Attica Locke’s new book, Bluebird, Bluebird, deals about race and justice, and the way they work in rural East Texas. When a black man from Chicago and a local white woman are found murdered in the tiny town of Lark, Texas, Darren Matthews wants to look into it. As a suspended Texas ranger, he has no real authority. As an African American, he knows the danger he’s in, from locals and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas; and while he’s proud of being a Ranger and a Texan, he knows the odds of getting cooperation from anyone are slim. The novel is shadowed by the memory of the real-life death, in 1998, of James Byrd, a black man murdered in Jasper, Texas, by white supremacists who dragged him behind a truck. In the book, this event leads Matthews to quit law school in Chicago and become a cop. This justifiable rage and heartbreak simmer in Bluebird, Bluebird, and Matthews’ complicated and divided loyalties add to the story’s tension, but his determination to stand his ground is the heart of the novel.