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Black Water Rising [Paperback]

Attica Locke
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Product Description


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)

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 2009-05-18)

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)

the most impressive crime debut I've read this year (Marcel Berlins The Times)

[An] atmospheric, richly convoluted debut novel... she is able to write about Jay's urgent need to behave manfully and become a decent father with a serious, stirring moral urgency akin to that of George Pelecanos or Dennis Lehane... subtle and compelling (Janet Maslin New York Times 2009-06-22)

You can almost feel the sweat dripping off this tale; not just the humid heat of Houston but the blowtorch of moral obligation on the underbelly of self-preservation. (Courier Mail, Brisbane Australia 2009-10-10)

Expect plenty more great reads from this talented author. (Image (also in Insider))

Black Water Rising is both an exceptional debut and a novel that strays far outside traditional thriller territory into something both more obsessive and enlightening (Mercury Magazine Australia 2010-01-16)

Black Water Rising, the thrilling debut novel by Attica Locke, crackles along. A film and television scriptwriter for ten years, Locke know how to sustain a narrative... This is no ordinary thriller - both Locke's parents were involved in the civil rights movement and her words have a passionate truth that evokes a real moral urgency (Linda Leatherbarrow New Books 2010-10-09)

A crime writer of great promise (Joan Smith Culture (Sunday Times Supp) 2009-11-29)

Attica Locke's real achievement here is a virtually seamless marriage of social comment and slick crime action... It's a debut that propels this young, African-American writer into the upper stratum of crime fiction (Christopher Fowler FT 2009-12-05)

A powerful and skilfully constructed conspiracy thriller - Chinatown without the air of despairing fatalism... Locke has an extraordinary gift for reinvigorating tired thriller conventions (John O'Connell Guardian 2009-11-28)

Superbly written and hugely compelling debut crime novel... Black Water Rising's depths and concerns are much wider than the simple thrills it also provides. Locke is excellent at the bringing the city to life... An impressive, well-plotted and intelligent crime drama (Independent 2009-11-27)

Smart, gripping tale set among the fallout of American's Civil Rights movement... Rich with details drawn from the lives of Locke's parents, for the most part this serves as a thoughtful, albeit often depressing look at the way in which the idealism of the 1960s ground to a halt, ripped from both within and without (Andrzej Lukowski Metro Life 2009-11-12)

Attica Locke has delivered a stunning debut with Black Water Rising... Attica Locke has conjoined crime noir and the Afro-American fight for justice and created a powerful literary pot oiler (Bookseller 2009-08-14)

Locke, whose day job is screenwriting and is currently writing a HBO mini-series about the civil rights movement, gets the blend of social commentary, characterisation, mystery and action just right (Miles Fielder List 2009-11-05)

Attica Locke's first books is a winner... [Locke] creates very vivid scenes and incorporates numerous filmic hints and moments into her long, tense and original first novel (Jessica Mann Literary Review 2010-11-09)

An even better book than its author had in mind... This book cleverly replaces the kind of cold-war paranoia that used to animate thrillers with racial paranoia instead (Charles McGrath New York Times)

[Locke] organises her powerful material with impressive assurance (Sunday Times Magazine)

A strongly written, gripping read (The Daily Mail 2009-11-06)

James Ellroy thinks Locke is great, which is surely recommendation enough (Alastair Mabbott The Herald 2009-11-14)

Attica Locke's debut as a crime writer has been hailed on both sides of the Atlantic: in her native US, the acknowledged greats such as James Ellroy and George Pelecanos have saluted her, and here our own enthusiasts have been equally excited. So what's it all about? Partly it's about the ideal combination of plot and author, something which, when it works, is guaranteed to whet the public's appetite... A complicated, sinister narrative follows, with many twists and turns or perception and many well-plotted surprises (Antonia Fraser The Lady 2010-01-26)

Black Water Rising is an excellent book by any measure, but as a debut, it is nothing short of astonishing (Bruce Tierney Bookpage)

[Attica Locke] makes an astonishingly accomplished debut with her literary thriller Black Water Rising. It's a completely absorbing, gorgeously written early-1980s story, centering on a struggling black lawyer who's still emotionally trapped by the repercussions of his involvement in the civil rights movement (Joy Tipping The Dallas Morning News)

This smart, gripping tale set among the fallout of America's Civil Rights movement serves as a thoughtful look at the way in which the idealism of the 1960s ground to a halt (Metro London 2009-11-17)

Attica locke's Black Water Rising was another excellent debut, combining a tale of high-level machinations in 1980s Houston with a consideration of the fallout of the US civil rights movement. Jay Porter is the beautifully drawn protagonist; a shell-shocked veteran of the fight for equality whose attempts to uncover what happened one night on the bayou bring him unsettlingly close to the history he's tried to forget (Metro 2009-11-23)

Attica Locke delivers an unforgettable debut thriller set in America's Deep South (New Books Magazine)

This is one of the best, most gripping novels I have read for a very long time (Alan Lloyd Morning Star 2010-04-15)

Book Description

Serpent's Tail lead crime

From the Back Cover

'An authentic, atmospheric debut that burns with an entirely reasonable anger' Val McDermidOn a dark night in Houston, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a woman from drowning in the bayou, he opens a Pandora's Box.An activist in his youth, now a lawyer and expectant father, this small act of heroism becomes a threat to his work, his family and even his life, yet he can't walk away from the cirruption he glimpses. But before he can untangle the mystery that stretches to the highest reaches of corporate power, he must confront the secrets of his past. 'A stylish, involving literary thriller with a strong emphasis on human politics and character' George Pelecanos'Locke has an extraordinary gift' Guardian'Superbly written and hugely compelling ... Black Water Rising's concerns are much wider than the simple thrills it also provides. Locke is excellent at bringing the city to life' Independent'A seamless marriage of social comment and slick crime action' Financial Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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.
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