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.