David Grann writes about real people whose stories are almost too weird to be true. His first book, The Lost City of Z, was an absurdly compelling best-seller (and early VSL pick); Brad Pitt’s production company optioned it while the ink was still wet. But the follow-up, The Devil & Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession (just out in paperback), is just as hard to put down.
You’ll meet a French con artist who passes himself off as a missing American teenager; a Sherlock Holmes fanatic the circumstances of whose death resemble nothing so much as an Arthur Conan Doyle story; and a marine biologist whose life becomes an Ahab-like quest for the elusive giant squid. There are a dozen such stories: Most appeared in The New Yorker, where Grann is a staff writer, and all of them are nail-biters.
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