Heaven, My Home (A Highway 59 Mystery (2))

by Attica Locke

Hardcover, 2019

Call number





Mulholland Books (2019), 304 pages


"9-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; now he's alone in the darkness of vast Caddo Lake, in a boat whose motor just died. A sudden noise distracts him - and all goes dark. Darren Mathews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; after the events of his previous investigation, his marriage is in a precarious state of re-building, and his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who's never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she's not above a little maternal 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 where the local economy thrives on nostalgia for ante-bellum Texas - and some of the era's racial attitudes still thrive as well. Levi's disappearance has links to Darren's last case, and to a wealthy businesswoman, the boy's grandmother, who seems more concerned about the fate of her business than that of her grandson. Darren has to battle centuries-old suspicions and prejudices, as well as threats that have been reignited in the current political climate, as he races to find the boy, and to save himself."--Provided by publisher.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member EdGoldberg
In this follow up to Attica Locke's Edgar award winner Bluebird, Bluebird, (Highway 59 series) African American Texas Ranger, Darren Mathews has been gathering information on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. When the nine year old son of a jailed Brotherhood bigwig is missing, Mathews is sent to the
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backwater town of Hopetown, TX to both help in the investigation of the missing child and to continue gathering Brotherhood information.

As Mathews investigates, he finds that both the Blacks and Whites, rich and poor (there is a significant divide in both racial and economic strata) have secrets which could impact finding the child.

There is a lot of action and suspense in Heaven, My Home. Mathews is a real person with real people problems, both personally and professionally. Locke combines economic, social, political and historical content to her books. Along with great writing, good characters and a surprise ending, Heaven, My Home and Bluebird, Bluebird are definitely worth reading.
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LibraryThing member lostinalibrary
When nine-year-old Levi King goes missing in Jefferson in east Texas, Darren Matthews is sent to look into the case. As a black Texas Ranger, Darren seems an odd choice since Levi is the son of BIll King, a prominent member of the notorious Aryan Brotherhood of Texas(ABT) who is in prison for
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murder. But for some reason, Bill had requested Darren specifically and it is hoped that, by Darren being part of the investigation, he can convince King to confess to another killing. Darren is not sure he wants to help find the boy since he has already shown signs of sharing his father’s racism but he has his own reasons for becoming involved - reasons that make it imperative he gets King’s confession because Darren is being blackmailed for his own actions related to the murder and by his own mother.

Heaven, My Home is the second book in the Highway 59 series by author Attica Locke and it is one hell of a compulsive read. It follows right after the events that took place in Bluebird, Bluebird, the first book in the series and, although it isn’t necessary to have read this, it certainly helps because much of the action in Heaven is the result of what happened in Bluebird. Heaven also takes place right after the 2016 election of Trump and the rise of racism and the lack of desire to pursue cases against white supremacists by the new administration play a significant role in the story.

Heaven, My Home is a well-written, well-plotted, and completely engrossing mystery. it is a complex tale and Darren makes for a flawed but sympathetic protagonist. The story is somewhat pessimistic but, given the state of the nation right now, it is a fair assessment and depiction of politics under Trump. It grabbed my attention from the first page and kept it throughout. If I were to make a list of the best books I have read this year, Heaven, My Home will definitely be near if not at the very top of the list. The story ends with several unresolved issues suggesting there will be at least one more book in the series and I am already looking forward to see where the next installment takes us.

Thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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LibraryThing member Beamis12
East Texas, racial tension amidst the furor of white supremacy. A place Darren gladly left in Lockes last book, though he left many secrets there, secrets that could cost him everything. Now he is being sent back, a nine year old boy is missing and though that is not supposed to be his prime
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concern, he gets tangled up in his disappearance anyway. The reason he was sent there is to get evidence and information on the white supremacists. Here he will meet the usual suspects, some good, many with their own agendas.

In the story itself, Darren, compared this case to the Russian nesting folks, and that is a great description for the book itself. Uncover one motive, one layer and another appears. There are secrets and dangers lurking everywhere. Darren himself is a flawed character and he honestly enlightens the reader about his own secrets, mistakes, in both his personal and professional life. There are many, and sometimes what one believes, is not the whole truth. Into this vipers next of white supremacy, he finds the usual hate but also much more. Somehow he must make his way through and find a lost boy and some answers as to where his life is heading.

Since some areas were dropped, nor fully explained, I expect their will be another in series coming down the line. Well written, and atmospheric, some hates never die, but sometimes fairness prevails.

