Our Man in the Dark

Our Man in the Dark

A Novel

In his stunning noir debut, Rashad Harrison shines a provocative light on the months leading up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When the FBI approaches John Estem, a bookkeeper for Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), they offer him a stipend to work as an informant. But they also issue a warning: they know he stole ten thousand dollars from the organization.

Estem is told he is performing his American duty, protecting the SCLC from communist infiltration. Once the FBI discovers evidence of King’s sexual infidelities, however, they set out to undermine his credibility as a moral leader and bring down the movement. Our Man in the Dark is a timely novel that comes on the heels of numerous recent revelations about informants within black movement organizations. With historical facts at the core of his writing, Harrison uses real life to create a poignant, page-turning drama.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451625769 | 
  • September 2012
List Price $19.99
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Read an Excerpt

1

Night has come, and so have the shadows that once pulled me in against my will. I believed the promises made by those exaggerated figures that followed me, but I am no longer fooled by illusions. Their lies must stay outside. Up these darkened steps, and past that door, is the truth.

My flashlight leads me to the file cabinet. It isn’t locked. There are many files inside, but one in particular intrigues me. It’s labeled JEST in bold letters followed by a sequence of numbers. I open it to reveal a series of black-and-white photos. They show a man leaving a building, crossing a street, and alone inside... see more

About the Author

Rashad Harrison
Photograph by Maia Rosenfeld

Rashad Harrison

Rashad Harrison has studied writing at San Francisco State University and Columbia University. He received his MFA in creative writing from New York University where he was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in fiction and taught creative writing. He and his wife currently live in Chicago and San Francisco. He is the author of Our Man in the Dark (2011) and The Abduction of Smith and Smith (2015).

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