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Lightning Men (Darktown, #2)
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Group Read - Lightning Men > Group Read - Lightning Men chaps 41-51 and end Spoilers welcome

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

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Chapters 41-51 to the end and epilogue - Spoilers welcome.
If the first to post, please briefly summarize to guide the discussion.

message 2: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Chapter 41
Stunned that white officers framed his family, Tommy Smith disposes of Malcolm's rifle after his sister Hannah and Malcolm were arrested for the Hanford Park burglary. Malcolm had also applied for the police job, Smith wonders at how their lives diverged when he was hired as one of the first black policemen.
Chapter 42
Sergeant McGinnis confronts his former partner over his lining his own pockets at the expense of the residents and black officers in McGinnis' precinct. The encounter turns hostile and Slater, a tall man threatens Tommy Smith's job and to push harsh treatment of Hannah and Malcolm or to let them off in exchange for no more interference. McGinnis and Slater throw punches and are separated.

message 3: by Ann (last edited Jan 20, 2018 10:09PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Chapter 43
Rake goes in search of one of the Columbians to help Dale. Delmar Coyle reveals he and his fellow Nazis were behind the attack on his cousin Marty that Dale participated in to blame the Klan and keep black families out and thwarting the real estate scheme Marty plans.
He threatens Rake.
Chapter 44
McGinnis talks to Boggs and Smith about protecting Malcolm and Hannah in custody and what they can do to stop the bootleggers.
Smith's intel from Malcolm and Boggs information about the smugglers and the murder of Jeremiah's brother lead McGinnis to talk about his former partnership with Slater, a man on the take and suspected of worse.
Separately Smith tells Boggs it was Malcolm with the rifle, and he covered up for the murder. Family over the law. The partnership is under strain over this.
Chapter 45
Rake tells Dale he knows Delmar is who set up the errant Klan attack on Marty Letcher and Rake confronts the plumber Thames whose house was burglarized that he knows Thames did it and framed his black neighbors.

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Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Chapter 46
Boggs finds Jeremiah and tells him to leave Julie and Sage alone. Jeremiah is armed with the pistol given him by Slater to kill Boggs. Jeremiah pushes back and hurls disturbing news at Boggs, she was raped by Jeremiah's brother, shot him herself and Jeremiah helped cover the murder up.
Chapter 47
Dale gets a call from the Klan. Four hooded men, some police officers take him into a car and out in the woods. Dale under a gun lies and tells them it was Rake, not him. Dale's tall tale embellished with his own knowledge of the attack ignites disbelief and then anger.
Chapter 48
Rake goes in search of Dale, concerned and unhappy. Leaving Dale's house he is attacked by two large men.
Chapter 49
Boggs, Smith other black officers and McGinnis stake out marijuana dealers to shut that down in the neighborhood. A shootout ensues and Jeremiah, one of the suspects runs away and brings up his pistol. Who will shoot, Boggs, Jeremiah or Smith - who doesn't hesitate and kills Jeremiah. The partnership breaks further apart though Smith feels he did the right thing for Boggs' good.
Chapter 50
Rake's attackers are Walter Irons' brothers out for revenge. In serious trouble, then the Klan pulls up with Dale. This shootout ends up with both Irons brothers dead, Dale and two Klansmen killed and Rake stunned he survived and has to tell his sister she is a widow.
Chapter 51
Boggs comes to Julie to tell her Jeremiah is dead and to reaffirm he loves her and still wants to marry her. He tells her what Jeremiah revealed about her rape and the murder of Jeremiah's brother.
The new housing boundary of three more blocks opens up for Black families. Thames sells and disappears. Rake's family sells but he feels suspicion now at work and is unhappy with the new house.
Boggs resigns (as does Smith) Neither can stand seeing the other.
McGinnis refuses Boggs but accepts Smith's resignation, who then goes to be a newspaper reporter.
Boggs and Julie buy a house in the newly available area.

Sandi (sandin954) | 1215 comments Thanks for the summaries Ann.

Quite a lot was wrapped up in a short amount of time but overall I thought it was a pretty fitting ending.

I was not sure how Rake was going to get out of the predicament Dale dropped him in but sometimes being lucky is better than being good. I was glad to see that the bar owner survived the Irons brothers and got her vengeance.

While I can see why Smith protected his brother in law, killing Jeremiah was too much over the line even though I could relate to his reasoning. McInnis was probably right to accept his resignation.

message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Sandi:
I think I thought of Darktown as more police procedural. As I read this last set of chapters of Lightning Men I realized that each of the situations placed the characters at a moral crossroads with the book leading them to that critical point as more minor decisions were made.
For Rake and McGinnis - to fit in but not always agree with the racism and violence to perpetuate segregation. Rake seems more ambivalent than McGinnis.
For Boggs and Smith to balance their authority and responsibilities to uphold the law while protecting family, friends and community. For Smith considering how his and Malcolm's paths had diverged when only Smith was hired as a policeman; and then his own path blurred greatly in this book.
I agree, McGinnis was right to accept his resignation.

For Malcolm and Jeremiah tempted or forced to break the law to survive their moral choices were no less real.

Very thought provoking. Hard to read of the hatred and pain. Powerful and necessary.

Russ | 330 comments I found the final shootout between Rake and the Irons brothers and the Klan and the bar owner to be far-fetched. (And a little confusing, kind of like the earlier scene of the whites milling around Malcolm's house. The clarity of the "group scenes" needed a tune-up IMHO.)

Still, it was a fun enough ending, and nice to see a sassy bar owner come to the rescue the ambivalent hero cop.

Not sure what to make of Smith shooting a surrendering suspect. Seems like they'd have been better off arresting him and getting him to turn/inform on Feckless, no?

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Ann (annrumsey) | 14623 comments Russ: You are right, the Klan/ Irons /Rake shootout as described was confusing. The end result of all white people shooting at other white people and a dead policeman in Klan robes seems to have left a lot of questions and rather neatly saved the out-matched Rake and left him in the dark about Dale's attempt to frame Rake. More questions than answers.
I was surprised when Smith shot Jeremiah. Smith didn't appear to be getting along with Boggs, so why risk doing that?
Russ wrote: "I found the final shootout between Rake and the Irons brothers and the Klan and the bar owner to be far-fetched. (And a little confusing,)
Not sure what to make of Smith shooting a surrendering suspect. Seems like they'd have been better off arresting him and getting him to turn/inform on Feckless, no?

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