The Dark Stain is a novel of tremendous force and vitality. It is a story of lust and hatred and passion . . . nakedly portrayed and in words the meaning of which can escape no one. The locale is Harlem, but what happens in its exciting pages has already been paralleled in many American cities and may happen in many more. It is the story of Sam Miller, a New York cop, who was unwillingly forced to kill a crazed negro. This killing sets off a series of events that threatens to explode into the riot. How an American Fascist group thies to exploit the situation gives the author an opportunity to tell a story that has all the elements of a thriller and all the threat of a warning.
Suzy Buckles, beautiful and in love with Sam, is aware of the forces this killing will let loose. Hal Clair, negro leader, so light-hued that he passes for white, tries to act as the appeaser. Marian Burrow, his secretary, light-brown, desirable, a reefer smoker, hates the whites but is attractive to them and attracted by them. Bill Trent is a former gangster who has graduated into a salesman for Fascism. Ex-Governor Heney is a suave rabble rouser who has a particular appeal for people with fat bank accounts. Haydn Norris is a rich ma’s son, an international Fascist, without emotional hatreds; Big Boy Bose is vice lord of Harlem, whose distrust of the whites makes him a valuable ally. These are the leading characters, but there are many others, each of whom plays a role in this drama that is as timely as tomorrow’s headlines . . . The story of an America that can happen here.
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