cover image What You Leave Behind

What You Leave Behind

Wanda M. Morris. Morrow, $18.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-332221-9

Morris (Anywhere You Run) returns with a tense and topical legal thriller. Black attorney Deena Wood has moved back to her hometown of Brunswick, Ga., following an ugly divorce, her mother’s death, and her firing from an esteemed Atlanta firm. On an afternoon drive to clear her head, Deena encounters Holcomb Gardner, a Black septuagenarian who orders her, at gunpoint, to stay away from his trailer, insisting that he’s “not interested in selling” his and his recently deceased sister’s property. Unable to shake the interaction, Deena returns to the trailer a week later, only to find Holcomb missing and a “for sale” sign in his yard. Rattled, Deena digs into Holcomb’s situation and discovers he and his sister may have been victimized by the legal theory of heirs’ rights, which has historically helped white developers sell properties owned by Black families against their will. With similar cases springing up around Brunswick, Deena sets out to determine who’s behind them—and whether they’d kill for the chance to profit. Morris nimbly balances character and plot, anchoring the mystery’s big questions in the emotional lives of Deena and her fellow Brunswick residents. This entertains as much as it enlightens. Agent: Lori Galvin, Aevitas Creative Management. (June)