The Devil’s Harvest: A Ruthless Killer, a Terrorized Community, and the Search for Justice in California’s Central Valley

Jessica Garrison. Hachette, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-45568-8
Garrison, former Los Angeles Times reporter and Buzzfeed News West Coast investigations editor, delivers in her debut an expertly researched account of the life and alleged crimes of Jose Manuel Martinez, one of America’s most prolific hit men. In June 2013, authorities apprehended the 58-year-old Martinez in connection with a Florida murder as he attempted to enter the U.S. from Mexico. Martinez freely confessed to 36 murders for hire across 12 states over his 30-year career as a freelance Mexican cartel enforcer. At his trial in Florida in 2019, Martinez’s defense was able to persuade a jury he should not face the death penalty, as the prosecution called for. Garrison provides Martinez’s account of his criminal acts and the lackluster police efforts to solve them, and explores the history and hardship of the predominantly migrant farming communities among whom he committed most of his violent crimes. In a time of great frustration with law enforcement’s role in the racial divide in America, Garrison’s work shows another aspect of the social disparity in policing, namely that crimes against minorities are poorly investigated. This is essential reading for true crime buffs. Agent: Katherine Flynn, Kneerim & Williams. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/09/2020
Release date: 05/05/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-0590-6
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-316-45574-9
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