Ash Dark as Night

About the Book

Los Angeles, August 1965. Anger and pent-up frustrations boil over in the Watts neighborhood after a traffic stop of two Black motorists. As the Watts riots explode, crime photographer Harry Ingram snaps photos at the scene, including images of the police as they unleash batons, dogs, and water hoses on civilians. When he captures the image of an unarmed activist being shot down by the cops, he winds up in the hospital, beaten, his camera missing. Proof of the unjust killing seems lost—until Ingram’s girlfriend, Anita Claire, retrieves the hidden film in a daring rescue. The photo makes front-page news.

A recuperating Ingram is approached by Betty Payton, a comrade of Anita’s mother, who wants Ingram’s help tracking down her business associate Moses “Mose” Tolbert, last seen during the riots. Ingram follows the investigation down a rabbit hole of burglary rings, bank robberies, looted cash, and clandestine agendas—all the while grappling with his newfound fame, which puts him in the sightlines of LAPD’s secretive intelligence division.

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