Blood in the Soil is the first book about the investigation into the shooting of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his country attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1978. But this book is not primarily about Larry Flynt, or even his shooter, the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin, though both men are of course important characters in the story.
This true account is told alternately from the perspective of Detective J. Michael Cowart and by following Franklin's life from childhood through his execution. The monster that was Joseph Paul Franklin was the result of a perfect storm of circumstances, which included poverty, cruel abuse as a child, the detestation and mistrust between blacks and whites, integration, and the hate groups that operated and recruited openly. Detective Cowart tells the story of his first introduction to Franklin, and the cat-and-mouse game that ensued. A self-proclaimed truth-seeker, the detective had to appear to befriend Franklin to get him to provide enough information to prosecute him in the Flynt shooting. In the course of developing this rapport, Cowart gains astonishing insight into many of Franklin's other cold-blooded killings and crimes, and his twisted justification for them.
This book tells of a very real struggle between right and wrong. It details with stark honesty the terrible truths that characterized the South during the volatility of the sixties and seventies, and of the ugly reality that lies just beneath the veneer of a beautiful region known for its warm hospitality. Along the way, it examines some hard lessons about life, trust, and compromise.
©2016 Carole Townsend (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
another great one from Carole Townsend. Great book and great story. another book I will encourage others to read.
The narrator is mesmerizing. Reminds me of the first time I heard Keith Morrison narrating true crime TV episodes. It is akin to having a story-teller of mastery in your head, a friend you know so well that all you need to do is listen.
The story itself flows almost like a novel, but of course we all know the end as it already happened Carole Townsend is an excellent writer.
The ONLY slight issue I had was when Franklin was strapped to the gurney. Oh, it made for wonderful story-telling as I'm sure we'd all like to know what goes through the minds of monsters such as this, however there is no way anyone could report honestly on what was going through his mind, or what he used as a mind. However it does make for fluid story-telling.
Listen to the audio sample (my personal favorite is quality noise-cancelling headphones). The absolutely delicious icing on the cake is the PDF file with photos the author so thoughtfully provided. I'd give this whole thing 10 stars if I could.
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