"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 black 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"--Amazon.com.
This historic novel about blackface minstrels explores below the surface. Eric Lott, writing for African American Review, described it as A novel of ideas devoted to exploring the complex fate of black and white Americans caught, as ever, in a racial history they can neither surmount nor escape.
'A brilliant blending of crime, mystery, and American history. Terrific entertainment' Stephen King Darktown is a relentlessly gripping, highly intelligent crime novel set in Atlanta in 1948, following the city's first black police force investigating a brutal murder against all the odds. 'Crime fiction that melds an intense plot with fully realized characters' Daily Mail Atlanta, 1948. In this city, all crime is black and white. On one side of the tracks are the rich, white neighbourhoods; on the other, Darktown, the African-American area guarded by the city's first black police force of only eight men. These cops are kept near-powerless by the authorities: they can't arrest white suspects; they can't drive a squad car; they must operate out of a dingy basement. When a poor black woman is killed in Darktown having been last seen in a car with a rich white man, 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 of their community and even their own lives to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against a brutal old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run Darktown as his own turf - but Dunlow's idealistic young partner, Rakestraw, is a young progressive who may be willing to make allies across colour lines . . . Soon to be a major TV series from Jamie Foxx and Sony Pictures Television.
From the acclaimed author of “the most compelling new series in crime fiction” (Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author) comes “a sharply observed novel” (New York Times) that explores race, law enforcement, and justice in mid-century Atlanta. Officer Denny Rakestraw and “Negro Officers” Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It’s 1950 and racial tensions are simmering as black families, including Smith’s sister, begin moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods. When Rake’s brother-in-law launches a scheme to rally the Ku Klux Klan to “save” their neighborhood, his efforts spiral out of control, forcing Rake to choose between loyalty to family or the law. Across town, Boggs and Smith try to shut down the supply of white lightning and drugs into their territory, finding themselves up against more powerful foes than they’d expected. Battling corrupt cops and ex-cons, Nazi brown shirts and rogue Klansmen, the officers are drawn closer to the fires that threaten to consume the city once again. With echoes of Walter Mosley and Dennis Lehane, Mullen “expands the boundaries of crime fiction, weaving in eye-opening details from our checkered history” (Chicago Tribune).
In 1849 Emmeline Erle and her widowed mother move from sunny southern Europe to cold and grimy Birmingham, England. The town is one of great contrasts: progress and poverty, industrial expansion and murky slums, new villas and filthy streets. Darkness and light battle in the minds of its people: principles of freedom and tolerance struggle with ignorance and prejudice; deep doubt of religious truth coexists with fanaticism. Emmeline quickly makes friends in her new home— Lizzie, the hardworking servant, and Daniel, the schoolboy living next door. For both Emmeline and Daniel, Father John Henry Newman, who runs a chapel in one of the worst sections town, becomes the most important person in Birmingham. Daniel and Emmeline come to know and admire Father Newman as he tries to help poor factory workers and to enlighten citizens blinded by suspicion and bigotry. With him they experience the anxieties of a cholera outbreak and the dangers of anti-Catholic riots. Caught up in one excitement or trouble after another, the young people finally arrive at happier times, while the walls of Father Newman's new church, a symbol of light in a dark town, rise into the smoggy Birmingham sky. This colorful and dramatic story for youth brilliantly unfolds the panorama of Victorian England—the Industrial Revolution, the Oxford movement, the Crystal Palace, and Prince Albert opening a new railway. But above all, this book portrays the character and wisdom of John Henry Newman.
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