I’m in the process of reading several books at once, which I am learning is not conducive to trying to remember any of them or finishing any of them on time.
So, for this week’s book review I am covering a book I read last month called The Cutting Season by Attica Locke.
First thing I have to mention is the importance of cover art. They say, don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but let’s face it, we all do. The cover of this book was simple yet screamed (to me anyway) mystery! I immediately wanted to pick it up and read the back cover.
The story is about Caren Gray, a young single mother who moves to Louisiana to live on and manage a large southern estate called Bell Vie that has been turned into a tourist attraction. Caren is dedicated to her job and her daughter, but also has a history with this place. Her mother worked in the kitchen and her long lost relatives were original slaves.
When the body of a young female migrant worker is discovered on the property a mystery unfolds over who the woman is and why she was murdered. There are many twists and turns including the arrival of Caren’s ex-boyfriend and father of her daughter. This somewhat complicates the matter and Caren finds herself vigorously protecting what is hers.
There is more than one mystery to be discovered on the old estate. The current owner has political ambition and wants to use the family name. But to secure his campaign, he looks to sell the plantation. Something that will be hard to do with a murder tied to it. A large cotton farming company who owns much of the land around the estate is interested in buying the property and demolishing the grand antebellum, but the manager of their operations has his own dark secrets and agenda that may compromise all that.
While the police seem fixated on a single easy target who happens to be one of the Bell Vie employees, Caren feels there is more to the story and keeps digging, putting herself and potentially her daughter in danger.
As usual, I won’t give away the ending. I will tell you that this is a real page-turner; the type of mystery I would love to write someday. If you get the chance, pick up a copy this summer. You won’t be disappointed.