Monday, October 9, 2017
Bluebird, Bluebird: a Novel
Darren Mathews is a black Texas Ranger. He loves being a Ranger, and he's good at it. He loves Texas, too, and in particular his homeland of East Texas. But he has no illusions about the difficulties of delivering justice for African-Americans in that corner of the world, and a lot of Bluebird involves Locke's contemplating (through Darren's voice) on the power of home and the pull to remain in places and institutions that are flawed but worth fighting for.
Darren is called to the small town of Lark on US 59, where two people, an African-American man and a young white woman, have turned up dead near the bayou that runs alongside the town. Can it be a coincidence? And is it even possible that race does not play a role in these two crimes? What part does the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas play, happily installed installed as they are in the town's only bar?
The story rolls out at a leisurely pace; this is not a page-turner. But it's thoughtful, and definitely evocative of a distinct place. Darren is a solid, complicated character, and I think we will see more of him. The story ends on a surprising personal cliffhanger, so stay tuned.