Release Date: September 18, 2012
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Source: A friend, ebook copy
Genre: AA Fiction, Mystery
Review Date: January 20, 2013
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.
Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar can fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead girl's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.
A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising
This was my first time reading Attica Locke, and I thought it was okay. It took me a minute to start really getting into it, but it probably because it was laden with bits of story that weren't essential to the plot. Overall I liked the book, but if I sit and really go over everything (as we all did in our book club meeting) I could really bring down the rating by nitpicking it to death. I won't do that. I'll just say that I felt that I spent a good amount of time reading this and it was all wasted with the rushed and unsatisfactory ending Like I told the book club ladies, I almost felt like the author was over her page limit so she had to hurry and wrap things up in a chapter of less. I was about 50 pages to the end and was like "Will we find out who did it or what?"...Yes we did. In my personal opinion, it seemed like the ending didn't really fit and it could have been better.
Since were are on wasted space on relationships. I don't feel that we got enough on the past between Caren and the plantation owners sons, Donovan and Bobby. Don't get me wrong, we got a bit of history, but I think if we really got a few glimpses of how they all interacted with each other in the past, we may understand the men a bit better in the present story line.
Anyways, on to the good things about the book. I do feel that Ms.Locke was very descriptive with the town and the plantation. I could visualize the surrounding while I was reading. I liked that so many characters were involved with the story and it made it a little more dynamic. The employees of Belle Vie really added some good to the story. I also liked that the story really turned left at the end and someone who we never really gave a second thought to ended up being the killer.
I also liked that it seemed at first the story was slightly going in the direction of a ghost story of sorts, then it changed directions and it wasn't at all. There was some history dug up about Caren's slave ancestors that worked on the plantation, which was pretty interesting. As Caren finds more clues as to who killed the woman in the cane fields, she learns more than she ever knew about her mother and the previous generations of her family and their tie to the plantation owners.
This was a pretty good mystery over all because it was hard for the reader to figure out who was the killer. To me that's the point of these books, and Ms.Locke succeeded with that. I didn't see it coming.
Let me just mention, the cover art on this book is so pretty. It's ethereal and haunting. It really pulls you in and makes you want to pick this book up. I could see the dirt road leading out to the slave houses looking just like that predawn or just after dark. Sort of scary!
Overall, if you like stories set in the south, if you like mystery and if you like your mystery tinted with some good historical information this is the book for you.