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A barroom brawl spills into the street. Police officers arrive, the mob scatters, but one man—the only African American in the group—is caught. In his coat pocket: an illegal gun. For the third time in his young life, Herbert Levy is headed to court. But his case isn’t what it seems. Not by a long shot.

Find out what happens to the enigmatic Levy—and a docket of other miscreants—in this rousing legal page-turner by bestselling author Joe McGinniss (“The Selling of the President,” “Fatal Vision,” “Going to Extremes”). The dramatic follow-up to “15 Gothic Street:Primitives,” “The Human Circus” continues the tale of crime and courtroom justice in a small New England town and proves yet again that truth is much, much stranger than fiction.

Joining Herbert Levy in the cast of “Human Circus” characters: Brian Walsh, who tries to blame his fifth drunk-driving offense on carbon monoxide poisoning. Hakam McCoy, accused of kidnapping his girlfriend by merely taking her car keys. And a bevy of colorful lawyers and judges who try to impose order on the real-life criminal sideshows that take place every day in the stately courthouse at 15 Gothic Street.


Over the course of forty years, the late Joe McGinniss wrote dozens of magazine articles and published twelve books, eleven of them nonfiction. In every decade of his unconventional career, one of his books became a classic: “The Selling of the President,” “Going to Extremes,” “Fatal Vision,” and “The Miracle of Castel di Sangro.” He is also the author of “The Dream Team,” “Blind Faith,” “Cruel Doubt,” and “The Last Brother.”


“McGinniss is the Alfred Hitchcock of the true-crime genre, a genre he often transcends.” —The Boston Globe

“McGinniss again shows why he heads the ranks of true-crime authors—delivering a page-burner of shifting suspicions, macabre ironies, and reversals of field too extreme for fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews

“McGinniss writes with the uncensored, sensuous perceptions of a naturalistic novelist.” —Los Angeles Times

“Joe McGinniss just keeps writing stories that transcend the [true crime] genre …” —Chicago Tribune

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