Attica Locke's second novel is a keeper. If you like thrillers set in the deep south, (Louisiana, in this case), The Cutting Season is for you. It's better than most of the genre, though, because it's told from the view of a black woman who is NOT a police officer or private eye. Caren Gray is the manager of Belle Vie, a plantation that now offers a venue for weddings, parties and meetings. Tours of Belle Vie feature a play with a sanitized version of its history and the slaves that lived there.
Caren's great-great-great-great grandfather was a field slave at Belle Vie during the Civil War and he stayed on once he was freed because the plantation was the only link he had to his wife. She had been sold before the War. She does find her way back to Belle Vie and all should be fine but Jason, Caren's ancestor, disappears under mysterious circumstances. He is supposed to have walked away from work and have never been seen again. Foul play is suspected
The murder of an illegal female field worker provides the present puzzle and suspense but connects to revelations about the loss of Jason five generations earlier. Sub-plots involve Caren's daughter, Morgan, her relationship with Morgan's father and the racial tension that is still part of the deep south.
Books by John Grisham and Greg Iles have plumbed similar territory but the link to the past and the point-of-view of a slave's descendent and all the emotion that involves make this story unique.
I'll be looking for Attica Locke's first novel Black Water Rising. It, like The Cuttiing Season explores social, cultural and historical issues that underlie many of the problems in the present USA but does it with a plot that speeds right along.
I am an avid reader and like to share some of my "finds" with others.