Jackie's Reviews > Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

Hellhound on His Trail by Hampton Sides
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May 17, 2010

really liked it

This is a page-turner and I could not put it down. Hampton Sides recounts the efforts to find and arrest the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr., James Earl Ray. Sides, born in Memphis, tells about the garbageman strike and the efforts to move the Memphis mayor to make the work safer and to give the workers a small raise. He shifts to MLK and his involvement in the strike. Then Sides shifts to James Earl Ray escaping prison in Missouri and becoming Eric Galt out in Las Angeles. The book entrances the reader as Sides brings Ray and King closer and closer together to that fateful afternoon. After King's assassination, Sides follows Ray's attempt to escape the US and try to make it to Rhodesia. That he made it to London is extraordinary. Sides paints Ray as a rather pathetic small-time crook until he murders King and he dispels any belief that there was a conspiracy involved. The book is exciting and filled with interesting information. An epilogue includes Ray's escape from our own Brushy Mountain Prison and his re-capture. However, it doesn't cover Ray's later life and his death. There is an extensive bibliography, but something that really chapped me is the absence of an index. Why was this omitted?

I don't think teens would pick this up to read. Most teens aren't that interested in Kennedy's, MLK's, or Robert Kennedy's assassinations, but if they are, Sides' book would be a good choice.
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