Author(s): Attica Locke



From Attica Locke, a writer and producer of FOX's Empire, this sophisticated thriller sees lawyer Jay Porter--hero of her bestseller Black Water Rising--return to fight one last case, only to become embroiled 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 his career-defining case against Cole Oil, Jay Porter is broke and tired. That victory might have won the environmental lawyer fame, but thanks to a string of appeals, he hasn't seen a dime. His latest case--representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire--is dragging on, shaking his confidence and raising doubts about him within this upwardly mobile black community on Houston's north side. Though Jay still believes in doing what's right, he is done fighting other people's battles. Once he has his piece of the settlement, the single father is going to devote himself to what matters most--his children.

His plans are abruptly derailed when a female campaign volunteer vanishes on the night of Houston's mayoral election, throwing an already contentious campaign into chaos. The accused is none other than the nephew and campaign manager of one of the leading candidates--a scion of a prominent Houston family headed by the formidable Sam Hathorne. Despite all the signs suggesting that his client is guilty--and his own misgivings--Jay can't refuse when a man as wealthy and connected as Sam asks him to head up the defense. Not if he wants that new life with his kids. But he has to win.

Plunging into a shadowy world of ambitious enemies and treacherous allies armed with money, lies, and secrets, Jay reluctantly takes on his first murder trial--a case that will put him and his client, and an entire political process, on trial.

Product Information

Politics is a matter of life and death in this thrilling third novel from Orange Prize shortlisted author of Black Water Rising

Long-listed for CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction 2015.

It's a fascinatingly complex setting and Locke maps it with great skill, charting the struggles of her characters as the crime remains unsolved ... a smart legal thriller about how far people will go to gain power, and keep it. -- Jeff Noon Spectator Genuinely unnerving ... subtle, complex questions of identity, family and history Daily Mail This is a cinematic, panoramic view of African-American life, but it is also a sharp, tender account of Jay Porter's inner struggle ... brilliant. -- Isabel Berwick FT In her first three novels, Locke has explored cultural history since the days of slavery. A future book will surely deal with race in the Obama and post-Obama era. That could be her best story yet - which, on the evidence of those she has already written, is saying something. -- Mark Lawson Guardian An excellent thriller on one level, Locke's novel offers a beautifully detailed character in "Jay Edgar Porter", a bereaved father struggling to cope with his loss. The story also has a fascinating political angle in the dirty-tricks campaign, aimed at disrupting the power of the black voting bloc and prefigures the Rove-Bush strategy in the 2000 presidential election. All told, it's gripping blend of the personal and the political. - , -- Declan Burke Irish Times As convincing as it is enthralling -- Boyd Hilton Heat To say that Locke's debut, Black Water Rising - ambitious, socially committed and beautifully written - created a stir is almost to understate the case, and one wonders if it weighed heavily on her shoulders that she would be obliged to deliver something equally impressive as a follow-up. She did just that with The Cutting Season and now we have Pleasantville ... Pleasantville is every inch as impressive as its predecessors, with a new nuance and complexity burnishing the narrative ... the next time you find yourself in the company of a crime reviewer, don't bother asking who you should be reading. You know the answer: Attica Locke. -- Barry Forshaw Independent A common selling point for the sorely missed HBO series "The Wire" is that it's the closest television has ever come to feeling like a novel. Attica Locke'sPleasantville is that novel. Washington Independent Review of Books In Pleasantville, Attica Locke returns to Jay Porter, the black lawyer hero of her magnificent first novel, Black Water Rising. This one is just as good. -- Marcel Berlins Times Outstanding...Locke just gets better and better as a writer. This is a grown-up, politically engaged novel as well as a moving portrait of a family upended by grief...a perfect read for election season -- Jake Kerridge Sunday Express Magazine Ambitious, assured and compelling Hot Press

Attica Locke's first novel Black Water Rising was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her most recent book, The Cutting Season, was published in 2012 to critical acclaim. Attica is also a screenwriter and is currently a co-producer on the hit show Empire. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, with her husband and daughter.

General Fields

  • : 9781846689499
  • : Serpent's Tail Limited
  • : Serpent's Tail Limited
  • : 0.349
  • : March 2016
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Attica Locke
  • : Paperback
  • : Main
  • : English
  • : 813/.6
  • : 432