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Extended Audio Sample The Cutting Season: A Novel 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 (2,271 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Attica Locke Narrator: Quincy Tyler Bernstine Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9780062204950
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The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical novel that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica Locke is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”
—Dolen Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author of Wench

Attica Locke’s breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Cutting Season is a rare murder mystery with heft, a historical that thrills, a page-turner that makes you think. Attica is a dazzling writer with a conscience.”

    Dolan Perkins-Valdez, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A resonant story about a seemingly modern woman who is forced to come to terms with the long-buried past…A leisurely and luxuriantly Southern book that is rich with detail.”

    New York Times

  • “A novel rich in atmosphere, strong in story, but at its heart The Cutting Season hinges on human complexity. The tangled rope of some kind of history has a stranglehold on everyone at the heart of this book, and their relationships give it a texture that reminds us why we come to fiction rather than the historical account…It illuminates our present in the light of our past and explains us to ourselves.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Beautiful but dangerous…Locke’s insistence on grounding her story in a deeper history pays off because it invests the book with gravitas, a sense of place and consequence, that feels profound and real.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Stunning…Soaked in atmosphere, in the wet, drunk air of the south where ‘the cane, like cut grass and sweet milk, damp and terrestrial’ pervades everything, the past lies in layers upon layers in this story.”

    Observer (London)

  • “A nuanced look at the South’s tragic past and one strong woman’s stand against ingrained cultural and economic oppression.”


  • “Locke’s second novel is written with fluidity and elegance, evoking the uniqueness of her setting and the nuances in the relationships of her characters, complicated by race, class, and history.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “William Faulkner said, ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” This adage comes alive as the outstanding reading of this literary mystery brings to life the ironies, complexities, and parallels between the Antebellum past and current times…Quincy Tyler Bernstine’s accomplished stage presence lets listeners feel the protagonist’s fear as she approaches the restored slave quarters her ancestors inhabited, the love in her voice as she talks to her daughter, and the condescension in the voice of the plantation owner as he addresses her. The strong narration and breadth of the story combine for unique glimpses into the depth of the human condition.”


  • Winner of the 2013 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 2/18/2014

    " Unique way of reminding the reader of what plantation life was like, added to a good mystery, with complicated relationships! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 EMP | 2/4/2014

    " I listened to this book and thought Quincy Tyler Bernstine (female) did a nice job. There seem to be quite a few people on this site who thought the pace of the book was too slow. While the plot centers around a murder, it's not one of those action packed, bad ass main character books. I found it to be a solid story and well told, but not one of those books that I can't wait to recommend to a friend. So maybe this is more of a 2.5 star rating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Smith | 2/3/2014

    " Listened to this audio book and I loved it. The reader had the Louisana drawl down perfectly. I think I would have liked it just as well if I had read it. Authentic characters, believable heroine, suspenseful story line. Read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iris | 1/30/2014

    " Interesting book, a little slow at times. A surprise in the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Buike | 1/12/2014

    " This story is dark and thick like a swamp at night - very haunting and creepy! The characters have depth and the emotions portrayed the true conflicting attitudes present in the south regarding its tumultuous history. The ending contained a surprise that I didn't see coming! When a book starts off with a corpse in the first chapter it can either be really good or really bad. This was really good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 1/7/2014

    " a good mystery - set in the Louisiana on a restored plantation. Has a historical mystery as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 12/31/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book and I plan on recommending it to people who enjoy a good mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Humphres | 12/23/2013

    " Never heard of the author or the book. My husband said it sounded like I might like it so I gave it a try. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 12/23/2013

    " Loved the history, atmosphere, the mystery in the past and the emotional impact "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meredith | 10/30/2013

    " Couldn't finish. Didn't grab me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelley | 10/1/2013

    " A New Orleans area plantation in modern times with dark secrets from it's slaves history. Karen is the manager/event planner and this book is about her life and her history at Belle Vie. The book held my interest but got corny towards the end, in my opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia Wilson | 7/31/2013

    " Interesting setting. Fairly brisk plotting. I stuck with it to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly LeBlanc | 6/23/2013

    " Loved the historical aspect of this book. The mystery plot line was really lacking and I found the main character to be very inconsistent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 6/12/2013

    " Enjoyed her first novel (Black Water Rising) well enough that I wanted to give this one a try, and wasn't disappointed. Set in Louisiana, it deals with historical preservation vs Big Agriculture and, well, a murder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 5/21/2013

    " Well written mystery with a very appealing protagonist at its center set in an old plantation kept preserved as a historic landmark. I enjoyed the richness of detail and loved Caren Gray and the grounded believability of her life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Innerdiva1 | 4/10/2013

    " So, my friend told me about this book on Thanksgiving and how good it was ... Meh! It was a quick read, with solid prose, a great setting, interesting characters, a double murder plot and it was still just "meh." I never connected to it like I wanted and it left me wanting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Hess | 3/20/2013

    " Literary mystery set in Louisiana. Loved the characters and the plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonia Chislett | 3/18/2013

    " Very good thriller. well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kieran | 3/10/2013

    " Nice atmosphere, fast moving plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 12/17/2012

    " Really good book. A bit predictable, but still enjoyable. "

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About the Author
Author Attica Locke

Attica Locke is a writer who has worked in both film and television. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has written movie scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, and Jerry Bruckheimer films, as well as television pilots for HBO, Dreamworks, and Silver Pictures. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmaker’s Lab and is currently at work on an HBO miniseries about the civil rights movement, based on the writings of historian Taylor Branch. Locke has authored two novels: The Cutting Season and Black Water Rising. A native of Houston, Texas, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.