by Attica Locke

Part of the The Jay Porter mysteries by Attica Locke Series

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Thriller and Suspense Books of the Month Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Pleasantville

Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016.

1996 election night in Pleasantville, a suburb of Houston built in 1949 as a community for “Negro families of means and class”, home now to many who have been involved in marches for greater equality.  The former police chief hopes to be the first black mayor but the District Attorney runs against him. Then a teenage girl disappears, the third, each found dead six days later.  This one is no exception.  A fellow is arrested and we follow his black lawyer, Jay’s involvement plus a host of strong characters.  Very atmospheric with a real feel for the area and its people, this is both a political thriller and a murder mystery full of twists and turns set against the mayoral election campaign and compensation that is expected from an oil company for pollution, something that features in Jay’s first appearance in Black Water Rising.

Shortlisted for the Goldsboro Gold Dagger Award 2015.

Sarah Broadhurst

Pleasantville Synopsis

It's 1996, Bill Clinton has just been re-elected and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville - the African-American neighbourhood of the city that has swung almost every race since it was founded to house a growing black middle class in 1949. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police and the son of Pleasantville's founding father Sam Hathorne, was the clear favourite, all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to a late entrant into the race - Sandy Wolcott, a defence attorney riding high on the success of a high-profile murder trial. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder. Sam is determined that Jay Porter defends his grandson. And even though Jay is tired of wading through other people's problems, he suddenly finds himself trying his first murder case, a trial that threatens to blow the entire community wide open, and reveal the lengths that those with power are willing to go to hold onto it.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781846689499
Publication date: 11th March 2016
Author: Attica Locke
Publisher: Serpent's Tail an imprint of Profile Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:

What To Read After Pleasantville

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Attica Locke Press Reviews

Praise for Black Water Rising:


'What a ride! A superlative debut ... Locke is a stand-out in every imperative-young-writer way' -- James Ellroy


'The most impressive crime debut I've read this year' The Times


Praise for The Cutting Season:


'Rich in atmosphere, strong in story, hinges on human complexity' -- Val McDermid


'Genuinely unnerving ... subtle, complex questions of identity, family and history' Daily Mail

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781846689499
Publication date: 09/04/2015
Format: Hardback

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About Attica Locke

Attica Locke's first novel, Black Water Rising, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Attica is also a screenwriter who has written for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, Dreamworks and Silver Pictures. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute's Feature Filmmakers Lab and is a graduate of Northwestern University. A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, with her husband and daughter.   Author photo © Jenny Walters

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