In the Heat of the Night [NOOK Book]

Overview

John Ball's 1965 mystery In the Heat of the Night tells the story of a black police officer named Virgil Tibbs who happens to be passing through a southern town at a particularly inauspicious moment. An orchestra conductor has been brutally murdered and the local police, without much in the way of real evidence, arrest Tibbs. On discovering that Tibbs is not the real killer but rather a highly-skilled homicide detective, the local police enlist...
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In the Heat of the Night

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Overview

John Ball's 1965 mystery In the Heat of the Night tells the story of a black police officer named Virgil Tibbs who happens to be passing through a southern town at a particularly inauspicious moment. An orchestra conductor has been brutally murdered and the local police, without much in the way of real evidence, arrest Tibbs. On discovering that Tibbs is not the real killer but rather a highly-skilled homicide detective, the local police enlist Tibbs to help solve the case.

Several factors made (and make) this novel so very relevant and timely. For one, the hero is a black police officer, which at the time the book was written was not a very common figure in popular culture. More, he eventually teams with a bigoted white southern police officer, Sheriff Gillespie. It is this relationship between the two men and the mutual respect and admiration that develops between them that exposes the bankruptcy of racial prejudice. Tibbs--a rational, gentlemanly, and highly capable detective--forces Gillespie to reconsider his stereotyped notions of black people. In the final account, Gillespie allows Tibbs the kind of respect that the racist sheriff did not offer at the story’s opening.

But Tibbs has more than the prejudiced Gillespie to deal with. His investigation leads him through the backwater town and exposes him to different forms of prejudice harbored by the townspeople. His urban sophistication and his California background also rankle the townspeople.

A major accomplishment with this novel is that author John Ball refuses to discredit one stereotype by merely adopting another. He deftly manages to write a novel about prejudice and stereotype set in a region of the country where ignorance and racism cause terrible suffering, but avoids making the mistake of depicting every Southerner as ignorant or racist. Just as the portrait here of Virgil Tibb's topples some peoples’ notions, portraits of some Southerners in this novel do the same.

In the Heat of the Night stands as a classic pop culture document. It is also winner of the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America as well as the Crimewriters' Association's Golden Dagger Award, and it was named one of the hundred greatest detective novels of the century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. The book’s main character, Virgil Tibbs, also appears in The Cool Cottontail and Johnny Get Your Gun as part of the Virgil Tibbs mystery series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Ball wrote over thirty novels during his career including mysteries, war novels, adventure stories, but his reputation as a novelist is based on his first work--the 1965, In the Heat of the Night. While under considerable pressure from his publisher to make a change, Ball insisted on keeping the leading character in his novel a black man. Ball made the right decision and the book garnered him much praise for progressive thinking and a keen understanding of racial prejudice. Ball wrote other books that featured the hero of In the Heat of the Night, detective Virgil Tibbs, including The Cool Cottontail (1966), and Johnny Get Your Gun (1969). Later in life, Ball worked as a part-time police offer in Los Angeles and also trained in the martial arts. He died in 1988.

ABOUT THE SERIES

John Ball broke new ground with his book In The Heat of the Night, his 1965 novel that introduced the determined detective Virgil Tibbs. Ball's novel was controversial for it established a black man as a protagonist and Ball refused to change it, despite pressure from the publishing community. Ball would succeed and his book went on to become a film and television series, winning five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for actor Sidney Poitier. Virgil Tibbs features in other books in the series, using his wits and physical martial arts skills as he successfully fights against crime, racism, and more.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013052130
  • Publisher: RosettaBooks
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: RosettaBooks into Film , #7
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 180,038
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

John Ball wrote over thirty novels during his career including mysteries, war novels, adventure stories, but his reputation as a novelist is based on his first work--the 1965, In the Heat of the Night. While under considerable pressure from his publisher to make a change, Ball insisted on keeping the leading character in his novel a black man. Ball made the right decision and the book garnered him much praise for progressive thinking and a keen understanding of racial prejudice. Ball wrote other books that featured the hero of In the Heat of the Night, detective Virgil Tibbs, including The Cool Cottontail (1966), and Johnny Get Your Gun (1969). Later in life, Ball worked as a part-time police offer in Los Angeles and also trained in the martial arts. He died in 1988.
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Customer Reviews

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( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    A shocking murder mystery

    In the Heat of the Night by John Ball is an excellent book. It¿s a suspenseful murder mystery in the south when it was segregated. I like this book because it was suspenseful and unpredictable. It leads you to thinking it was one person but at the end it¿s a twist and nothing seems the way it is. I really like how the author ended the chapters. Some of them ended in a way that I left me in shock and wanted to read on. This book is great for people who like murder mysteries, suspense and a little bit of drama. The drama in the book is a black cop trying to do his job in the south when no one wants him there and racial tension begins. The suspense in the book keeps building up right from the beginning of the book to the end. If you don¿t like being surprised and shocked then don¿t read this book, but if you do you should definitely read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    My frist real novel My First

    This is my fist real novel that I ever read ,in high school,before I was readin Batman and Archie comics

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    A well-told suspenseful tale.

    This was a good book. There is a murder and it seems like everyone is being accused. Virgil Tibbs, a black cop from another city is put on the case and racial tension flairs.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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