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In the 2017 novel Bluebird, Bluebird, Black Texas Ranger Darren Matthews finds himself between a rock and a hard place. The rock: he must testify for the prosecution in a racially charged case in which he personally supports the defendant, a friend of his. The hard place: he is separated from his wife, largely because he rushed to the defendant’s aid against her wishes. So Darren turns his attention elsewhere, to Lark, Texas, along Highway 59. There, he begins investigating the murders of a local white woman and a Black lawyer from Chicago.

Bluebird, Bluebird picked up the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Novel. It has garnered acclaim for its masterful approach to capturing race relations in post-Trump America, and its rich depiction of East Texas. Attica Locke—who also wrote the 2015 legal thriller Pleasantville—is an author as well as a writer and producer for TV and film. Her credits include Fox’s Empire, Netflix’s When They See Us, and the Hulu adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere. —Laura Zornosa

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