Library Journal Review
Mullen's historical crime novel Darktown introduced readers to Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith, two of the first black officers hired by the Atlanta Police Department in 1948, and Denny Rakestraw, a young white officer sympathetic to their plight. The author returns to these characters amidst the racial powder keg of the postwar South in this superior sequel, set two years later. Black families have begun moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods (Smith's sister among them), terrifying community members and attracting the attention of both the Klan, whose members include Rake's brother-in-law, and a contingent of Nazis reasserting themselves after the war. Meanwhile, Boggs and Smith are again confronted by their limitations within the department as the investigation into a moonshine smuggler threatens to implicate fellow officers, and they will have to decide how much they are willing to skirt those limitations to preserve their humanity and protect their families. VERDICT Morally complex and boasting more finely drawn characters, this outstanding follow-up to Darktown deepens Mullen's portrait of pre-civil rights America and deserves a place on every suspense reader's list. Here's hoping for many more installments. [See Prepub Alert, 3/27/17.]-Michael Pucci, South Orange P.L., NJ © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Set in 1950, Mullen's outstanding sequel to 2016's Darktown showcases the difficulties of effectively policing the mean streets of Atlanta when some cops belong to the Ku Klux Klan. Denny Rakestraw, who's not a Klan member, is distrusted by his fellow officers for his suspected role in the disappearance of his former partner. Denny's problems increase when his Klansman brother-in-law, Dale Simpkins, gets involved in a plot to stop the influx of African-Americans into his neighborhood. The personal and the professional also intersect for Lucius Boggs, one of the city's first black officers. They are not only not allowed to arrest whites but are "barely even supposed to interact with white people," which proves troublesome when Lucius and another black cop, Tommy Smith, start to investigate a moonshine smuggling ring that turns out to include some white men. Meanwhile, the release from prison of the father of Lucius's fiancée's child creates personal complications for Lucius. Mullen again brilliantly combines a suspenseful plot with a searing look at a racist South. Agent: Susan Golomb, Writers House. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.