“DARKTOWN” by Thomas Mullen
Historical fiction that takes place in 1948, Atlanta, GA. This is the gritty, down and dirty story of the first eight black cops to join the police force. If you are too fragile or too sensitive to read the “N” word on a frequent basis, this book is not for you!
However, if you want to appreciate what these brave men did back in a different time zone, this is a great, realistic book with morally complex questions and ethical standards. Shockingly, they were not allowed to go into Police HQ – they met in the basement of the YMCA. They were not allowed to drive patrol cars or arrest white people. They were assigned to street patrols in “Darktown” so they could relate to the Negro population. They had to chase get-away cars on foot. Moonshine, Madams and murder and a very good plot.
Fourteen years later, I moved to Tennessee in 1962 (following forced integration) and witnessed some of these same attitudes and practices still in effect. Separate drinking fountains, restrooms, cafeterias, etc.
But the beauty of this book is when you step back and see how far this country has come in the last 50-60 years – it’s truly amazing. Plus, it has a twisty murder to solve. I gave it 5 stars!
Available as an eBook, through Amazon or your favorite bookseller. Published in 2016 by Simon Schuster
Reviewer: Sue Willoughby – July 22, 2020