Booktopia - Australia's local bookstore

The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen

11/03/2024
The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen

Thomas Mullen has shown his ability to deliver engaging crime-genre driven historical fiction in the trilogy which started with 2017’s Darktown. Set in Atlanta in the late 1940s, that series focussed on the first Black policemen in the city as they navigated the city’s racial divide. His new book, The Rumor Game, has some similar themes, but in this case Mullen is exploring racial tensions in Boston during the Second World War.

The Rumor Game opens in Boston in 1943. America has joined the War, plenty of young men have enlisted and gone off to fight and all industry has been turned to support the war effort. But many are unhappy and a burgeoning American fascist movement is keen to see America pull out of the war in Europe. The rhetoric is firing up the local Irish to beat up Jews. So that when a Jewish worker from the local munitions factory is found murdered, it is thought to be because he was in the wrong part of town. But a missing case of weapons piques the interest of agent Devon Mulvey of the FBI. At the same time Jewish reporter Anne Lemire is keen to expose the violence in the community and in the process comes into the crosshairs of the local fascists and the police.

The Rumor Game is historical fiction with plenty to say not only about America at the time but also shining a light on America today. Sectarianism, the rise of nationalist-fuelled antisemitism, the rhetoric that then blames the victims, police collusion and corruption and a Government which is happy for the ends to justify the means. But The Rumor Game is not weighed down by issues, particularly in its focus on plucky reporter Lemire and noir-shaded detective Mulvey. Through these characters and the pressure that is brought to bear on them Mullen manages to build a fair amount of tension.

In The Rumor Game, Mullen effectively uses both crime fiction and journalism fiction tropes to take readers into a time and place. But he also manages to shine some light into some dark places and issues that have not gone away using the tribulations of his engaging main characters and a fast moving plot.

Buy from Booktopia

The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen

$34.99 AUD
8

8.0/10

Wrap Up

The Rumor Game by Thomas Mullen

Pros

Cons

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *