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Lightning Men (Darktown, #2)
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Group Read - Lightning Men > Group Read - Lightning Men chaps 11-20 Spoilers welcome

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14610 comments Chapters 11-20 - Spoilers welcome.
If the first to post, please briefly summarize to guide the discussion.


Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Chapter 11
While home alone in the evening, Rake's wife Cassie is surprised by a knock at the door and she gets her gun. It turns out to be a couple collecting money for the Collective Association of Hanford which wants to buy back the houses that have been purchased by non-whites. Cassie agrees with the mission but is not sure Rake will so puts them off for now

Chapter 12
Boggs and Smith are cornered by some white cops and given a "polite warning". Smith then learns that his sister's husband is in the hospital after being beaten while walking home.

Chapter 13
Smith and Boggs rush to the hospital find out the injuries are non-life threatening and then decide to go to the scene of the crime since they know the white cops will not investigate. They get into with the white cops whose beat it is then encounter Rake who is out walking near his house. Bogg's asks Rake to ask around and he reluctantly agrees.

Chapter 14
Rake worries Dale might have been the assailant or this could be the quid pro quo from the country Klanners. Rake decides to visit his old partner's kids ,who firebombed a black family's house who tried to move into a white neighborhood, but they swear they were not
involved.

Chapter 15
Arriving back home after work, Julie is astonished to see her old boyfriend and Sage's father, Jeremiah who has been in jail. Julie lets him know that he is not welcome in her home but he insists he wants to be part of his son's life. An altercation ensues and Jeremiah leaves and encounters some guys he used to know before going to jail.

Chapter 16
Smith is walking the beat with Dewey Edmunds, the shortest of the black policemen, when they get called to a disturbance at a beauty parlor. Inside they encounter Thunder Malley and get into an epic fight with him and the two women who are also present. Eventually Dewey is able arrest Thunder.

Chapter 17
Rake goes out to visit Delmar Coyle, who had been in jail for trying to overthrow the government, to see if he and his group are behind the flyers though he does not learn much.

Chapter 18
Thunder Malley is killed in police custody and the precinct is sure the white cops killed him so he could not testify against them.

Chapter 19
Cassie attends a Collective Association of Hanford Park meeting with Dale and Rake's sister. She has convinced Rake to donate to the cause but when it comes time for Dale to contribute he has conveniently left his wallet at home.

Chapter 20
Jeremiah shows up at Julie's again and this time the cops have to intervene. We learn that Julie had not told Boggs about Sage and after he found out he did not see her for a few weeks and she has skirted the truth about Sage's father.


Russ | 330 comments Thanks for the summary, Sandi!

I was hoping the investigation into the moonshine & drug trafficking would have progressed by now, but it seems to be on hold with the black officers' hands being tied.

I really enjoyed sparkplug Dewey's takedown of Thunder Malley. Fun. Unfortunately, the euphoria wasn't to last. Like the black officers, I felt let-down by the sudden death of Malley while in white police custody. The author handled those scenes very well.

Something about the housing discrimination storyline still doesn't quite work for me, but it is interesting/informative from a historical/demographical standpoint.


message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14610 comments Great summaries Sandi! Thank you so much, it really helps with commenting appropriate to the section.

I just finished these chapters 11-20 today and was glad to get the tie-in to Jeremiah who was introduced in the prologue about his release from the Reidsville prison.
I agree with the black officers (what a mess and not the usual domestic disturbance with Boggs involved) who happened upon the altercation between Jeremiah and Julie’s Mother and who broke up Jeremiah’s rough attempts to see his son. I was distressed when the encounter turned violent and Julie’s Mom was knocked down, terrifying Sage in the process. Sage was so sweet when he saw the policemen and asked if they knew Lucius. This should be interesting.

The neighbors working to get the black families out of their neighborhood and the unknown violent attackers have me nervous for those families.
Isn’t it something to think about the value of money back in the 50’s compared to today’s prices whether the amount offered to buy back a black families house or the amounts of the donations for the fund.


message 5: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14610 comments Sandi: great description! it was an epic fight between Thunder Malley and the police officers, Dewey and Smith. Was anyone else surprised at the violence from the women, slashing with straight razors and cracking the cops in the head with hair styling implements - epic indeed! And then there was the huge man, Thunder.


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