The Blonde Bookworm: Darktown by Thomas Mullen -- Review

Darktown by Thomas Mullen -- Review

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Title: Darktown
Author: Thomas Mullen
Pages: 384
ISBN: 1501133888
Publishing: September 13th 2016 by Atria Books


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.


When I first received this book for review, I was a little leery of it. I decided to give it a shot, and I'm really glad I did. The story starts out a little slow, building on each of the characters and their backgrounds, but it picks up very quickly. The story was even more interesting because the setting is Atlanta, and all of the streets mentioned are very close to where I currently live. I felt like I could picture the scenes even better. 

The racism mentioned in the book stays very true to how things were in the 1940s. I felt that Mullen described the actions as they actually were, and as heartbreaking as it was to read, it was incredibly enlightening. Not only is Darktown a great crime novel, but it is also a story about this history of this country and how far we have come. 

I truly enjoyed reading Darktown and would highly recommend it to friends. It is not a typical book that I would read, as I generally read more YA, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this novel for those who enjoy historical fiction and crime novels. Thank you NetGalley and Atria for sharing this novel with me! 

Rating 4/5 


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