Century acquires true crime Ku Klux Klan 'thriller'

Century acquires true crime Ku Klux Klan 'thriller'

Century is publishing a book from the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department about his infiltration of and subsequent undercover investigation into a local Ku Klux Klan faction.

The Black Klansman: Race, Hate and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime by Sgt Ron Stallworth is described as "a fascinating and timely non-fiction account that reads like a crime thriller" and will publish as a trade paperback on 5th June 2018.

The book is also on course for the silver screen in autumn 2018. It has been adapted for a film written and directed by Spike Lee and produced by Academy Award-winner Jordan Peele that will be distributed by Focus Features. The film stars John David Washington and Adam Driver, and will be shown at Cannes as part of the official Palme d’Or competition highlights.

Ajda Vucicevic, senior editor at Century, who acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Kerry Nordling at St Martin’s Press US, said she read the book in one sitting and was amazed by what Stallworth had managed to do.

Stallworth has worked undercover narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence and organized crime beats in four states and is the first black man accepted into the Colorado Springs Police Department as well as its youngest detective ever. In the book he describes answering a classified ad posted by the local Ku Klux Klan faction. While posing as a white man, by telephone and online, he receives a warm welcome - launching an incredible undercover investigation.

"It’s one of the bravest accounts of undercover police work that I have ever read," said Vucicevic. "And one of the most important because without Ron’s investigation, bravery and fight, the world would be a more dangerous place, and with today’s challenging national and political discourse I feel that this book is a timely reminder of how far we have come and a warning on how long we still have to go."