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Pleasantville by Attica Locke


by Attica Locke

Quick take

Perfectly paced...from a missing girl story, to a suspenseful political thriller, to a first-rate courtroom drama, and a compelling read throughout.

Why I love it

Are you looking for a well-written legal thriller to spend some time with this summer? This is the book for you! Do you want to read a great mystery that grabs you from the first page? This is also that book!

Jay Porter is a retired lawyer and widower living a quiet life in Pleasantville, Texas, until someone breaks into his office one night for no discernible reason. Nothing appears to have been taken. Meanwhile, across town, a young woman canvassing for a mayoral candidate goes missing. These two events seem unrelated at first. Until they’re not...

As it turns out, the mayoral election in Pleasantville, a once-thriving African-American town, is going to be a close one. Jay knows all the candidates, and in some cases, they go way back, the kind of "way back" where favors have been exchanged. As the investigation and the election continue, Jay is unwillingly pulled deeper and deeper into the frenzy.

I love the character of Jay Porter. He's one of those thoroughly decent humans who never seems to step out of line and keeps his nose clean, but not in a preachy or unrealistic way. He's more of a kind-hearted grizzly who tries to stay out of everyone's way, but can be remarkably fierce when threatened. And he's a definite bad-ass when crossed.

Even though Pleasantville is the second book in Attica Locke's series about Jay Porter, you do not have to have read the first, Black Water Rising, to enjoy this one. Trust me, nothing is missing, and everything in Pleasantville makes sense.

From the start, I was hooked on this book. Locke has perfectly paced Pleasantville, taking it from a missing girl story, to a suspenseful political thriller, to a first-rate courtroom drama, and a compelling read throughout. After Pleasantville, I want more of Attica Locke and more of Jay Porter; I'm definitely going to pick up the first book!

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Member ratings (55)

  • Jamele M.

    Dallas, TX

    Such a great page turner, very well written and could not wait to finish to see how it would end!

  • Diane H.

    Alloway, NJ

    Great author. Loved all the books, this is no exception

  • Amie M.

    Reno, NV

    So good!

  • Becky L.

    Sioux Falls, SD

  • Sarah W.

    Rockville, MD