Thursday, October 4, 2018
Darktown is a Book to Read
Eight men were sworn in and sent out to enforce the law in a community where they were viewed with suspicion by some and hatred by others. Their follow white officers resented them, did not consider them real cops, and would not allow them in their station house. A separate office was set up for the eight black officers in the basement of a YMCA. (The Butler Street Y building still exists in Atlanta.)
Author Thomas Mullen takes readers back to that time and place in his 2016 novel, Darktown.
Just three months on the job, new officers, Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith (Mullen’s fictional characters), encounter a drunk, middle-age white man who crashed his car into a light pole. The passenger in the car is a young black woman who appears beaten up. The driver ignores Boggs’ request for his license and drives off.
Later, the young woman is found dead. When the detective squad shows no interest in solving the murder, Boggs and Smith start digging. This could get them fired or worse, killed, as they uncover corruption in the police department and local politics.
Mullen blends fact and fiction into a violent and suspenseful crime story.