A dream for insomniacs

2010-05-05 00:00

BOOK REVIEW

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke

Serpent’s Tail

BLACK Water Rising tells the story of Jay Porter, a young lawyer who has lived through aspects of the American civil rights movement and who has done his time in terms of fighting for the rights of his people to vote.

Porter’s adventure begins one night while he is treating his pregnant wife to a boat ride on the Houston ­bayou. They hear a woman screaming, followed by a volley of shots. A splash indicates that someone is in the water, struggling for their life. Terrified, but unable to turn away, Porter leaps into the inky water and saves the life of a young white woman.

But the consequences of this mean that Porter cannot just walk away. He is involved now and with horror he begins to realise the far-reaching reasons why the woman was attacked.

I waded through what was supposed to be intrigue about the United States oil industry and the politics of striking dock workers to finish the book for review purposes and not ­because I was hooked. The plot did not grip me and I was mildly relieved when I was finished, which took ages as I found it to be a great insomnia cure; after two pages in each time I started reading, I was snoring.

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