Heaven, My Home, the second book in Attica Locke’s Highway 59 series, uses a child’s disappearance to devastating effect in order to explore displacement, reconciliation and just what home means to people.
Nine-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; instead he found himself all alone, adrift on the vastness of Caddo Lake. A sudden noise – and all goes dark.
Ranger Darren Matthews’ career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who’s never exactly had his best interests at heart, and she’s not above a little blackmail to press her advantage.
An unlikely possibility of rescue arrives in the form of a case down Highway 59, in a small lakeside town. In deep country where the rule of law only goes so far, Darren has to battle centuries-old prejudices as he races to save not only Levi King, but himself.
There’s a real sense of urgency to Heaven, My Home which doesn’t only stem from the length of time that a young boy’s been missing from his home. The countdown to Trump’s inauguration is running, bringing with it the potential for new priorities being set for Texas Ranger Darren Matthews’ department. Darren and his Ranger friends have registered this shift and already seen an upsurge in a more blatant form of racially-motivated crimes. They also sense that they might be running out of time to pursue certain lines of inquiry, particularly those involving the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT).
Darren’s lieutenant sees an opportunity to do something about that in this sequel to Bluebird, Bluebird, which I reviewed here. When the feds want a Ranger from the ABT task force involved, he volunteers Darren, sending him into a racially-charged war of attrition between an established and lawful black community living alongside Native Texan Indians on the shores of Caddo Lake and the more recent, and predominantly white, trailer park encroaching upon it.
Upon his arrival on the scene, Locke’s Texas Ranger is exposed to animosity from people who show scant regard for his badge in their dealings with him. I couldn’t help but feel that in trying to escape his mother’s blackmail and the pressure from not yet having been cleared of his involvement in a case back home, he’d jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Read more