published by: Harper
publish date: September 18, 2012
For many native Louisianans, Belle Vie, the large antebellum plantation situated between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, is a symbol of beauty and the South's genteel past. For others, it is a monumental reminder of the evils of slavery. The estate becomes the center of further controversy when a young woman is found lying face down in a shallow grave, her throat cut clean.
I was really thrilled to get a chance to read this book. The description said that it took place in South Louisiana so I was all over that. Then I started reading it and found out it takes place in the same Parish I live in, that would be County for the rest of the country. That made it even more exciting to read.
The Cutting Season tells the story of Caren, the current manager at Belle Vie. She lives at and takes care of the plantation that had been the place that many generations of her ancestors had been slaves. One of her past ancestors had been the source of much speculation when he mysteriously disappeared and his body never found. Caren is comfortable in her new life with her daughter, taking care of the plantation and it's staff, until the body of a murdered woman is found on the property.
The first 2/3 of the book was really interesting and I enjoyed it immensely. After that I started getting a little nit picky. Certain little details regarding the area didn't ring true, but it's really only stuff that a local person might notice.
In the end, it was a good mystery. I thought it had a little too much thrown in about race relations, but I can understand where it was coming from. I can see this book being a book club book for a lot of the clubs around here. There's a lot of discussion fodder in The Cutting Season.