A look at a world that was unfamiliar to me--the cane fields of Louisianna. Also enjoyed the complex relationships among the descendents of slaves, the whites that owned nearly everything, and the land itself. Caren, the main character is interesting. The other characters could use more development. I enjoyed the book
I couldn't get myself to finish the book because I didn't care about the characters at all. But her later novel Pleasantville was more enjoyable.
*** STARS. Caren Gray is the general manager of Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation where the past and the present coexist uneasily. She is a person of color who was raised on the plantation where earlier generations of her family were slaves. The estate?s owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction complete with full-dress reenactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, an ambitious corporation has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have grown sugar cane for generations, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean. The list of suspects is long, but when the cops zero in on a person of interest, Caren has a feeling they?re chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she unearths startling new facts about an old mystery ? the long-ago disappearance of a former slave ?that has unsettling ties to the modern day crime. In pursuit of the truth about Belle Vie?s history?and her own?Caren discovers secrets about both cases that an increasingly desperate killer will do anything to keep hidden. **** I have never read a book by this author before, but this mystery will lead me to seek out other titles. Ms. Locke writes believable characters and an intriguing mystery. Recommend!
A thriller, set on a plantation in Louisiana which is now a tourist attraction, where the heroine is the manager of the plantation and also the descendent of plantation slaves. There are two murrders; one 100 years ago; one of a migrant worker now. The book is about racism and the politics of the sugar industry in the South. Well-written.
This is a mix of literary novel and mystery. Beautifully written with a fascinating background of the legacy of slavery (set on a former plantation now turned into a sort of theme park). The murder at the centre of the book is that of a migrant worker and is linked to the same sort of mindset that let slavery exist in previous times.
Best reads of 2012: Philip Tew, Selection and Access Librarian, shares his top novels of 2012.
I put it down and picked it up a couple of times before I finished it. Didn't like the characters very much.
"This is a beautifully written novel that transcends the mystery genre and is as truthful as it is gripping." Thrillers and Suspense Newsletter November 2012 http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=566958
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