"Cant have all the hate talk out there and it not end up in violence some kind of way. You talk it enough and it carves out a path of permission in your heart, starts to make crazy shit okay."

ARC from Netgalley.
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LibraryThing member fredreeca
Darren is a Texas Ranger. He is called in on a case to help find a young boy. As the case slowly develops, so do the racial undertones. He also finds a connection to a previous case. One, in which, he hoped would stay buried.

I enjoy a book where the main character is flawed. And Darren is
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definitely flawed. He has made plenty of bad choices and big mistakes. One big one from a previous investigation actually has him being blackmailed, by his mother, no less! Darren is such a “real” character with “real” troubles that I rooted for him to succeed. You will have to read the book to see how that worked out!

This is an intricate, twisted mystery with plenty of action thrown in. If you need a good book to immerse your self in. This is it!

I have only read one other Attica book. I must remedy that soon.

I received this novel from Serpent Tale Books for a honest review.
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LibraryThing member maryreinert
The central character is a Texas Ranger who has been disciplined and is now back on the job and called to investigate the Aryan Brotherhood in Texas. When he gets to the small town in Eastern Texas he finds that a young white boy has disappeared; he is the son of an imprisoned Aryan Brotherhood
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member and the grandson of a noted white businesswoman in the community. The boy's disappearance begins to take a back seat to the supposed selling of some remote land near the lake which is settled by the Caddo Indians and descendants of slaves.

At times the plot was a bit hard to follow for me, there were two many threads perhaps. I have read Black Water Rising and The Cutting Season but apparently didn't get them reviewed.
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LibraryThing member viviennestrauss
Well, I sat down to read the first part before I got to work. Around 24 hours later (including sleep) I was able to put it down, finished. I loved the writing, the characters and history - only one thing bothered me throughout the entire book - characters kept mentioning that they needed to find
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the missing boy but there was NO mention of an actual active search until the very end... I DID love how Locke handled our current ongoing political nightmare post 11/9.
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LibraryThing member Eyejaybee
Like her previous book, Bluebird, Bluebird¸ this novel is set in East Texas and features Texas Ranger, Darren Matthews. Until I read the previous book, I hadn’t been aware that the Texas Rangers still existed, and had assumed that they had passed into legend during the period of the wild West in
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the nineteenth century. For Matthews, the Texas Rangers remain a serious group, and one of the principal state-wide arms of law enforcement. Matthews himself has been working alongside the FBI to investigate hate crimes, and in particular the nefarious activities of the odious yet flourishing Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, an organisation with links to various aspects of organised crime, but principally involved with neo-Nazi activities against African Americans.

Matthews, himself African American and from East Texas, is asked to help the local Sheriff’s Department investigate the disappearance of a young boy who has gone missing from his community on the shores of Lake Caddo. The investigation becomes more complicated when it transpires that his father, currently in prison for a racially motivated murder, had been a key member of the Aryan Brotherhood, and the missing boy had himself already shown a tendency towards antisocial, and indeed downright racist behaviour.

Tensions abound, between the boy’s family and neighbours and the small African American and Native American communities living nearby, but also between the various law enforcement agencies that become involved. The Sheriff’s Department resents having a Texas Ranger (and particularly a black one) foisted on them, while Matthews himself bridles at the subsequent involvement of the FBI. There are more wide-reaching tensions at play too, as the novel is set in December 2016, between the election and inauguration of president Trump.

Attica Locke writes wonderfully. Her prose if spare and direct, but she also throws in glorious similes and metaphors. She also avoids falling into the trap of rendering her protagonist as a pillar of unassailable rectitude. Matthews is a troubled man, over whom alcoholism constantly threatens to cast its shadow. He is currently back living with his wife, Lisa, following a trial separation, but is tormented by memories of a woman whom he encountered in a previous case, and with whom he came close to an imprudent liaison. Oh, yes, and his previously estranged mother has been blackmailing him over a misjudgement he made in a previous case which could render him liable to a Grand Jury arraignment, not to mention probably dismissal from the job he loves. But apart from all that, it is just another day on the beat …

Attica Locke knows how to weave an intricate plot, and to keep the reader utterly absorbed. All in all, this was another very intriguing novel.
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LibraryThing member EBT1002
I really enjoyed this installment in the Highway 59 series (so far, it's only two books). Texas Ranger Darren Matthews heads into bayou territory of east Texas to look into the disappearance of a 9-year-old boy. But really, he is hoping to get dirt on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Darren is
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African-American and Locke very effectively weaves the dynamics of a Black lawman in deep white supremacy territory into the story. Character development is one of Locke's strengths: Darren is a flawed hero and his flaws are so humanly complicated and understandable. The author also captures the setting effectively. As one who grew up in the south, I appreciated the descriptions of Pine woods and Cypress swamps. I liked this one even better than its predecessor; definitely a worthwhile series.
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LibraryThing member alanteder
Bluebird Sequel
Review of the Hachette Audio audiobook edition (September 2019)
TW: Several uses of the n word by the racist characters.

