When I go to my local bookstore I like to fill my bag with lots of books, some I know I’m going to read right when I get home, others I’ll safe for one of those times when I’m in between books or waiting for a favorite to come out. You can call it a very organized reading list in my head that I keep tally of what I want to read and what books can wait.
Darktown, happened to be one of those books that mysteriously slip between your fingers, waiting patiently on your bookshelf to be picked up and read.
And so it goes, in between books as I mentioned before, I spotted Thomas Mullen historic novel ‘Darktown’ quietly calling my name – hey, over here, did you forget about me? You got me awhile back? Thinking of ever reading me? Well, now since you mentioned it – I do. I said back to the book.
Could Darktown prove to be my fav novel this month despite being published, mmmh, let’s see, in 2016? It certainly had all the ingredients to be a front runner and capture my heart.
Set in 1948, Atlanta, at a time in history, when the police department hired its first black police officers. Met with hostility from the society and their own police department, the black officers are limited to patrolling black only neighborhoods, not allowed to arrest, forbidden to step a foot in their own police department, instead, they’ve been delegated to work from a YMCA basement room.
Until the night a young black girl is found killed… the black officers have been playing by the rules. That changes; however, when Boggs and Smith, two of the black officers write in a report that they had seen the black girl in question, alive, with visible marks on her face, riding in the car of a white man the night of her murder. The police department has no interest in catching the real murder. Boggs and Smith take on the off the books investigation as a personal crusade to find justice for her but also for themselves and their community.
It’s a provocative story that has everything: plot, characters, action, drama, love, lost and forgiveness. Relentless as the south, the story doesn’t back down from controversy, which makes it all that much more appealing to the reader.
If you haven’t purchased the book yet, I highly recommend it. In fact, it deserves five owls and the award of best book find on my shelf.