Returning home late one summer's evening, antiquarian bookseller Adam Snow takes a wrong turning and stumbles across the derelict old White House. Compelled by curiosity, he approaches the door, and, standing before the entrance feels the unmistakeable sensation of a small hand creeping into his own, 'as if a child had taken hold of it'.
On a dark night, out on the Houston bayou to celebrate his wife's birthday, Jay Porter hears a scream. Saving a distressed woman from drowning, he opens a Pandora's Box. Not the lawyer he set out to be, Jay long ago made peace with his radical youth, tucked away his darkest sins and resolved to make a fresh start.
Reluctant bank robber Jack Burn is on the run after a heist in the US that left three million dollars missing and one cop dead. Hiding out in Cape Town, he is desperate to build a new life for his pregnant wife and young son. But on a tranquil evening in their new suburban neighborhood, they are the victims of a random gangland break-in.
On the run after being framed for murdering his family, South African journalist Robert Dell's only ally is his oldest enemy: his father. Bobby Goodbread, an ex-CIA hitman just sprung from prison for atrocities he committed whilst in the employ of the apartheid regime, joins his son on a bloody cross-country road trip.
The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper. At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward's equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life-destroying consequences for everyone.
Tells the stories of three desperate people. A father who is broken by grief and guilt. A son still haunted by the ghosts of his past. And a mother, desperate to save her child. In Cape Town, these three are drawn into a spiral of manipulation and murder that leaves them fighting for their sanity and their lives.
Just after dawn, Caren inspects the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house she manages. Back at her office, the gardener calls to tell her she missed something. Something terrible.
At a distance, she didn't see. A young woman lying face down in a shallow grave, her throat cut clean.
So there will be police, asking questions. The family who own Belle Vie will have to be told. There's a school group on the way to visit. Where is Donovan, the member of staff no one has seen? And all the time, Caren is thinking that there are only so many keys, only so many ways in to Belle Vie with its six foot high perimeter fence. And as she lives on site with her daughter, she wonders: how much danger are they in?
A thriller with as much heart as it has pace, Attica Locke combines a riveting mystery with a shattering story of how our history is never just the past.
Extra bonus material in the paperback and ebook editions includes the author's influences, playlist, recommended Southern novels, and reading group questions.