Thomas Mullen is the author of “The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers” and “The Last Town on Earth,” which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today, was a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two sons.
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 13th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Thrillers, Crime, African American
ARC provided by BEA 2016, Simon & Schuster
In the tradition of our most acclaimed suspense writers, the author of The Last Town on Earth delivers a riveting and elegant police procedural set in Atlanta, a ripped-from-the-headlines depiction of a world on the cusp of great change involving race relations, city politics, and police corruption.
Responding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym.
When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their own safety to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against an old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood like his own, and Dunlow’s young partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines.
Set in the post-war, pre-civil rights South, and evoking the socially resonant and morally complex crime novels of Dennis Lehane, and Walter Mosley, Darktown is a vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.
This is such a moving piece of fictionalized American history. In 1948 the first black officers are hired in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Racial tensions are still very high and although the city appoints these officers to patrol over their own streets they have very little power; no patrol cars (no radios […]