasily. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation has been snapping up sugar cane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the property, her throat cut clean.
The police zero in on a suspect but Caren fears they're chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling new facts about the long-ago disappearance of a former slave that has unsettling ties to the modern-day crime. In pursuit of the truth about Belle Vie's history and her own Caren discovers secrets about both cases that an increasingly desperate killer will do anything to keep hidden.
“The impressively astute Attica Locke writes . . . in much the same way that Mr. Lehane [does]. . . . Each is willing to use the murder mystery as a framework for much more ambitious, atmospheric fiction.”
-New York Times
“Compelling. . . . A mystery that expands the whole idea of the mystery, reaching from the present deeply into the past. . . . Great writing, the kind that gives you goose bumps.”
-Los Angeles Times
“One of the most engaging and gifted new voices in the genre. . . . The Cutting Season does more than exhume a body—it rattles the bones of slavery, race, class, and power to examine a crime that reverberates from more than a century ago.”
“Although The Cutting Season succeeds as a thriller, above all it is a well-crafted warning about the damage wrought—generational, social, romantic—when the past is distorted or denied.”
“A thoughtful, well-written and absorbing read with a surprising ending.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I was first struck by Attica Locke’s prose, then by the ingenuity of her narrative and finally and most deeply by the depth of her humanity. She writes with equal amounts grace and passion. . . . I’d probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine.”
“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
“The Cutting Season is a novel about the shifting definitions of family, the persistent pull of history, the sterling promise of home, and the stunning power of love. It pulled me in and held me close to the very last page.”
-Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow