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Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
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Black Water Rising (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Attica Locke

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4103525,944 (3.42)1 / 96
Member:freelancer_frank
Title:Black Water Rising
Authors:Attica Locke
Info:Serpents Tail (2010), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Black Water Rising by Attica Locke (2009)

1980s (10) America (6) American (5) audiobook (4) civil rights (19) corruption (14) crime (16) crime fiction (11) ebook (5) fiction (55) Houston (24) Kindle (8) lawyers (11) library (4) murder (14) mystery (30) novel (5) oil (6) oil industry (11) orange (4) Orange Prize (5) race relations (8) racism (5) read in 2010 (8) suspense (4) Texas (27) thriller (12) to-read (11) unread (4) USA (7)
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
This is one of the best mystery/ thrillers I have read in some time. I liked everything about te book- story plot, characters, writing style, even the ending. My hope is to see more written by this author. ( )
  KarenHerndon | May 21, 2014 |
The book reminded me of A Time to Kill by John Grisham. I could visually see Denzel Washington as Jay Porter. The story followed the same pattern as all the rest of the lawyer mysteries, with the family of the lawyer threatened by the "bad" man. The language and setting flowed as well as the muddy river waters. So many points or stories were left unresolved. I actually finished the book as the momentum picked up speed as the book progressed. ( )
  delphimo | May 12, 2014 |
The character of Jay Porter is fully realized and deeply felt. The setting, Houston 1981, is so clear that it seems Locke must have been there, but she was only 7 years old and couldn't have known the story her book tells of the Civil Rights Movement in Houston at that time. Carefully researched and extremely well told. ( )
  PetreaBurchard | Feb 9, 2014 |
I was initially drawn to this novel as a debut suspense novel, yet it truly is so much more than that. Set in the Texas bayou outside Houston, a fluke of circumstance leads to a tale of corruption, murder, attempted murder and all of the machinations one would expect. However, this is also a well told story of a man on the verge of fatherhood who must find a way to resolve the crime, his past, and his future. it is a tale of integrity...doing the right thing when no one is looking. Well done! ( )
  hemlokgang | Dec 16, 2013 |
The first word that came to mind when I finished the last line of Black Water Rising was WOW! This book, which takes place in the 1980's, gave me an education on union politics, race relations, and the more militant civil rights movement of the late 1960's and 1970's. Attica Locke, not nearly old enough to have experienced these events first hand, nevertheless presented what felt like an insiders view into a dark and complicated world where oil was king in Texas. Even more amazing was that she did so through the eyes of a black MAN as her main character. Jay Porter is a new lawyer working out of strip mall making very little profit and representing the desperate. He is an angry, bitter man who knows he should have more and be more. His background, his race, and his anger hold him back. I lived out his experiences via Attica Locke and walked in another man's shoes. This is why I read. To experience life through the eyes and heart of another person. Only a strong writer like Locke could help a white woman who was a teenager in the 1980's understand and empathize with the life of a strong-minded black lawyer in the Texas of that same decade. The book grabbed me from the start with a murder in the middle of the night, dragged a bit in the politics here and there, but captured me in full at the climax, holding my undivided attention all the way to its beautiful conclusion. A conclusion that actually made me pause and reflect with the word "wow" the only thought I could conjure in that moment.

My favorite words:

Dashiki-a loose, often colorfully patterned, pullover garment originating in Africa and worn chiefly by men.

Pecuniary-consisting of or given or exacted in money or monetary payments.

Dulcet-pleasant to the ear; melodious.

Dais-a raised platform, as at the front of a room, for a lectern, throne, seats of honor, etc.

Stevedore-a firm or individual engaged in the loading or unloading of a vessel.

Quote from which comes the title (p.367): "The strike, therefore, made it impossible for the company to hide its crime, which was, by then, starting to come up in plain sight, like black water rising in the streets."

Favorite quote (p.404): "And standing now in a urine-stained corner of this jail cell, where he paid a toll of six cigarettes to be left in peace, he strikes a new bargain with himself. There is a way out of here, he knows, out of this prison in his mind. It requires only the courage to speak."

Before I was even finished with Black Water Rising, I was online ordering Locke's second and highly acclaimed book, The Cutting Season. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a Dennis Lehane, James Ellroy, or Greg Iles fan. I was also reminded of John Grisham at times. Just note that many of the characters use salty language, and the plot contains some violence and sexual situations. ( )
  TheLoopyLibrarian | May 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
If we are blinded by darkness,
we are also blinded by light.
--- Annie Dillard
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For my grandfather
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The boat is smaller than he imagined.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061735868, Hardcover)

On a dark night, out on the Houston bayou to celebrate his wife's birthday, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a distressed woman from drowning, he opens a Pandora's Box. Not the lawyer he set out to be, Jay long ago made peace with his radical youth, tucked away his darkest sins and resolved to make a fresh start. His impulsive act out on the bayou is heroic, but it puts Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him is practice, his family and even his life. Before he can untangle the mystery that stretches to the highest reaches of corporate power, he must confront the demons of his past. A provocative thriller with an exhilarating climax, "Black Water Rising" marks the arrival of an electrifying new talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:04 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When African-American lawyer Jay Porter jumps into the bayou to save a drowning white woman in Houston, Texas, in 1981, he finds his practice and life in danger when he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation involving Houston's elite.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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