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Black Water Rising
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Born in Houston, Texas, Attica Locke, has worked in both film and television for over ten years. She has written movie scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and most recently completed an adaptation of Stephen Carter's The Emperor of Pictures. She now lives in Los Angeles. Black Water Rising is her first novel.

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Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, critically acclaimed in US and UK (fans include Ellroy, Pelecanos, John Harvey), Attica Locke's debut is now in paperback

About the Author

Born in Houston, Texas, Attica Locke, has worked in both film and television for over ten years. She has written movie scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and most recently completed an adaptation of Stephen Carter's The Emperor of Pictures. She now lives in Los Angeles. Black Water Rising is her first novel.

Reviews

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 longstanding 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. Readers who enjoy Stephen Carter's thrillers (e.g., The Emperor of Ocean Park) will want to try. [Screenwriter Locke is currently working on an HBO miniseries about the Civil Rights Movement.-Ed.]-Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

This extraordinary debut focuses on Jay Porter, a black lawyer in Houston struggling to become upwardly mobile while weighed down by a past as a civil rights worker who was betrayed and disillusioned. His moral fiber is put to the test when he's witness to a murder that eventually places him and his pregnant wife in jeopardy. It's a good thriller setup, but what distinguishes Locke's story are the glimpses into Porter's past, which, in turn, focus on the racial rebellions on campuses in the '60s (the author has written an upcoming HBO miniseries on the civil rights movement). Dion Graham's whispery, almost sing-song narration seems initially inappropriate, but, oddly, as the plot unfolds, this approach morphs into a mesmerizing intimacy that makes Locke's riveting prose even more compelling. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 6). (July) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

The most impressive crime debut I've read this year -- Marcel Berlins * The Times *
What a ride! Black Water Rising is a superlative debut; a wonderful treatise on the Texas 1980s - the best bad town novel in some time. Attica Locke is a stand-out in every imperative-young-writer way -- James Ellroy
Black Water Rising is a stylish, involving literary thriller with a strong emphasis on human politics and character. An auspicious debut from Attica Locke -- George Pelecanos
Black Water Rising is a terrifying reminder of how recently America was a very bad place to be young, gifted and black. This is an authentic, atmospheric debut that burns with an entirely reasonable anger -- Val McDermid
Started reading Black Water Rising with my morning coffee and barely set it aside until I'd finished it that evening - that's the kind of grip it has. Attica Locke serves up a rich stew of venal politicians and legal chicanery in which staying alive is hard enough and hanging on to your integrity harder still. Longshoremen, Civil Rights and Big Oil - John Grisham meets Chinatown in 1980s Texas -- John Harvey
A ripping read -- Miranda Sawyer * Observer Summer Reading *

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