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Darktown: A Novel
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Average Rating
Series:
Darktown novels volume 1.
Published:
Simon & Schuster 2016
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
"One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural...written with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you." —The New York Times Book Review "Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiled crime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our own continuing struggles with race today." —Charles Frazier, bestselling author of Cold Mountain "This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "In the way the story is told coupled with its heightened racial context, Darktown reminded me of Walter Mosley or a George Pelecanos novel." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "High-quality...crime fiction with a nimble sense of history...quick on its feet and vividly drawn." —Dallas Morning News "Some books educate, some books entertain, Thomas Mullen's Darktown is the rare book that does both." —Huffington Post Award-winning author Thomas Mullen is a "wonderful architect of intersecting plotlines and unexpected answers"(The Washington Post) in this timely and provocative mystery and brilliant exploration of race, law enforcement, and justice in 1940s Atlanta.Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren't allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters. When a woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change. A vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/13/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781501133886
ASIN:
B0176M1AXK
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Mullen. (2016). Darktown: A Novel. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Thomas Mullen. 2016. Darktown: A Novel. Simon & Schuster.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Thomas Mullen, Darktown: A Novel. Simon & Schuster, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Thomas Mullen. Darktown: A Novel. Simon & Schuster, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:59:31
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 05:51:26
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      • bioText: Thomas Mullen is the author of The Lightning Men, Darktown, and The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA TODAY. He was also awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction for The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers and The Revisionists. His works have been named to Year's Best lists by The Chicago Tribune and USA TODAY, among others. His stories and essays have been published in Grantland, Paste, and the Huffington Post, and his Atlanta Magazine true crime story about a novelist/con man won the City and Regional Magazine Award for Best Feature. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and sons.
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shortDescription
"One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural...written with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you." —The New York Times Book Review

"Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiled crime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our own continuing struggles with race today." —Charles Frazier, bestselling author of Cold Mountain

"This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In the way the story is told coupled with its heightened racial context, Darktown reminded me of Walter Mosley or a George Pelecanos novel." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"High-quality...crime fiction with a nimble sense of history...quick on its feet and vividly drawn." —Dallas Morning News

"Some books educate, some books entertain, Thomas...
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title
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fullDescription
"One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural...written with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you." —The New York Times Book Review

"Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiled crime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our own continuing struggles with race today." —Charles Frazier, bestselling author of Cold Mountain

"This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In the way the story is told coupled with its heightened racial context, Darktown reminded me of Walter Mosley or a George Pelecanos novel." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"High-quality...crime fiction with a nimble sense of history...quick on its feet and vividly drawn." —Dallas Morning News

"Some books educate, some books entertain, Thomas Mullen's Darktown is the rare book that does both." —Huffington Post

Award-winning author Thomas Mullen is a "wonderful architect of intersecting plotlines and unexpected answers"(The Washington Post) in this timely and provocative mystery and brilliant exploration of race, law enforcement, and justice in 1940s Atlanta.
Responding to orders from on high, the Atlanta Police Department is forced to hire its first black officers, including war veterans Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers; they aren't allowed to arrest white suspects, drive squad cars, or set foot in the police headquarters.

When a woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up dead, Boggs and Smith suspect white cops are behind it. Their investigation sets them up against a brutal cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood as his own, and his partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines. Among shady moonshiners, duplicitous madams, crooked lawmen, and the constant restrictions of Jim Crow, Boggs and Smith will risk their new jobs, and their lives, while navigating a dangerous world—a world on the cusp of great change.

A vivid, smart, intricately plotted crime saga that explores the timely issues of race, law enforcement, and the uneven scales of justice.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 25, 2016
        Mullen (The Revisionists) uses the lens of a twisted murder mystery to unsettle readers with his unflinching look at racism in post-WWII Atlanta. That city has just hired its first black police officers, but the eight men given the responsibility for guarding black neighborhoods are still relegated to second-class status. For example, they’re barred from wearing their police uniforms when traveling to and from court to testify. One of those officers, Lucius Boggs, ends up being responsible for a sensitive murder investigation after Brian Underhill, a drunken white man, drives his car into a lamppost in a black neighborhood. Underhill was released without charge by the white officers who showed up at the scene, but Lily Ellsworth, the black woman who was his passenger, is found dead later on, abandoned in an alley like a piece of trash. Underhill’s status as a former cop and the low value placed on black lives make the probe into Lily’s death a perilous one, for both Boggs and a white officer who’s uneasy with his department’s violent racism. This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writers House.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2016
        A pair of rookie black cops in 1948 Atlanta uncover political corruption and conspiracy when they stumble on to a murder case.What looks like a routine investigation of reckless driving becomes thorny when the driver turns out to be a white former Atlanta cop and the young black woman in the car with him turns up murdered a few nights later. Boggs and Smith, two of the city's new black policeman--issued firearms but confined to a segregated stationhouse and hated by their fellow white policeman--are determined to investigate the killing no matter where it leads. Their work is complicated by a racist veteran cop and his young partner, a white veteran who has no use for his partner's prejudice but also is careful not to make himself an outsider. There's a great subject in this book, not just the history of the first black men hired as cops in Atlanta, but the larger story of postwar America in which some veterans came back victorious only to find they were fighting another kind of fascism on the homefront. The trouble is that the characters exist as signifiers of ideas rather than people. It's a given that the racist cop will have a drooping belly, and so on. And because the characters lack the specificity that would give the reader a stake in them, the various indignities and atrocities read as both unpleasant and familiar things to endure on the way to a foregone conclusion.A great historical subject deserves better than this by-the-numbers rendition.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2016
        Mullen likes to cross genres; "The Last Town on Earth", named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by "USA TODAY", was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction, while 2011's "The Revisionists" was a literary thriller with a futuristic dystopian twist. In his new work, set in 1948, the Atlanta Police Department is compelled to hire its first black officers, Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith, but won't let them into police headquarters. When the two investigate the death of a black woman last seen with a white man, they suspect police involvement and reach across the color divide to a progressive young cop.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2016
        To be one of the first black policemen in 1948 Atlanta was to endure constant reminders of second-class status. Black officers (called the Negro Police at the time), weren't allowed to ride in squad cars, walk in the front door of police headquarters, or arrest white people. Mullen shows us these official rules; he also depicts the shameful way white officers routinely treated black officers in a host of wrenching details. This police procedural not only illuminates just how black officers were treated but also uses historical detail to set the racist stage (like the fact that black neighborhoods were, as a matter of policy, consistently without streetlights or routine garbage pickup). The story centers on two new black officers, Boggs and Smith, who come across an older white man whose Buick has crashed into one of the first streetlights on the wrong side of town. The young black woman with him flees the scene and is later discovered beaten to death and dumped in an alley. While the premise of many mysteries involves police investigating in the wake of official silence, Mullen employs this familiar theme specifically to shine a light on the embedded racism of the times. Boggs and Smith persist in trying to uncover the woman's murderer, pushing against the rules and confronting dangers posed by resentful white cops. Mullen's writing is extremely evocative in bringing the precivil rights South to life.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

series
The Darktown
subtitle
A Novel
popularity
695
publisher
Simon & Schuster
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