Heaven, My Home (2019) follows very directly on from Locke's previous Darren Mathews, Texas Ranger novel Bluebird, Bluebird (2017) and continues with several
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characters and unresolved situations from that previous book. If you have not read that one recently, then I'd recommend a quick skim to refresh your memory, or perhaps a read of one of the reviews that summarizes elements of that previous plot. Without those refreshers you might be in for a bit of confusion as you puzzle through "who was that person?" and "what did they do?".

Locke continues her Darren Matthews saga very effectively with her atmospheric writing and descriptions. Again there is more than one case on the go with a missing child mystery being complicated by a missing paralegal. Darren is also constantly distracted with situations back home related to his not-so-loving mother and the unresolved issues from Bluebird, Bluebird and the still shaky relationship with his wife.

I listened to the audiobook edition and the narration by J.D. Jackson was excellent.
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LibraryThing member kbranfield
4,5 stars.

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke is a compelling mystery with a timely and topical storyline. This second installment in the fantastic Highway 59 series can be read as a standalone but I also highly recommend book one, Bluebird, Bluebird, as well.

Texas Ranger Darren Mathews is back in the
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Houston office and his marriage to Lisa is back on track. Darren is currently stuck on desk duty reviewing data that will hopefully secure several arrests of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). With the Trump inauguration just a couple of months away, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the ABT investigation due to political uncertainty. So when the nine year old son of incarcerated ABT captain Bill King goes missing, Darren's boss sees an opportunity to hopefully gain information that will secure arrests for the task force. Eager to get out of the office, Darren jumps at the chance to work in the field again. Although not assigned to look into Levi King's disappearance, Darren is soon involved in questioning the individuals with ties to the case. Is Levi just missing? Or has something far more sinister happened to him?

Darren has cut way back on his drinking now he is back working. Counseling has helped him settle back into married life, but he cannot help but feel resentful for complying with Lisa's request he work in the office. Although his job and marriage are seemingly settled, Darren is becoming increasingly panicked over the situation with his mother, Bell Callis. She has him over a barrel as she threatens to tell everything she knows about the case that lead to his previous suspension. Darren is hopeful a little distance will help him figure out how to neutralize the situation with Bell.

The search for Levi is complicated by the lack of co-operation with Levi's grandmother, Rosemary King, who does not seem overly concerned about her grandson. Darren also finds himself in the crosshairs of the white supremacist who have moved in next to Levi's family. Following the only viable lead the police have uncovered, Darren interviews Leroy Page, an elderly gentleman whose family history is closely intertwined with the King family. Will Darren discover the truth about what happened to Levi? Or will the Texas Ranger's close friend FBI Agent Great Heglund's ambition destroy Darren's shot at finding the missing child?

Heaven, My Home is a multi-layered mystery with a substantive storyline that delves into race relations and racial tension in small town Texas. Darren is an extremely appealing character whose need to protect himself presents a moral quandary. The investigation into Levi's disappearance is interwoven with fascinating facets of Texas history. With cunning twists and turns, Attica Locke brings this clever mystery to a satisfying conclusion. Fans of the series are going to love this newest addition to the Highway 59 series but a few loose threads will leave readers impatiently awaiting the next installment.
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LibraryThing member shazjhb
Excellent series.
LibraryThing member rmarcin
Another solid novel from Attica Locke, continuing the tale of TX Ranger Darren Matthews. In the last novel, his mother began to blackmail him, and that story line continues. Matthews is now assigned to find the son of a white supremacist who has gone missing, and in doing so, he uncovers a long
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history of a family tragedy in a town along Highway 59.
Matthews love life also has its ups and downs in this novel.
I enjoy Locke's frank telling of racial tensions and family histories.
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LA Times Book Prize (Finalist — Mystery/Thriller — 2019)
Orwell Prize (Shortlist — Fiction — 2020)
Lefty Award (Nominee — Mystery — 2020)




0316363405 / 9780316363402
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