The Cutting Season by Attica Locke

The Cutting Season

Attica Locke

By the third page we have a body found at the edge of the vast Belle Vie Estate in Louisiana, but at times throughout this book it's easy to forget that you're reading a crime novel. The murder is the way into a tale of past slavery, present-day race relations, and the machinations of American big business and capitalism. The writing is elegant and the story develops slowly, making this a book to be savoured rather than galloped through.


He was handcuffed when they brought him in, two armed deputies at his sides, and he kept his head down, his chin pressed against his sternum. He didn't look around the room much, didn't make eye contact with Caren or anyone else, just stood there, shaking his head every time his lawyer whispered something in his ear. He was unshaven, his hair in knots, and Caren had the awful thought that they'd kept him in lockup for the past few days for the sole purpose of aging him, curing him like a cut of meat, making him look more like the thug they were here to charge. It was a reminder of the ways an arrest can often work backward, making a criminal of any life it touches. It pained her to see him this way.

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
  • Paris Trout by Pete Dexter

Books with similar mood

Hunters in the Dark

Lawrence Osborne

Tiger Hills

Sarita Mandanna

The Drum Tower

Farnoosh Moshiri

Working for the Devil

Lilith Saintcrow

The Wonder House

Justine Hardy

The Optimists

Andrew Miller

White Oleander

Janet Fitch

The Dark Room

Rachel Seiffert


Lucy Wadham

Smaller and Smaller Circles

E H Batagan

Welcome to Lagos

Chibundu Onuzo


Naomi Novik

Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

The House of the Mosque

Kader Abdolah

The Sirens of Baghdad

Yasmina Khadra

In the Country of Men

Hisham Matar

The Secret River

Kate Grenville

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

Clare Morrall

The Great Fire

Shirley Hazzard

Esperanza Street

Niyati Keni

The Good Liar

Nicholas Searle

The Last Treasure Hunt

Jane Alexander

The Frozen Dead

Bernard Minier

A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar

Suzanne Joinson


Andrew Miller


Rose Tremain

Small Wars

Sadie Jones

Random Acts of Heroic Love

Danny Scheinmann

This is the Country

William Wall

Journey to the Stone Country

Alex Miller

Q and A

Vikas Swarup


G P Taylor

The Cardamom Club

Jon Stock

The Eskimo in the Net

Gerard Beirne

The Virgin's Knot

Holly Payne

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston


Andrew Miller

Black Dog

Stephen Booth


Hillary Jordan

The Poet's Wife

Judith Allnatt

The Farm

Joanne Ramos

Empire of Sand

Tasha Suri

Mussolini's Island

Sarah Day

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

To the Bright Edge of the World

Eowyn Ivey


Michela Wrong

The Limits of the World

Andrew Raymond Drennan

Thimio's House

John Kefala Kerr

A Death in the Family

Karl Ove Knausgaard