Lightning Men (Hardcover)
Thomas Mullen continues his chronicle of post world War II Atlanta as told through the trials and tribulations of its first black police officers. As the burgeoning city encounters a population explosion, officers Boggs and Smith are drawn into the battles that result as whites attempt to keep their neighborhoods segregated. Mullen uses the crime novel to paint a pointed portrait of a society trying to cling to its outdated philosophy as it contends with a slowly rising civil rights movement while at the same time delineating the difficulties that are attendant to his characters' personal lives.— From Bill
"Writes with a ferocious passion that'll knock the wind out of you." --The New York Times, on Darktown "Reads like the best of James Ellroy." --Publishers Weekly (starred review), on Darktown "Mullen is a wonderful architect of intersecting plotlines and unexpected answers." --The Washington Post, on Darktown From the acclaimed author of The Last Town on Earth comes the gripping follow-up to Darktown, a "combustible procedural that will knock the wind out of you" (The New York Times). Officer Denny Rakestraw and "Negro Officers" Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It's 1950 and racial tensions are simmering as black families, including Smith's sister, begin moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods. When Rake's brother-in-law launches a scheme to rally the Ku Klux Klan to "save" their neighborhood, his efforts spiral out of control, forcing Rake to choose between loyalty to family or the law. Across town, Boggs and Smith try to shut down the supply of white lightning and drugs into their territory, finding themselves up against more powerful foes than they'd expected. Battling corrupt cops and ex-cons, Nazi brown shirts and rogue Klansmen, the officers are drawn closer to the fires that threaten to consume the city once again. With echoes of Walter Mosley and Dennis Lehane, Mullen demonstrates in Lightning Men why he's celebrated for writing crime fiction "with a nimble sense of history...quick on its feet and vividly drawn" (Dallas Morning News).