Wednesday, December 7, 2016


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Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Set in pre-civil rights era, Darktown by Thomas Mullen, opens with two of the first African Americans on the Atlanta Police Force encountering a young and beaten African American woman in a car with a Caucasian man. Because of racial tensions and limited police authority, the African American officers are not able to investigate properly. So, when the young woman turns up murdered days later, these "beat" officers along with another (Caucasian) rookie work in an unofficial capacity to solve the case.

Told from a third person perspective, the author captures the essence of the time, illustrating the inequality and atrocities that many African Americans, in reality, faced during the late 1940s and early 1950s ... and still today in 2016. I found the story to be formulaic but suspenseful enough to hold my interest and finish the book. Having said that, it seemed to bog me down in some places with too much description and unnecessary detail. I got the feeling that Mullen was writing with the intent to option the book for a movie. And sure enough, the story will come to life starring actor Jamie Foxx.

If you're looking for a detailed pseudo-detective story with racial overtones, this just may be the book for you. I won't say it's a bad book because the story is compelling and the writing is decent. It just simply wasn't my cup of tea. Rather than motivating me to turn another page before bedtime, it put me to sleep night after night over a three-week period.

Recommendation: I would recommend this book for someone who enjoys police dramas. I think it's better suited for an independent read as there isn't too much to discuss in a group setting.

Until next time ... Read on!


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