God’ll Cut You Down: The Tangled Tale of a White Supremacist, a Black Hustler, a Murder, and How I Lost a Year in Mississippi

John Safran. Riverhead, $27.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-59463-335-5
Originally published in Australia as Murder in Mississippi in 2013, this stranger-than-fiction true crime story finds Safran—a white, Jewish documentary filmmaker from Australia—relocating to Rankin County, Miss., to dig deep into the grisly stabbing murder of a 67-year-old white supremacist in April 2010. A 23-year-old African-American man named Vincent McGee pleaded guilty in the case, but this was no run-of-the-mill race crime. With allegations swirling of a money-for-sex relationship between the founder of a white nationalist organization and his black neighbor, the lure was too great for Safran (a self-proclaimed “Race Trekkie”) to resist. Armed with his Dictaphone and a thirst for the truth, Safran tracks down and interviews nearly all individuals associated with the case, resulting in wildly opposing accounts of what happened that spring evening. Safran chronicles the twists and turns of the case through his own interactions with key players, coloring the narrative with text messages and Facebook posts that he received at the time. The result is a bizarrely unsettling, yet often witty book that paints a disturbing picture of the deep South today. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014
Release date: 11/28/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-59463-399-7
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