Review published on November 6, 2017.
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke is a novel about a black Texas Ranger, Darren Mathews, who finds himself investigating two murders that have occurred in the tiny Texas backwater of Lark. The two victims are a visiting black man from Chicago and a local white woman. Racial tensions are close to boiling point in the district, which has a history of race-related murders and tension between the black and white communities. The investigation has been made all the more difficult for Darren, because he has been suspended from duty and can no longer wear his badge. Operating undercover in a town that appears to be run by crooked cops and with a suspicion of allegiance by the white community of Lark to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Darren finds his life threatened and his loyalties questioned.
I loved this book. In Bluebird, Bluebird Attica Locke tells an important story, one that you would imagine should be set back in the America of the 1960s but which is in fact, sadly, very relevant in the America of today, where in many areas of the country racial tension runs high and is very much a part of our daily news. And into this simmering pot of racial tension walks a young black man who is carrying a whole heap of baggage on his back – a growing drink problem, a marriage in crisis, and a career as a Texas Ranger in doubt – seeking truth and justice in a town where everyone carries a secret buried deep in their heart and will go to any length to protect it.
Attica Locke is a born storyteller, in fact she is an award-winning novelist, her debut novel Black Water Rising won both the Edgar Award in 2010 and the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her books are noir thrillers that explore the subject of racism in America, they stir our emotions, and cause us to ask difficult questions of ourselves, important questions. I believe Attica Locke’s books should be carried in every public library and required reading on every secondary school curriculum not just in America but all throughout the world.
This book would make for great discussion at any book group.
Teresa O’Halloran 5/5
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Serpent’s Tail 9781781257678 hbk Sep 2017
SECOND OPINION: Resort to Murder by T.P. Fielden