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The Cutting Season Hardcover – 18 Sep 2012


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Hardcover, 18 Sep 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch; First Edition edition (18 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061802050
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061802058
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,485,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Rich in atmosphere, strong in story, hinges on human complexity (Val McDermid Guardian)

Genuinely unnerving ... interested in subtle, complex questions of identity, family and history (Daily Mail)

Locke was shortlisted for the Orange prize for her debut. This is even better (Observer)

Far more than a crime novel, covers the fallout from divorce, regret, poverty and bitter family secrets (Psychologies)

An intelligent and beguiling mystery that examines how our past haunts our present, told by a unique voice in contemporary crime fiction (Stuart Neville)

Attica Locke writes with equal amounts grace and passion. After just two novels, I'd probably read the phone book if her name was on the spine (Dennis Lehane)

Attica Locke is a stand-out in every way (James Ellroy)

Attica Locke's work raises searingly important questions that demand to be answered. The Cutting Season is about the dark possibilities that lie within us all. A thrilling read (Esi Edugyan)

A good crime novel on its own, but Locke has woven through it an engrossing exploration of freedom in all its trickiest aspects ... an involving and moving novel (N J Cooper)

A well-crafted warning about the damage wrought - generational, social, romantic - when the past is distorted or denied (Financial Times)

Beautifully conveys the atmosphere of a sad past haunting a benighted present (The Times)

This is a highly engrossing and genuinely thought-provoking piece of crime fiction: one that reminds us of the genre's potential to go well beyond simple entertainment (Independent)

A subtle thriller with real historical heft (Fachtna Kelly Sunday Business POst 2013-07-14) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Bury your bodies deep, and your secrets deeper. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AR VINE VOICE on 23 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Early one misty morning in rural Louisiana, the body of a young immigrant woman is discovered in a shallow grave on the grounds of Belle Vie - a former plantation, now a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the American South. Belle Vie's manager, Caren, whose own history is closely linked to the plantation, is drawn into the police investigation and soon makes a series of disturbing discoveries.

This book may initially present itself as a crime thriller, but it's actually a work of literary fiction that deals with some powerful issues.

As a setting, the former plantation of Belle Vie is oppressive and weighed down with historical significance, not only for the characters, but for America itself.

Thanks to her heritage, Caren is tied to Belle Vie. Her great-great-great grandfather, Jason, is a legend. Having chosen to stay on at the plantation after the Civil War ended slavery, he mysteriously disappeared into the night and was never heard from again. Caren grew up with her mother, who worked as a cook at Belle Vie and told her stories of her ancestors and their lives on the plantation.

After moving away to study law, Caren and her daughter ended up back at Belle Vie in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and Caren has grown accustomed to the routines of the place that has dominated her life. But that all changes when a young woman, an immigrant worker from the neighbouring farm, is found dead.

The modern day events at Belle Vie parallel those that happened in the past. The two aspects of the story are so inextricably entwined that the past can never really be forgotten; it haunts the present, much as the spirits of slave workers are said to linger in the tiny cottages where they once lived.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By laineyf TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
'The Cutting Season' by Attica Locke is a complex, intriguing tale of Belle Vie, a plantation in the Deep South of America. Belle Vie has a role to fill - that of portraying the past. Tourists come to visit the plantation, to experience history. The staff at Belle Vie re-enact the plantations' 'Glory Days' - each staff member acting out a typical 'Day in the life of' scenario. Caren is the plantation manager, making sure that everything runs smoothly. Belle Vie is hired out for weddings and functions, and Caren oversees the house and grounds and staff as part of her daily routine. She is part of Belle Vie's history, her Mother having been the cook there for many years, and now Caren is living there with her daughter, Morgan. Belle Vie has many stories to tell, not least the stories of the slaves who lived and worked there, and who made it the rich plantation that it became. Times move on, things change, and Belle Vie has to change accordingly. Secrets have a way of revealing themselves, no matter how old they are, and the truth will eventually be discovered. Belle Vie has many secrets.
This is a really good, descriptive book, that I really enjoyed. I thought that it was a little slow at times, but is well worth sticking with in my opinion. It is beautifully written, and Belle Vie comes to life through the author's words. There's opulence, history, intrigue, mystery, and, ultimately, resolution in this story, which I really liked. I definitely recommend this book, it's not a book that can be rushed through, it needs to be savoured. I do think that there are some slow spots in it, when my attention span faltered a little, but I'm glad that I stayed with it, as it picked up and carried me along.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JuliaC VINE VOICE on 6 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Cutting Season is more a novel with a murder at its heart than a crime novel per se - not that crime novels are inferior, I'm a great fan, but just to give you a more accurate picture of this rich and accomplished book. Attica Locke weaves the thrill of the hunt for a killer, with a fabulous historical lesson in slavery in the American Deep South, and the struggle of one woman's personal battles with the scars of her heritage.

The setting for the story is a former slave plantation and estate in Louisiana, where Caren Gray now lives with her nine year old daughter, and works as the manager of the heritage site it has become. But this ain't no Gone With the Wind. The book opens with the discovery of a the body of a young migrant worker from the neighbouring sugar cane business, whose throat has been brutally cut. Caren gets embroiled in the search for the killer, and for her it quickly gets personal, in both the way the events start to affect her own and her family's lives, and due to the roots her family have with the land and its own dark past.

Caren is relieved and confused when her lawyer ex partner comes to her aid, primarily to make sure that their daughter is safe, but their buried feelings for each other don't stay that way for long. The tension is ratcheted up very skillfully as the drama plays out, with a killer on the loose, and ghosts of the past haunting the vast estate. And the descriptive evocation of the darkness and the foreboding atmosphere of the place, both actual and metaphorical, is palpable.

Gray is a great heroine - smart and daring, capable yet vulnerable at the same time.
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