Friday, March 19, 2010

Black Water Rising – Book #24

| Title | Black Water Rising |
| Author |Attica Locke |
| Genre |Mystery (Houston, Texas) |
| Pages |427 |
| Publisher |Harper Collins |
| Copyright |2009 |

Synopsis (from web-site)
When Houston lawyer Jay Porter responds to pressure from his wife and jumps into the bayou to rescue a drowning white woman during a birthday dinner cruise he'd planned, he has no idea of the hell he's about to enter. There's a murder nearby that same night. Jay suspects that the drowning woman was involved. Ominous threats convince him that it's bigger than just a simple murder and that the players go all the way to the top of Houston's business and political elite. Only by facing down the racially charged past that's been haunting him for years can Jay find it in himself to overcome his long-standing belief in keeping quiet instead of speaking up. Despite a slow start and a measured pace that fail to give the narrative the expected intensity, Locke's debut thriller ends in a satisfying whirlwind of drama. Deftly exploring social and economic themes during the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, she balances Jay's current situation with flashbacks to his past as a student activist fighting for racial equality.

Why I read It
It was on every short list for Mystery of the year (for new authors) that I saw. Plus it was written by a woman (Always trying to read more female authors).

What I Thought About It
It was okay and made Houston seem like a hot and depressing city (maybe it is – so job well done). While I enjoyed it I did not connect with the lead character, which is not surprising given it was a first novel. I will be interested to see if she develops him more with subsequent books. I also realized how few books I read by black authors, or with black protagonists. It hasn’t been a conscious decision and I had never noticed before. I think I will try to correct that going forward.

Mormon Mentions

Author Biography

Attica Locke is a writer who has worked in both film and television for over ten years. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has written movie scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Jerry Bruckheimer films, as well as television pilots for HBO, Dreamworks and Silver Pictures. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmaker’s Lab and most recently completed an adaptation of Stephen Carter’s The Emperor of Ocean Park. She is member of the Writers Guild of America, west, and is currently at work on an HBO miniseries about the civil rights movement, based on the writings of historian Taylor Branch. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.

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