Darktown

  • by Thomas Mullen
  • Narrated by Andre Holland
  • 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Atlanta, 1948. In this city all crime is black and white. On one side of the tracks are the rich white neighbourhoods, on the other Darktown, the African American area guarded by the city's first black police force of only eight men.
These cops are kept near powerless by the authorities: they can't arrest white suspects; they can't drive squad cars; they must operate out of a dingy basement.
When a poor black woman is killed in Darktown having been last seen in a car with a rich white man, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust of their community and even their own lives to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against a brutal old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run Darktown as his own turf - but Dunlow's idealistic partner, Rakestraw, is a young progressive who may be willing to make allies across colour lines....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Outstanding

Beautifully read, brilliantly written. Fascinating history with a great plot effortlessly woven into the setting.
Superb.
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- stew

Great social history

I thought this was a good listen, quirky story and retro like the first TV series of True Detective.

The setting is segregated Atlanta post world war 2 and the friction between the first "coloured cops" and the established white officers. Told in alternating chapters giving viewpoints from two sets of cops. In the background is a murder to solve (young black girl who was fired from a rich white household) but I felt solving the crime was secondary to the portrait of the period and the social history.

At times it was tricky to remember which pair of cops was the focus as the voices were the same but the narrator had a great voice, he did a good job and really added to my enjoyment of the book.

What was interesting were the expectations of the local population and how they interacted with the new negro officers. It gave a really good insight into the period. Not racy or fast paced, this is a slow, considered commentary on life.

I was disappointed to find this is one of a series. I tend to avoid series as I feel they quickly become formulaic so I won't rush to get it.
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- Suzy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-09-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK