FICTION

Pleasantville

Harper. Apr. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9780062259400. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062259356. F
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OrangeReviewStarJay Porter is winding down his law career—it's time, he thinks; his wife has died, progress on one of his last big cases seems to have slowed to a crawl via court appeals, and he's lost the fire to ever set foot in a courtroom again. But when the scion of one of Pleasantville's founding families is charged with murder after a teenage campaign worker disappears on election night, Jay can't quite help himself. With only the slightest push from Pleasantville's elite, he is suddenly defending a criminal case that intersects election law, too. Jay's Hail Mary in the case unearths more than he, or any of Pleasantville's residents, had bargained for. Locke's third book and the second featuring the deeply sympathetic Jay Porter (Black River Rising) is an enthralling multilayered thriller that captures the zeitgeist of a shifting sociopolitical landscape in a historically black suburban community in Texas in the mid-1990s. Locke makes every scene count with a complex plot that unfolds surprises at every turn and packs a satisfying conclusion.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of fast-paced mysteries with strong geographic angles and appealing underdogs. [See Prepub Alert, 10/13/14.]

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