DARKTOWN is a relentlessly gripping, highly intelligent crime novel set in Atlanta in 1948, a city rife with corruption, racism and violence, perfect for readers of Attica Locke's Black Water Rising and James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential.
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.
Mullen blends the classic ingredients of det-fic noir with a well-researched and searing portrayal of pre-civil rights racial division. Magnificent and shocking - Sunday Times
One incendiary image ignites the next in this highly combustible procedural, set in the city's rigidly segregated black neighborhoods during the pre-civil-rights era and written with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you. - New York Times
A terrific story that raises issues that have not vanished. - The Times
From the very first page of Darktown, I was stunned, mesmerized, and instantly a huge fan of Tom Mullen. Beyond the history and the thrilling mystery, the book's soul lies in the burgeoning partnership (and dare I say friendship) at the center of the book. It's a reminder of the ties that cut across race in America. There is nothing I love more in a book than hope. - Attica Locke, author of Black Water Rising
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, author of Cold Mountain
Thomas Mullen is the internationally bestselling author of five previous novels, including Darktown, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and nominated for two CWA Dagger awards, and Lightning Men, which was named one of the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2017 by The New York Times. His debut, The Last Town on Earth, was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction. He lives near Atlanta, GA, with his wife and sons.