I will likely read or listen to any book Attica Locke feels like writing. I really hope this, along with all her books, become movies or tv shows, because she has such an ear for dialogue and narrative, and is very good at plotting and creating stories that work and include a lot of additional interesting topics.
This novel starts with a standoff between a white supremacist and an older Black man who refuses to take any more shit off people like the white asshole. The standoff ends with the Black man killing the white man and now standing trial while a Texas Ranger friend testifies.
The narrative goes from there to the investigation of more murder not too far down the road as the Texas Ranger is trying to keep his job, ostensibly his marriage, and his life together amid a very bad week.
So taking on many of the tropes that make gritty crime thrillers so entertaining and so ripe for adaptation, this novel dives again into the Black Texas life that otherwise is pretty well lost in the broader narratives of the state. There’s a few moments where the narrator talks about how mad he gets that when people talk about Texas it’s almost always about the white people who make the state great (in their words) or the white people that ruin the state (in others’ words) while erasing the many many other people who live there.
I am more or less a sucker for this exact kind of book, which stands as a good counterpart to say Jim Thompson.