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by author "Attica Locke" in All Categories
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J. D. Jackson
Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
Southern fables usually go the other way around. A white woman is killed or harmed in some way, real or imagined, and then, like the moon follows the sun, a black man ends up dead. But when it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules - a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger working the backwoods towns of Highway 59, knows all too well. Deeply ambivalent about his home state, he was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home.
When the young son of an Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang captain goes missing, Ranger Darren Mathews has no choice but to investigate the crime. Following the election of Donald Trump, a new wave of racial violence has swept the state. Dark, swampy and filled with skeletal trees, Caddo Lake is so large it crosses into Lousiana. This is deep country and the rule of law doesn't mean much to the Brotherhood, beyond what it can do for them.
Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn't yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he's ready to quit.
It's 1996, and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police, was all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to Sandy Wolcott, a defence lawyer. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder.
On a dark night, out on the Houston bayou to celebrate his wife’s birthday, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a distressed woman from drowning, he opens a Pandora’s Box. Not the lawyer he set out to be, Jay long ago made peace with his radical youth, tucked away his darkest sins and resolved to make a fresh start. His impulsive act out on the bayou is heroic, but it puts Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him is practice, his family and even his life.
Just after dawn Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for the past four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long after, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A young woman lying face down in a shallow grave, her throat cut clean.
Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; now he's alone in the darkness of vast Caddo Lake, in a boat whose motor just died. A sudden noise distracts him - and all goes dark. Darren Mathews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; after the events of his previous investigation, his marriage is in a precarious state of rebuilding, and his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who's never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she's not above a little maternal blackmail to press her advantage.