Author(s): John Ball
A 50th anniversary edition of the classic crime novel that inspired the Oscar-winning film starring Sidney Poitier.
'They call me Mr Tibbs!'
A small southern town in the 1960s. A musician found dead on the highway. It's no surprise when white detectives arrest a black man for the murder. What is a surprise is that the black man - Virgil Tibbs - is himself a skilled homicide detective from California, whom inexperienced Chief Gillespie reluctantly recruits to help with the case. Faced with mounting local hostility and a police force that seems determined to see him fail, it isn't long before Tibbs - trained in karate and aikido - will have to fight not just for justice, but also for his own safety.
The inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film starring Sidney Poitier, this iconic crime novel is a psychologically astute examination of racial prejudice, an atmospheric depiction of the American South in the sixties, and a brilliant, suspense-filled read set in the sultry heat of the night.
John Ball (1911-1988) was born in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A part-time police officer in Los Angeles for a time, he wrote more than thirty novels including mysteries, war novels, and adventure stories; his Virgil Tibbs series remains his best-known work. Despite considerable pressure from his editor, Ball insisted on making Tibbs a black man, garnering him praise for progressive thinking and a keen understanding of racial prejudice.