"The Awful Grace of God: Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy and the Unsolved Murder of Dr. Martin Luther King," by Stuart Wexler and Larry Hancock (Counterpoint Press, $28; Kindle, $14.99)
Larry Hancock is a guy who leaves no stone unturned. He's always looking under rocks. He believes in the old adage that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you. This isn't to say Larry's paranoid, just that he believes in questioning things you're told not to question. Like the JFK assassination.
You may recognize his name. Larry Hancock has often assisted the research of Solares Hill editor Mark Howell. He has written a classic book on JFK's death titled "Someone Would Have Talked." Now he and writing partner Stuart Wexler have published a treatise called "The Awful Grace of God" about the "unsolved" murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Unsolved? But we were told James Earl Ray did it.
Maybe, but not quite like we thought.
If Larry Hancock is good at one thing it's research. This book lifts up the rocks and looks under them. And comes up with some puzzling conclusions. Part I is called The Conspirators. Part II, The Accused. And Part III, The Crime.
Without being a CliffsNotes for "The Awful Grace of God," it is fair to tell you Wexler and Hancock document a widespread conspiracy, one that never came up in the prosecution of James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing Dr. King.
The book documents "traveling criminals" pursuing a bounty on the black leader. And we're introduced to the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi, a group that wanted Dr. King dead. We meet Reverend Wesley Swift, who inspired violence against Dr. King's followers. And J.B. Stoner, who represented the ultra-right. All working toward a bitter conclusion.
A fascinating book, but in the end it raises more questions than it answers.
by Shirrel Rhoades
"Chasing Midnight" by Randy Wayne White (G.P Putnam, $25.95)
Marion "Doc" Ford, the marine biologist and sometimes lethal secret U.S. intelligence agent from Sanibel Island, and his sidekick, Tomlinson, the stoned Buddhist monk and restaurateur with an exuberant libido, are back for their 19th adventure in this latest novel by Randy Wayne White.
At an exclusive caviar reception on Vanderbilt Island sponsored by a notorious Russian black marketeer, Doc Ford slips away in the dark to examine the underside of this billionaire's yacht. But while he's conducting his inspection, the island is taken over and all communications are jammed. Who's now in control of the island? The island's inhabitants and guests are being herded together with the threat that one hostage will be executed every hour until midnight unless certain demands are met.
In this breathless rush of only one night, Doc Ford encounters rich and powerful but amoral gangsters, angry extremists and mysterious but ruthless oriental women. Author White then stirs in the unstable Neinabor twins, Genesis and Exodus, formerly triplets raised in a desert commune.
"Chasing Midnight" is the type of nonstop thrill ride that makes the reader yell "Watch your back!" or "I wouldn't do that if I were you!" Doc uses cutting edge spyware called the Tam-14, a thermal monocular eyepiece that allows its wearer to look through walls and see people from their body heat. The story culminates in a nail-biting boat chase worthy of Popeye Doyle's car chase in "The French Connection."
It's a slick, enticing fish tale with a social conscience. And it never leaves Doc's familiar waters near Captiva Island, where White was formerly a fishing guide for 13 years.
-- Reviewed by David and Nancy Beckwith
"Only in Key West" by Mandy Miles ($12.95, Amazon.com):
To follow up on her original "Tan Lines" collection published when she was Mandy Bolen, this month the humor columnist Mandy Miles has released a second book of her "Tan Lines" columns, published Sundays on the front page of The Key West Citizen. "More of Mandy Miles' Tan Lines: Only in Key West" includes more than 50 reader-nominated columns.
Mandy tells us that this 158-page paperback includes never-before-published commentary from her and photos by Key West photographer, Rob O'Neal.
"Goals Gone Wild! " by Matt Poepsel (Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com)
Readers learn how a run-in with a hungry duck can show the dangers associated with negative thinking; how an unzipped fly can turn an embarrassing situation into an illuminating life lesson and how a trip to Wall Street can reveal a simple truth about achieving one's own definition of success.
We love the title.