With movingly depicted scenes and solid character development, Darktown meets [its] challenge admirably ... The chapters alternate like segregated streets — black cops, then white cops. Reminiscent of Walter Mosely (without Mosely’s ear for black dialogue), racial lives are never as separate as they appear ... Mullen is a wonderful architect of intersecting plotlines and unexpected answers ... [a] compeling work of fiction.
...a fine, unflinching example of the increasingly widespread use of crime fiction to explore social issues; its plot is gripping. Nevertheless some of its scenes of hardboiled violence, and some of the characters, stray into caricature. His tentative exploration of his heroes’ interiority helps to avoid cultural blunders, but limits the book’s depth and impact.
...[a] highly combustible procedural ... Although the dominant theme of his book is rampant police corruption, Mullen touches on fascinating topics like the rise of the Dixiecrats, the war between moonshiners and legitimate distributors, and the business end of local prostitution and gambling rackets. Change is in the wind, but it’ll be a long time coming.