Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction, was a landmark work of investigative nonfiction. Heralded as “must-read, cannot-put-down history” (New York Times), King delivered a “powerful and well-told drama of Southern injustice” (Chicago Tribune) as he unspooled the saga of the Groveland Four, a group of black men falsely convicted of raping a young white woman in central Florida. Praised Salon: “King recreates an important yet overlooked moment in American history with a chilling, atmospheric narrative that reads more like a Southern Gothic novel than a work of history.”
The long-buried evidence uncovered by Gilbert King was shocking. His revelatory book spurned renewed interest and outrage about the racism, corruption, injustice, and violence endemic to Florida law enforcement and justice systems. At long last, this past spring the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution apologizing to the families of the Groveland Four, and the state moved to expedite the exonerations of the wrongly accused men.
King’s research for Devil in the Grove led him led him further down a trail of corruption, miscarriage of justice, and secrecy in the region, and this spring Riverhead is proud to publish BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN: A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found (April 24, 2018). Rippling with tensions over sex, race, and class, BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN is longform investigative nonfiction at its absolute finest, a gripping true-crime tale that raises themes that haunt us still today: justice perverted by bigotry and the force of white privilege; wrongful incarceration; the power of the free press.
Gilbert King is among a master class of journalists delivering vital work that seeks to expose injustice and to protect and defend the innocent, alongside writers like Rebecca Skloot, Matthew Desmond, Barbara Ehrenreich, and many others. BENEATH A RUTHLESS SUN is set to be a defining and essential publication and we look forward to your prominent coverage this spring.