Whistle : Roper is illiterate. He is a poor, hard-working black man in the unforgiving heart of south Georgia, striving each day to put distance between his new life and his probation for a petty crime one year earlier. His routine is his savior: At sunrise he mounts the tractor belonging to Math Taylor, a prominent white landowner, and grooms the vast grounds of the Taylor home-until one morning, when Roper's routine goes terribly wrong. While mowing the tall grass at the back end of the property, he comes across the body of his boss's wife, dead of a heart attack. In a moment of panic, terrified that he'll be blamed for her death and sent back to jail, Roper hides her body where it will not be found. HC, 217 pages.