Tales of Secrecy & Obsession

David Grann

We spend the hour with journalist David Grann, talking about his latest book THE DEVIL AND SHERLOCK HOLMES: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession and his first book, THE LOST CITY OF Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.

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“Life is infinitely stranger than anything man could invent”, Sherlock Holmes once said. The strangeness of life is at the heart of journalist David Grann’s new book THE DEVIL AND SHERLOCK HOLMES: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession. It’s a collection of 12 true stories. In them, Grann unlocks the mystery behind the murder of a Sherlock Holmes expert, goes with sandhogs into the depths under New York City’s streets to warn about a terrifying threat to the city’s water supply; he reports on the infiltration of the Aryan Brotherhood into the U.S. prison system. And he recounts the strange fate of Toto Constant, a leader of the Haitian death squads — and a man called “the devil” by Haitian refugees.

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He’s previously written for the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, among others.

We also hear part of our 2009 interview with David Grann about his last book, THE LOST CITY OF Z . It’s being made into a movie starring Brad Pitt as Percy Fawcett, the explorer who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925, looking for the ruins of a lost civilization in the heart of the Amazon jungle.

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About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.

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