The most compelling crime book of the year has a sequel...

If you thought Darktown was intense, think again. After two years of having black officers on Atlanta's previously all-white police force, you'd think things might have calmed down a bit...but really, nothing's changed, and it might only be getting worse. With Klansmen, Neo-Nazi's, drugs and bootleggers on the prowl, Mullen's sequel surely won't disappoint.

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The Author
Thomas Mullen is the author of Darktown, an NPR Best Book of the Year, which has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize, the Southern Book Prize, the Indies Choice Book Award, and has been nominated for two CWA Dagger Awards; 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. His next novel, Lightning Men, which follows the characters from Darktown two years later, will be published in September 2017

Officer Denny Rakestraw, "Negro Officers" Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith, and Sergeant McInnis have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It's 1950 and color lines are shifting and racial tensions are simmering. Black families—including Smith's sister and brother-in-law—are moving into Rake's formerly all-white neighborhood, leading some residents to raise money to buy them out, while others advocate a more violent solution. Rake's brother-in-law, Dale, a proud Klansman, launches a scheme to rally his fellow Kluxers to save their neighborhood. When those efforts spiral out of control and leave a man dead, Rake is forced to choose between loyalty to family or the law.

He isn't the only one with family troubles. Boggs has outraged his preacher father by courting a domestic, and now her ex-boyfriend has been released from prison. As Boggs, Smith, and their all-black precinct contend with violent drug dealers fighting for turf in new territory, their personal dramas draw them closer to the fires that threaten to consume Atlanta once again.

"They're second-class citizens as black men in the Jim Crow South. ... But at the same time, they're also authority figures, and they have to enforce the laws of the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia." -Author Thomas Mullen on Atlanta's first black police officers. Source: Library of Congress
The Author
Thomas Mullen is the author of Darktown, an NPR Best Book of the Year, which has been shortlisted for the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize, the Southern Book Prize, the Indies Choice Book Award, and has been nominated for two CWA Dagger Awards; 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. His next novel, Lightning Men, which follows the characters from Darktown two years later, will be published in September 2017
Early Feedback
"LIGHTNING MEN proves the promise: Thomas Mullen is writing the most compelling new series in crime fiction. This is an extraordinarily talented writer working at the top of his game -- each character, plot thread, scene, and sentence is a carefully crafted gem. LIGHTNING MEN and DARKTOWN are must-read novels."
~ Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author ~

Why Yes?
Incendiary. Emotional. Pyschological. Makes you angry.

Why Now?
"Confronts the additional challenge of salting wounds freshly made with the killings of today's black men by today's police"-quote from David D. Troutt, Special to The Washington Post

It's Like...
It's like Hate Thy Neighbor, Viceland - EP1. America's Far White

Perfect For…
Perfect for crime-lovers who could use a hint of mystery, American history, and hot-topics.

Heavy or Light?
Heavy. Brutal, but ultimately hopeful.