Serpent's Tail £7.99
Black Water Rising, By Attica Locke
Sunday 23 May 2010
A shortlisting for the Orange prize will have brought this, Attica Locke's debut, to a wider audience than its identity as a crime thriller might have expected. It is an above-average tale set in 1981, when racial tensions were at some height, and black lawyer Jay Porter is trying to practise, and make some money, in a poor part of Houston, Texas.
Having been involved in some violent anti-racism protests in his anger-fuelled youth (his father was beaten to death by white men just before Jay was born), and been rescued from a lengthy prison term, he is reluctant to get involved when a white woman he and his wife save from drowning becomes implicated in a murder. At the same time, his father-in-law wants his help for black union members being picked on by white union members.
Locke gives her central character not just a real back-story but also psychological depth and, refreshingly, doesn't isolate him too much from women, although she does suggest complications in his marriage. An attempt to steer clear of the well-worn clichés of the genre, while still adhering to the need for pace and plot resolution, gives this novel an undeniably superior status.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >