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NY Journal of Books Review Sonny Liston

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.

Read more of J. Kent Messum’s review at www.nyjournalofbooks.com »

Sunday Times Crime Club Star Pick: “Well researched and as gripping as the best noir fiction.”

★ STAR PICK ★ NON-FICTION The Murder of Sonny Liston by Shaun Assael

Boxer Sonny Liston dealt drugs in Las Vegas before his wife found him dead, apparently from an overdose, in early 1971. Assael paints a vivid picture of the lawless desert town blooming into a gambling and entertainment mecca as he delves into Liston’s own complicated life there — among drug lords, mobsters, promoters, hoteliers and an aggrieved black community. Well researched and as gripping as the best noir fiction.

See more November star picks here.

Invite Me to Your Reading

Planning to reopen the unsolved case of Sonny Liston's mysterious death, or reading one of my other books, with your book club or class? I always enjoy joining a book discussion, and can do so virtually. Just reach out with your details.

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