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Publisher's Summary

On January 5, 1971, Sonny Liston was found dead in his home - of an apparent heroin overdose. But no one close to Liston believed that his death was accidental. Digging deep into a life that Liston tried hard to hide, Shaun Assael treats the boxer's death as a cold case. The result is a riveting whodunit that evokes a glorious and grimy era of Las Vegas.

Elvis Presley was playing two shows a night at the International. Howard Hughes was running his empire from the penthouse suite of the Desert Inn. And Middle America was flocking to the Strip, transforming it from an exclusive playground for the mob to a mecca for corporate dollars. But the city was also rotting from within. Heroin was pouring over the border from Mexico, and the segregated Westside was on the cusp of a race war.

Driving through town with the top of his pink Cadillac down, Liston was the one celebrity who was unafraid to bridge the two sides of Las Vegas. Cashing in on his fading notoriety in the casinos, he was dealing drugs, working for a crime syndicate, and trying to break in to Hollywood - all with a boxer's faith that he could duck any threat, slip any punch. Heroin addiction was the only knockout blow he didn't see coming.

©2016 Shaun Assael (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TANYA
  • CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, United States
  • 10-29-16

A Boxing Legends Story

What an intriguing listen!! This case is shrouded in mystery. The narrating was excellent. This story is a real who done it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story that keeps you wondering really happened.

It’s an interesting story of Sunny Liston before, during and after he was a fighter. You learn about the drug habit he had, drugs he sold, the shady individuals around him. I also like how it talks about about other people lives that Sunny was dealing with at the time. The performance of the reader was a little hard to comprehend. He’ll start on sentence or subject to switch to another without any difference in his tone. Overall interesting book leaving wondering what if.....

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • RCC
  • ACTON MA USA
  • 09-01-18

Really great really sad story with a lot of period characters and color

for a guy who was heavyweight champion of the world, he didnt seem to have a whole lotta control over his life. i tore thru this book and found it more a lens through which you can look at a certain time and moment in america than just a true crime story--although it was certainly a good one of those too. its about the 60s and 70s in america, race relations, muhammed ali, boxing, the history of las vegas, the mafia, music, police corruption, the heroin trade and overall just a look back at the formative years of one of the most american of all americas cities: las vegas.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!!

Great book. Well researched and well written. Finally a few doors are opening on the LVPD corruption. Sadly it hasn’t changed much today.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sonny

Overall was okay, however; I expected more substance and content about Sonny. Didn't need the Vegas rhetoric.

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  • JMKIII58
  • Clarksville, TN, United States
  • 06-14-17

The tragic last few

years of the World Champion Sonny Liston. A thug who never fit into the role that was put on him. This book chronicles the last few years of his life in Vegas. The unsolved mystery of his death. A great read.