Staff recommendation: This fantastic novel centres on the first eight black cops hired in Atlanta in 1948. This is considered an experiment and to say the least, it’s awkward. These cops are stymied – they can’t arrest white suspects, they can’t drive a squad car, they must operate out of a dingy basement. Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith are the main characters, two cops trying to do their job but hampered on all sides. They find the body of a black woman who was last seen in the company of a white man. No-one seems interested in finding her murderer except these two and they have to investigate ‘off the books’. Politics, murder and violence combine in the segregated streets of Atlanta when a man is attacked for straying into the wrong area. A wonderful gritty novel that really gets the heart racing and the blood pulsing through your veins. Superb!