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Darktown: A Novel (The Darktown Series) Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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"A brilliant blending of crime, mystery, and American history (Atlanta, just after WWII). Terrific entertainment." (Stephen King)
"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 Book Review)
"Mullen is a wonderful architect of intersecting plotlines and unexpected answers. But you also want justice, which you know neither Mullen nor our own time can provide...Compelling works of fiction such as Mullen’s walk a fine line between art that reminds us of horrors past and art that trades on them with pieces too unfinished to play with." (Washington Post)
As his previous historical novels have proven, Mullen is skilled at bringing the past to life, both socially and visually… fans of well-written literary thrillers will want this expert example. (Library Journal)
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 Pleasantville)
Fine Southern storytelling meets hard-boiledcrime in a tale that connects an overlooked chapter of history to our owncontinuing struggles with race today. (Charles Frazier author of Cold Mountain)
Mullen uses the lens of a twisted murder mystery to unsettle readers with his unflinching looks at racism in post-WWII Atlanta… This page-turner reads like the best of James Ellroy. (Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review))
“Mullen succeeds in delivering a narrative heartbreakingly irresistible” (Shelf Awareness, Starred Review)
Mullen’s writing is extremely evocative in bringing the pre–civil rights South to life. (Booklist (Starred Review))
“Gripping…. A complicated crime fiction that melds an intense plot with fully realized characters… Mullen's unflinching description[s] add to the realism and relevance of Darktown.” (Associated Press)
"[An] absorbing new mystery, reminiscent of E.L. Doctorow in a genre mood." (USA Today)
“This a particularly satisfying read.” (Kirkus Reviews 10 Favorite Crime Noves of the Year)
"In the way the story is told coupled with its heightened racial context, “Darktown” reminded me of a Walter Mosley or a George Pelecanos novel." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
“Tenebrous and super-cinematic…and in no small sense reminiscent of 1997’s L.A. Confidential.” (Seattle Review of Books)
"In a year when the literary community has seen some stellar releases examining the issue of race in unique ways – books like Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad – Darktown stands beside Revolver by Duane Swierczynski as examples of how crime fiction can elucidate the topic with pinpoint accuracy. This novel should be required reading for both police forces nationwide and the citizens they seek to protect." (BOLO Books)
“Darktown is a compelling well-crafted read, and a reminder of how far we have come as a nation from a time when race defined success and opportunity. Or have we?” (New York Journal of Books)
“This is high-quality historical crime fiction with a nimble sense of history and well-researched details, quick on its feet and vividly drawn.” (Dallas Morning News)
“It is no surprise the much anticipated DARKTOWN is more than just a fictional crime thriller- infused with historical details and timely controversial subjects.” (JDC Must Read Books, 5 Star Review)
“Some books educate, some books entertain, Thomas Mullen’s DARKTOWN is the rare book that does both…a novel that holds up a mirror to the vestiges of discrimination that remain alive and well today.” (Huffington Post)
“Lovers of Harry Bosch, Dave Robicheaux and Easy Rawlins should delight in ‘Darktown’ and its new detective team.” (Bookfilter)
“This is such a moving piece of fictionalized American history...I was completely invested in this story and I highly recommend people pick this up.” (Kissin' Blue Karen)
"Hitting the page like the second coming of Ellroy, Mullen delivers a timely and tense story set in Atlanta in the days immediately following World War II...a throroughly modern, compelling thriller that resonates and crackles with dark energy." (B&N Reads, September's Best New Thrillers)
“An addictive novel…reminiscent of Dennis Lehane novels.” (The Missourian)
“Mullen’s epic novel works both as a fast-paced, hard-boiled thriller with the sweep of L.A. Confidential and as a vivid depiction of systemic police racism and corruption, all the while alive to the complexities and subtleties surrounding class, religion and sex within the black community. In this age of Black Lives Matter, a historical crime novel might well be the most topical book of the season.” (Irish Times)
"Novelist Mullen’s research is impeccable…This novel is highly recommended for those who like a good police procedural and for those interested in the African-American struggle to cross over the thin blue line of policing." (Historical Novel Society)
"Mullen’s attention to historical detail and living, breathing narrative draws readers into an engaging crime story." (Creative Loafing Atlanta)
“At times, the day-to-day experience of blacks and whites living in the Jim Crow south seen through this fictional lens seems like bulletins from a distant past, something long gone and half-forgotten, shocking in its strangeness. At other times it reads like tomorrow's headlines.” (Reviewing the Evidence)
“Darktown is a powerful book. When you’ve read it, it will reverberate in your thoughts continuously.” (Spare Change News)
“The plot has the hallmarks of a classic noir mystery, making the novel an enjoyable read both for mystery fans and for readers who want to get a better sense of life in the segregated south shortly after World War II.” (Tzer Island)
?"Darktown is a thrilling, fast-paced crime novel, but the complex questions it raises will haunt readers long after the final page." (Toledo Blade)
“Darktown is a thrilling, fast-paced crime novel, but the complex questions it raises will haunt readers long after the final page,” (The Toledo Blade)
"While true to history and context, the book is a heck of a ride." (Tampa Bay Times)
About the Author
Thomas Mullen is the author of Darktown, an NPR Best Book of the Year, which has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southern Book Prize, the Indies Choice Book Award, has been nominated for two Crime Writers Assocation Dagger Awards, and is being developed for television by Sony Pictures with executive producer Jamie Foxx; The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA TODAY and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction; The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers; and The Revisionists. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and sons.
Top customer reviews
it a wonderful review.
That said, the book is a very well-written cop/suspense novel written in a time and place that were a big wake-up call for me (see above).
Atlanta in the 40's..black cops on the beat and a real twister of a plot .
Intrigue, superb characters , and a time capsule of America with all it's bigotry, stereotypes and rules.. times change slowly ...but they change !!