'A brilliant blending of crime, mystery, and American history. Terrific entertainment'
Stephen King on Darktown
LIGHTNING MEN follows the multi-award-nominated, highly acclaimed crime debut Darktown into a city on the brink of huge and violent change - and full of secrets.
Atlanta, 1950. Crime divides, the fight unites.
Officer Denny Rakestraw and 'Negro Officers' Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith face the Klan, gangs and family warfare in a rapidly changing Atlanta.
Black families - including Smith's sister and brother-in-law - are moving into Rake's formerly all-white neighbourhood, leading his brother-in-law, a proud Klansman, to launch a scheme to 'save' their streets. When those efforts leave a man dead, Rake is forced to choose between loyalty to family or the law.
Meanwhile, Boggs has outraged his preacher father by courting a domestic, whose dangerous ex-boyfriend is then released from prison. As Boggs, Smith, and their all-black precinct contend with violent drug dealers fighting for turf in new territory, their personal dramas draw them closer to the fires that threaten to consume Atlanta once again.
Praise for Thomas Mullen
'Magnificent and shocking'
'Written with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you'
New York Times
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.