Heaven, My Home is a rich, complex puzzle, with layers of characters ... Locke's absorbing prose, in a third person very close to Darren, keeps the reader well abreast of all the crisscrossing loyalties and betrayals intrinsic to these East Texas woods ... There is a warmth and intimacy to the portrayal of Darren's many internal struggles. This is a protagonist to love and sympathize with, although he is far from perfect ... Both a fascinating, smartly plotted mystery and a pertinent picture of the contemporary United States, Heaven, My Home is refreshing, dour and thrilling all at once. Readers will be anxious for more of Ranger Darren Mathews.
This is a beautifully written and instantly gripping crime novel; Darren Matthews is brutally honest both in his troubled personal life, as he deals with a deteriorating marriage, and on the job, as he faces down both casual hatred and the more virulent variety promulgated by the Aryan Brotherhood.
It's a testament to Locke's skill as a novelist that, while a mystery plays out, she's able to keep all of Ranger Mathews's other life travails relevant ... It's not that Locke goes easy on racists or bigots or ignorant types; it's that she wants to demonstrate how their idiocy can mask deeper erosion of a part of the world she clearly loves. Deep East Texas and its Highway 59 include some of the few places in the United States where free black societies took hold and flourished ... The world of Highway 59 contains multitudes, rich and poor and booksmart and horse-sense smart and of many races and ethnicities. Readers can rejoice that there are has plenty of volumes possible in the future of a mystery series with atmosphere, depth, and boundless compassion for its characters. Attica Locke combines first-class procedural action with wise contemplation on our country's modern divides. Heaven, My Home should be on any mystery lover's TBR pile this fall.