cover image Darktown


Thomas Mullen, read by Andre Holland. S&S Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs. $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-9948-8

Mullen’s gritty, smartly crafted crime procedural takes listeners back to Atlanta, Ga., in 1948, shortly after eight black men were allowed to join the city’s (mainly racist) police force for the first time. The protagonists are Lucius Boggs, one of the new officers, an honest and humane son of a respected minister, and Denny “Rake” Rakestraw, a progressive-thinking young white officer disgusted by the department’s racism and corruption. A car accident involving a drunken, arrogant retired cop attracts the attention of Boggs, who decides to break the rule forbidding black officers to investigate crimes when the car’s passenger, a prostitute named Lily Elsworth, is found murdered after having walked away from the accident earlier. Actor Holland (Selma, TV’s The Knick) has a rich, mellifluous delivery that he uses for the noble Boggs. His Rakestraw gains in strength and power as he progresses from eager rookie to hardened realist. Listeners will stay engrossed throughout all 12 hours of the audiobook. A 37Ink hardcover. (Sept.)