Mystery Review: Darktown by Thomas Mullen

This is a gritty mystery that'll leave you feeling glum.


Darktown by Thomas Mullen 
Thriller/Mystery 
Released September 2016
Amazon ♦ Goodreads ♦ BetterWorldBooks
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.



My Thoughts:

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway a very long time ago. I kind of wish I had read it a few years ago when things in the US weren’t quite so openly depressing but alas I read it now and it hurt my heart so much.

Dark Town is a mystery and an unflinching look at race relations in the not so long ago past. Even worse, much of it is depressingly still very relevant today.

It takes place in the 1940’s when segregation and racism was on full awful display. And if today’s news gets you down, reading this book right now sure won’t help your state of mind. There is so much prejudice and hatefulness in this story that it will make you angry and sad. This is not a book you want to pick up thinking you’ll escape into. A murder occurs and the author delves deep into everyone involved in the situation. What is uncovered is a whole lot of cover ups, corruption, and other assorted ugliness.

It’s very well written and the descriptive language is so very excellent.

"A harsh word would knock him over" & "He hit the door like it owed him money."

You should definitely read it if you enjoy a good gritty historical murder mystery. But I’m warning you, it’s probably going to make your blood boil.

Comments

  1. That sounds like it would be emotionally charged but good. Congrats on the win.

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    1. Thanks, it seems like no one ever wins those things right?!

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  2. I've always wanted to read this one and knew ahead of time it would infuriate me. Better save it for when I'm in a really good mood so when I come down, I'll have further to fall - or else when I'm already depressed and can say "f--- it!"

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    1. Yeah, it was really sad and rough to read right now.

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  3. This one sounds too sad and depressing for me. The fact that it's a story that still needs to be told today is even more sad!

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  4. I liked your comment about it being unflinching. Sounds like something I need to read.

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    1. It's not easy to read during these times, for certain, but it's important.

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  5. I think that any book that can really get to you like that are worth picking up. Glad you were able to pull one from your stack and enjoy it.

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    1. Me too. I won't be able to pull another one from the stack for a good long while. Ah well, there are much worse problems in this world :)

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  6. I never read books about racism...I find it depresses me too much! It justs bugs me that people treat others badly because of skin colour. It's just so dumb! Rarg!

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  7. Ooh! This sounds intense. Great review!

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