Attica Locke’s atmospheric thriller Heaven, My Home takes place in the northeastern Texas town of Jefferson, a once-prosperous trading center fallen on hard times (“the city square was like a courtesan who’d found Jesus”). Texas Ranger Darren Matthews investigates the disappearance of a 9-year-old boy who didn’t return from a solo boating adventure on nearby Caddo Lake. The missing boy is the son of Aryan Brotherhood leader Bill King, a convicted and incarcerated murderer. Jefferson was one of the first settlements composed primarily of freed slaves, in addition to a band of Native Americans who successfully dodged the wholesale relocation of tribes to Oklahoma during the U.S. westward expansion. The town is now home to their descendants. Add those aforementioned white supremacists into the mix, and the town becomes a veritable powder keg awaiting a spark—such as a black landowner whose animosity toward his bigoted tenants is well documented, and who is the last person to have seen the missing boy. Few suspense novelists display a better grip of political and racial divides than Attica Locke, and she spins a hell of a good story as well, introducing characters and locales you will want to visit again and again.
Award-winning writer Kiran Millwood Hargrave sweeps readers off to a lighthouse on a remote Scottish island in this riveting illustrated middle grade novel.