TLC Book Tour: Pleasantville by Attica Locke

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Attica Locke returns to Jay Porter, whom we met way back in 2009 as he’s eking out a living as a lawyer in Black Water Rising

TLC Book Tour: Pleasantville by Attica LockePleasantville by Attica Locke
Series: Jay Porter #2
Published by HarperCollins on April 21st 2015
ISBN: 9780062259400
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 418
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

In this sophisticated thriller, lawyer Jay Porter, hero of Attica Locke’s bestseller Black Water Rising, returns to fight one last case, only to become embroiled once again in a dangerous game of shadowy politics and a witness to how far those in power are willing to go to win.

Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he’s ready to quit.

When a girl goes missing on Election Night, 1996, in the neighborhood of Pleasantville—a hamlet for upwardly mobile blacks on the north side of Houston—Jay, a single father, is deeply disturbed. He’s been representing Pleasantville in the wake of a chemical fire, and the case is dragging on, raising doubts about his ability.

The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

drey’s thoughts:

The Plot: Locke’s Pleasantville is nothing like the movie of the same title; this one has murder, shady deals, and behind-the-scenes wrangling, all in the midst of a political campaign. Fingers are pointed, evidence is “manufactured”, and a community’s lawyer is dragged into the mess…

The Characters: Jay Porter isn’t doing so well – his class action lawsuit still hasn’t seen any of the awarded monies, and his clients are getting antsy. His personal life is barely getting back to normal after the loss of his wife. And now he’s caught up in a murder investigation, which is ruffling feathers he’d never expect it to. 

I like Jay, because he’s basically a good guy, albeit one with an interrupted swagger. Guilt over the hours he spent on his last case has him reluctant to get involved in this one, but he can’t help that he cares for the community. He does take a little while to realize that not everything’s as it’s been presented, but when he does, he hunts down what he needs with persistence.

The Story: Pleasantville is an easy read, even with all that goes on between its covers. The political angle and the courtroom drama were engrossing, almost more so than the shenanigans in the community. This is a stark look at power’s corrupting influence, especially on those who insist they’re only doing the best thing for the community. Fans of Locke’s writing will inhale Pleasantville, and those new to Jay should meet him in Black Water Rising.

drey’s rating: Excellent!

Have you read Pleasantville? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!


Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Pleasantville for you. This one’s open to US residents only; no PO Boxes please. To enter, fill out the form below before May 22nd. Good luck!

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About Attica Locke

attica locke

Attica Locke is the author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Black Water Rising, which was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was shortlisted for the UK’s Orange Prize. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.


I read. A lot. And then I share my thoughts with you. Sometimes I even invite authors to visit and say a thing or two...

9 thoughts on “TLC Book Tour: Pleasantville by Attica Locke

  • 9 May, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I am entering this contest because I believe you when you say it is excellent.

    • 9 May, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Thank you!! I hope I never disappoint!

  • 9 May, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    A compelling novel. Thanks.

  • 10 May, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I haven’t read any books by this author yet, but my favorite books are thrillers so I am looking forward to this one. Thanks for your great review on it.

  • 10 May, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Sounds like a good trhiller, one I may not have found on my own. Thanks!

  • 11 May, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    This story of shadowy politics sounds fascinating. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • 15 May, 2015 at 4:27 am

    I understand the longer I go without reading this brilliant author, the greater my loss — so say my bookish folk. Thanks for featuring this unique novel and for the chance to read it for free. Cheers, Kara S

  • 15 May, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I read and enjoyed THE CUTTING SEASON – looks like I need to get to know Jay now!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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