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Extended Audio Sample Black Water Rising Audiobook, by Attica Locke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,236 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Attica Locke Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2009 ISBN: 9780061901898
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Attica Locke—a writer and producer of FOX’s Empire—delivers an engrossing, complex, and cinematic thriller about crime and racial justice

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist (Mystery/Thriller)
Edgar Award Nominee (Best First Novel)
The Orange Prize for Fiction (Shortlist)

“A near-perfect balance of trenchant social commentary, rich characterizations, and action-oriented plot.... Attica Locke [is] a writer wise beyond her years.”
— Los Angeles Times

“Atmospheric… deeply nuanced... akin to George Pelecanos or Dennis Lehane....  Subtle and compelling.”
— New York Times

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Subtle and compelling.”

    New York Times

  • “Locke deftly moves between past and present action…[putting] her in the company of master thriller writers such as Dennis Lehane or Scott Turow…Attica Locke [is] a writer wise beyond her years.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Locke, a screenwriter with both film and TV credits (including a forthcoming HBO miniseries about the civil rights movement) steers a gritty drama to a satisfying end…Locke remains an author to watch.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Black Water Rising is a stylish, involving literary thriller with a strong emphasis on human politics and character. An auspicious debut from Attica Locke.”

    George Pelecanos, author of The Turnaround

  • “Locke shines…this is a rare occasion where the hype is deserved…Locke seamlessly weaves history, suspense, and passion in this promising tale that will linger long after this season.”

    Essence

  • Black Water Rising [is] a strong and whip-smart debut from Attica Locke. Set in the author’s native Houston, it’s both a compelling mystery and a sharp, literate portrait of the social layers within that city’s black community.”

    Seattle Times

  • “First-novelist Locke presents a searing portrait of a man struggling to reconcile the bitterness of his life experiences with the idealism of his convictions. Like Dennis Lehane, she skillfully deploys the conventions of the thriller while also presenting biting social commentary, a sure sense of place, and soulful characters.”

    Booklist

  • “Locke expertly etches a portrait of her anxiety-ridden protagonist, and she animates the complex plot with the assurance of a practiced screenwriter.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the 2010 Orange Prize Shortlist
  • Finalist for the 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel
  • A 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Mystery/Thriller
  • A 2009 Booklist Best Book for a Debut Crime Novel
  • Selected for the July 2009 Indie Next List
  • A 2010 Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherese | 2/20/2014

    " This book has no clear focus and honestly no mystery either. The writing is just all over the place despite the connecting storylines it didn't hold much interest for me and I couldn't wait to be done. The characters were drab,lack conviction and I found myself not rooting for main protagonist. That's a problem. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 2/13/2014

    " It is a book about a black lawyer (Jay) who goes up against Houston's corporate power brokers (big-oil). It is also about his past, and his white ex-girlfriend, who is now the mayor of Houston. Race and greed play a part in this story. It is the story of how Jay decides to do the "right thing" instead of taking the easier route of just walking away, even when he/family are threatened. This was a hard book for me to keep up my interest, but I am glad that I perservered in my quest to understand what was going on. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denali | 2/12/2014

    " I'm giving this 5 stars to try to draw as much attention to this book as I can. It's a very well written, well paced, genre blending debut set in East TX in the late 70s/early 80s. Locke sketches scenes and layers stories with great economy. I will definitely be checking out her other book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 2/12/2014

    " I loved the writing style - the details, the character development. The plot was good but a little predictable. I felt like it ended too early - too many unresolved issues. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 1/30/2014

    " Very difficult for me to get into. I might pick it back up, but just not right away. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/23/2014

    " Well-written but ultimately anti-climatic mystery. Fantastic details and tension but somehow fell a bit flat. Look forward to next effort. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen Keim | 1/20/2014

    " A well-written murder mystery with a likable main character and plenty of atmosphere. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Barbara | 1/7/2014

    " Found it a dull read - the protagonist made foolish decisions throughout the book, so I couldn't relate to him at all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theryn Fleming | 1/4/2014

    " I wrote about Black Water Rising here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawndell | 12/24/2013

    " I wanted to hear just a little more towards the end... there needed to be a bit more closure but I really did enjoy the story and I like the mix of political and historical perspectives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sunya Jones | 11/27/2013

    " Very fitting title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 8/13/2012

    " good crime mystery.back drop of civilrights movement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon Hatcher | 6/28/2012

    " Sophisticated writing. Complex and dark with a slowly evolving back story. No neat ending apart from that of hope. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenene | 2/23/2012

    " Absolutely a debut page-turner! Did not disappoint at all!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vicki | 1/16/2012

    " I am impressed by how the different strands of the story managed to come together without feeling forced. I especially liked the ending, and I felt like you could really tell she was from The H. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby Jean | 11/8/2011

    " a very good literary thriller, focused on texas and oil and race and the civil rights movement. gripping and moving. (did not make me want to move to houston.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elaine | 10/25/2011

    " Well written and well paced, and the backstory was so atmospheric and gripping. Sadly the actual "mystery" plot was a little too big and sprawling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 5/4/2011

    " I couldn't finish this. For some reason, it just would not hold my attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 4/21/2011

    " A thoroughly entertaining book. I look forward to reading Locke again. Definitely a step above the rest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenene | 4/10/2011

    " Absolutely a debut page-turner! Did not disappoint at all!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Umfpl | 3/15/2011

    " March's book for the Daytime Book Discussion Group--a great combination of thriller, 60's through Reagan-era racial and class politics, and a paranoid but likable main character. Even the group members who don't usually care for crime lit loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 3/2/2011

    " I t's got politics and race issues and murder and gender discussions and all kinds of things -- I'll look for more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 2/25/2011

    " A political thriller set in 1980s Houston. I enjoyed it and thought the key characters were well developed and some complex issues made the plot believable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vincent | 2/22/2011

    " Promising. Saw the ambition at work; didn't get the feeling its grip/reach/grasp hope came off. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phyllis | 2/10/2011

    " Gripping thriller involving Texas, oil, labor relations, racial conflict and a well developed, likeable protagonist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn | 1/25/2011

    " The characters and pacing call to mind a thriller but at its core, this is a contemplative book about America's recent past. Fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ava | 1/23/2011

    " I'm not normally a mystery person, but this 1st-time out the gate Orange Award Finalist was enough for me + there's a lawyer, a gun, and it's in the south. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shawn | 1/20/2011

    " Very hard to get through, I was intrigued because it was set in a familiar setting but the story just never really picked up for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Allison | 1/16/2011

    " Really interesting book, beautifully written and an absorbing storyline. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 1/9/2011

    " Great story set in Houston Texas in the 80s - I had just spent a week there with my brother, so very applicable.
    Good strong characters - though it does seem the novel is just getting going at the end!! Maybe there will be a second book? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 11/24/2010

    " A little long winded. Some language. But pretty clean. "

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About the Author
Author Attica Locke

Attica Locke is the author of Pleasantville, which won the 2016 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and was long-listed for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction; Black Water Rising, which was nominated for an Edgar Award; and The Cutting Season, a national bestseller and the winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. She was a writer and producer on the Fox drama Empire. She is a native of Houston, Texas.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.