Just after dawn Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for the past four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long after, he calls her to say it's something else. Something terrible. A young woman lying face down in a shallow grave, her throat cut clean. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn't know. As she's drawn into the dead woman's story, she makes shattering discoveries about the plantation's past, its future and a killer who may be a lot closer than she thinks... A taut, devastating story of the American South, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America.