Black Water Rising by Attica Locke
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I can see why this book got shortlisted on the Orange, and why people are so excited about Ms. Locke's new book but... the constant digressions into Jay's past (with SNCC and SDS and his legal troubles and namedropping Stokely) lost me. It was also annoying how many times the power and importance of the Cole brothers are to Houston, and given the mystery of who was killed on Bernie's birthday and who the girl Jay rescued that night was I would have been completely shocked had the Coles not been involved.
As historical fiction goes it was well done, and readers get a real sense of what life in Houston was like in the early 1980s. The changes in race relations, even within the black community, were well handled; the flashbacks to Jay's past were also interesting but did little to move the plot forward (there is a payoff at the end, but by then I'd stopped paying attention to those bits).
Copy provided by publisher.