cover image The Darkest Hearts: A D Hunter Mystery

The Darkest Hearts: A D Hunter Mystery

Nelson George. Akashic, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61775-809-6

In George’s smart fifth D Hunter mystery (after 2017’s To Funk and Die in L.A.), D, a former bodyguard turned talent manager in L.A., signs hip-hop artist Lil Daye and gets him a lucrative deal to promote a liquor brand being touted by entrepreneur Samuel Kurtz. The deal starts to sour for D when he comes across a transcript of a secretly recorded audiotape in which Kurtz tells an audience of about 20 like-minded business people that hip-hop is merely a way to make money and to destroy Black culture from the inside. Meanwhile, a body discovered near Brooklyn’s Canarsie Pier connects D with a dark, complicated character from his past. To D’s surprise, when an FBI agent wants to speak to D about the body, the agent reveals that he, too, knows about Kurtz’s anti–hip-hop agenda. When D tells Daye what Kurtz is up to, Daye doesn’t want to hear it, and so begins the almost-undoing of D’s career as a manager. Luckily, Serene Powers—an old flame of D’s who enacts justice beyond the reach of the law—helps D get his life back. This action-packed crime novel both educates and entertains. Agent: Sarah Lazin, Sarah Lazin Books. (Aug.)