Review: Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke

 
Title: Bluebird Bluebird
Author: Attica Locke
Series: Highway 59
Published: August 2018, Mulholland Books
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Personal copy

Summary: 
A powerful thriller
about the explosive intersection of love, race, and justice from a
writer and producer of the Emmy winning Fox TV show Empire.

When
it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact
that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. Deeply
ambivalent about growing up black in the lone star state, he was the
first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until
duty called him home.

When his allegiance to his roots puts his
job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark,
where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white
woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment. Darren must solve
the crimes–and save himself in the process–before Lark’s
long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

A rural noir suffused with the unique music, color, and nuance of East Texas, Bluebird, Bluebird is an exhilarating, timely novel about the collision of race and justice in America.

My thoughts: This is the first book I’ve read by Attica Locke and I can now see why so many people rave about her writing. I have already ordered the second book in this series and cannot wait to get to it.

I was immediately pulled into this book even though it’s more of a slow-burn kind of read. It is totally atmospheric – my favorite kind of read – and character-driven and I found myself taking my time with it, rather than rushing to get it done. I loved how the scene was set and the tension builds ever so slowly. 

Darren Matthews is the kind of character I love. He is battling his own demons and is at a crossroads in his life. He is then asked to do a favor for a friend putting him in a small town where is not welcome and will have a hard time finding anyone to trust him. Yet, nothing will stop him from doing what he deems is the right thing. 

This is a multi-layered, complex story that takes place in a small East Texas town. It’s a dark, extremely thought-provoking mystery that kept me flipping the pages. The characters get under your skin and you find yourself totally worked up about the racial injustice that is going on. 

I loved this book and I loved the writing. I will now not only be reading the second book in this series, Heaven, my Home, but also checking out Attica Locke’s other books. Have you read anything by her? If so, what do you recommend I read next?

 

Books in this series:

  1. Bluebird Bluebird
  2. Heaven, My Home 


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