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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hellhound On His Trail

I love books, and I love history, so books about history are some of my favorite things ever.  And books about pursuit of famous killers rank up there as primo entertainment.  So Hellhound On His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in American History by Hampton Sides was a must-read the moment I found out about it.

The book follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his murder, James Earl Ray (with several aliases) from the few days prior to MLK's assassination to the weeks after as the FBI pursues Ray through the USA, to Canada, and finally to Europe. 

Full of detail, this book read like fiction and kept me engaged throughout.  As I said, I love historical non-fiction especially when it reads like a novel, and I found it here.  I was able to explore MLK's last hours, and I went on the run with James Earl Ray.  I had no clue that JER escaped from prison a year prior to shooting MLK, and I was surprised to find that JER stayed at a rooming house that was down the street from my old apartment, meaning that my former neighborhood had historical significance.  Included in this book is also a history of Atlanta, my beloved hometown--locations and people both.  I understand the significance of street names far more now than I did prior to picking up this book, and I now have a deeper respect for the tributes.

Sides went to great lengths researching this book and the quality shows.  It's a hefty piece but worth every page. 

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