Hellhound on His Trail

Hellhound on His Trail: The Electrifying Account of the Largest Manhunt in History

by Hampton Sides

Gail Reid (11/07/11): Author Hampton Sides devotes nearly 500 pages to the riveting account of the FBI's hunt for James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King. In a style known as narrative non-fiction, a true story is made more compelling by attributing thoughts and feelings to the characters.

In this fascinating account of James Earl Ray (known in the book by his alias Eric Galt)we see a stark portrayal of a loner, drifter, racist and criminal. The author follows Ray throughout the U.S, Canada and Europe as the FBI mobilizes for his capture.

At the same time, Sides provides an insightful portrayal of MLK in the months prior to his killing: his feelings about the sanitation workers strike in Memphis; his commitment to non-violence; and his ongoing premonition that he would be killed.

This book is heavily researched and very detailed. (Full disclosure - my son was a freelance researcher in Atlanta for Hampton Sides.) But the quality of the writing is so superb, that the pages fly by as if it were a novel.
Rating: ****

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