Assael’s account of Liston’s life in a city full of racial tensions, mob connections, and heroin is illuminating, though not conclusive, regarding the heavyweight champ’s last days and mysterious overdose death.
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Author Shaun Assael wades into Liston’s world with a hawk’s eye and the nose of bloodhound. The Murder of Sonny Liston is many things: a biography, a story of sixties Las Vegas, and an investigation into a suspicious death that was never conducted.
Despite being nonfiction, The Murder of Sonny Liston tells a good story. It reads like an exemplary bit of hard-boiled crime fiction at times, keeping you glued to the pages. Shaun doesn’t sugarcoat. He’s writing in a heavyweight class and hits hard. You feel thumped by some of this book, grim realities and seedy fantasies coming together in a revelation of Las Vegas that is as ugly as it is glamorous.
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