Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8? Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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“A deeply reported, and disturbing, true crime story that is as puzzling as it is intriguing. Ethan Brown’s Murder in the Bayou raises as many questions as it answers, but never ceases to enrage. This is a book about power: those who wield it, and those who, tragically, fall victim to it.”—Janet Reitman, contributing editor at Rolling Stone and author of the New York Times Notable Book Inside Scientology
"By way of Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, Ethan Brown casts light on an America that many people would prefer to believe is not there. Murder in the Bayou reveals a complicated web of violence, poverty, drugs, and corruption--it's a brave feat of reporting."--Zachary Lazar, author of Evening's Empire: The Story of My Father's Murder
"Ethan Brown wades into the fetid political swamps of south Louisiana and emerges with a sordid yarn of sex, drugs and death. With a depraved and threatening cast of characters, Brown delivers a dogged, courageous inquiry into the murders of eight women. Even those accustomed to institutional corruption in the Pelican State will be shocked by this tale."—Doug J. Swanson, author of Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker
"Brown's writing is clear and approachable, and his research is meticulous...readers will be shaken by the unpleasant implications of a narrative bearing similarities to the first season of True Detective. Compulsively readable true crime provoking questions about policing, poverty, and the ritualized brutality of the rural South."--Kirkus Reviews
“Investigating what appeared to be a string of unsolved sex-murders that began in 2005, journalist Ethan Brown eventually uncovered a snakepit of small-town corruption in the bayou parish of Jefferson Davis, Louisiana. With its large cast of lost, doomed, and sinister characters, its dense atmosphere of menace and dread, and, at its center, a dogged reporter pursuing a mystery with the fearlessness of a pulp-fiction private eye, Brown’s Murder in the Bayou is a stunning work of real-life Southern noir.”--Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files
"Far truer than True Detective . . . part murder case, part corruption expose, and part Louisiana noir."--Boris Kachka, NYMag.com
"The depths of the corruption detailed in the book by Brown...will make your head spin for days after you finish reading it."--Uproxx
"[A] page-turning account...filled with vivid characters...startling and haunting."--Gambit Weekly
"Doggedly researched and sensitively observed."--Gothamist
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1476793255
- ISBN-13 : 978-1476793252
- Dimensions : 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Scribner; American First edition (September 13, 2016)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #619,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The author does speculate somewhat, and he does rely on anonymous witnesses. Normally I find that to be somewhat off-putting in a true crime book, but he seems to have a very healthy skepticism and corroborates where possible.
I've read other reviews of this book where the reviewers are frustrated by the author's very brief mention of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, calling it irrelevant or saying its inclusion is a political statement. For starters, it is mentioned almost in passing in the body of the book, and given an acknowledgment in the afterword. Second, the book is about the eight women who died, yes, but it is really about the gross negligence, incompetence, and outright corruption within the Jennings (and surrounding area) law enforcement community that has prevented the murders from being solved. The DoJ found that Ferguson was plagued with similar problems, and the issues associated with getting justice in a community where the police are operating virtually unchecked are the same.
I am only giving the book 4 stars because after awhile, I found it very difficult to follow the cast of characters and their deeply interwoven lives. The beginning of the book does have a summary of who each person is, and I recommend bookmarking that, because you will need to reference it often.