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Thursday, January 26, 2012

TLC Book Tour Stop: Our Man in the Dark by Rashad Harrison

Title: Our Man in the Dark
Author: Rashad Harrison
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: November 15, 2011
Source: TLC Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You like a story that moves quickly.
  • You like interesting characters.
What's the Story?:

From "Feeling underappreciated and overlooked, John Estem, a bookkeeper for Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), steals ten thousand dollars from the organization. Originally planning to use the money to seed a new civil rights initiative in Chicago, he squanders the stolen funds.

To the bookkeeper’s dismay, the FBI has been keeping close tabs on Dr. King and his fellow activists—including Estem—for years. FBI agents tell Estem that it is his duty, as an American and as a civil rights supporter, to protect the SCLC from communist infiltration. The FBI offers Estem a stipend, but in case he has any thoughts about refusing the assignment, they also warn him that they know about the stolen money.

Playing informant empowers Estem, but he soon learns that his job is not simply to relay information on the organization. Once the FBI discovers evidence of King’s sexual infidelities, they set out to confirm the facts to undermine King’s credibility as a moral leader and bring down the movement. This timely novel comes in light of recent revelations that government informants had infiltrated numerous black movement organizations. With historical facts at the core of Our Man in the Dark, Harrison uses real life as a great inspiration for his drama-filled art."

My Two Cents:

A couple months ago, I saw the movie J. Edgar. I really enjoyed it. J. Edgar Hoover was just a strange character that you almost can't believe that he was a real person. He was incredibly paranoid and was very afraid of the red scourge taking over America for much of his career. He was notorious for gathering informants to gather information about anyone he wanted. I'm not sure if he really thought that all of the people he had informants on were Communists or not but nonetheless, he got tons of information on some very famous people. It's still sort of crazy to think about.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the people that Hoover deemed as having red ties in real life. In "Our Man in the Dark," two G-men (FBI agents) come to lowly John Estem, an accountant with Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to get him to pass them information about Dr. King. John agrees. He thinks it's a way to make a little money and he thinks he knows how to game the system. It's the 1960s and the world is changing. John thinks nothing of the consequences.

This book is billed as a historical noir book and dark it definitely is. It's fast moving and the characters are great, especially the character of John Estem. He's very realistic and so well written. He isn't exactly likable but Harrison does a fantastic job of showing his motives and his thinking. You can at least see where he's coming from.

This is a great book about real events. The author pulls the reader into the world of the late 1960s and the time of MLK. This is great book for historical fiction lovers and thriller lovers!

Follow The Rest of the Tour:

Tuesday, January 3rd: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, January 4th: Life In Review
Thursday, January 5th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Monday, January 9th: Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, January 10th: Sidewalk Shoes
Wednesday, January 11th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, January 12th: Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms
Monday, January 16th: “That’s Swell!”
Tuesday, January 17th: Reads for Pleasure
Monday, January 23rd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, January 25th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Thursday, January 26th: Layers of Thought
Thursday, January 26th: A Bookish Affair
Friday, January 27th: Joyfully Retired
Date TBD: Man of La Book


  1. This sounds like a book winner.

  2. This sounds great and it is something different from what I usually read. Thanks for the great review!

    1. If you're a historical fiction fan, you'll like it!

  3. I've been meaning to watch J. Edgar - glad to see you enjoyed it! Sounds like I need to make time for to read this book and see J. Edgar around the same time.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  4. The author writers his characters so vividly and he puts so much detail into accurately describing 60's Atlanta. Although its historical fiction I found this book to be really educational about the civil rights movement from a different point of view. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to more from this author.

    1. Yes, that's one thing I love about a good historical fiction, you can definitely learn something is the process of reading!


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