A Novel

Book - 2015
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Wall Street Journal BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR


From Attica Locke, a writer and producer of FOX's Empire, this sophisticated thriller sees lawyer Jay Porter--hero of her bestseller Black Water Rising--return to fight one last case, only to become embroiled in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

Fifteen years after his career-defining case against Cole Oil, Jay Porter is broke and tired. That victory might have won the environmental lawyer fame, but thanks to a string of appeals, he hasn't seen a dime. His latest case--representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire--is dragging on, shaking his confidence and raising doubts about him within this upwardly mobile black community on Houston's north side. Though Jay still believes in doing what's right, he is done fighting other people's battles. Once he has his piece of the settlement, the single father is going to devote himself to what matters most--his children.

His plans are abruptly derailed when a female campaign volunteer vanishes on the night of Houston's mayoral election, throwing an already contentious campaign into chaos. The accused is none other than the nephew and campaign manager of one of the leading candidates--a scion of a prominent Houston family headed by the formidable Sam Hathorne. Despite all the signs suggesting that his client is guilty--and his own misgivings--Jay can't refuse when a man as wealthy and connected as Sam asks him to head up the defense. Not if he wants that new life with his kids. But he has to win.

Plunging into a shadowy world of ambitious enemies and treacherous allies armed with money, lies, and secrets, Jay reluctantly takes on his first murder trial--a case that will put him and his client, and an entire political process, on trial.

Publisher: New York :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780062259400
Branch Call Number: FICTION LOC
Characteristics: 420 pages ; 24 cm.


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Jul 22, 2020

Second book in series - new crime author for me

ChristchurchLib Jun 12, 2016

Fifteen years have passed since the events in Black Water Rising, when lawyer Jay Porter was anticipating the birth of his first child. Now, grieving his wife and caring for two kids while his law practice falls apart, Porter is barely scraping by. That's when he agrees to represent murder suspect Neal Hathorne. Neal's the nephew and campaign manager of a black mayoral candidate whose opponent just happens to be the DA whose office is prosecuting Neal. With nuanced characters, shifting and manipulative political allegiances, and a powerful black community, this is a sophisticated and satisfying legal thriller; it was shortlisted for the Gold Dagger Award in 2015.

Jan 04, 2016

wsj nolan best 2015

Jun 05, 2015

An entertaining beach read, but nothing more than that. Cardboard characters, desultory pace and predictable plot. The oddest thing is that the author sets the novel in a specific town and era, then labours mightily to connect the story to that time and place -- and fails miserably. There is no sense of how people speak or feel or eat or live in any respect. Can Houston really be that bland?

I see from the cover blurb that the author is a script-writer for TV series. Maybe that's all this book is meant to be and it needs lights, cameras and action to pump some life into it.

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