Published on

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil



"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is an enthralling narrative that transports readers to the atmospheric heart of Savannah, Georgia. Berendt masterfully intertwines the charm and mystique of the city with a gripping true crime story. The book centers around the shooting of Danny Hansford, a local male prostitute, by respected antiques dealer Jim Williams. This incident serves as the focal point around which the eccentric lives of Savannah's inhabitants unfold.

Berendt, who lived in Savannah during the events, provides a vivid account of the trial of Jim Williams, exploring themes of justice, influence, and the blurred lines between good and evil. He introduces a cast of unforgettable characters, from the sultry Chablis to the voodoo priestess Minerva, who enrich the narrative with their unique contributions to Savannah's social tapestry.

The book's charm lies not just in the murder mystery, but in its exploration of Savannah itself—a character in its own right. Berendt captures the city's architectural beauty, its haunting graveyards, and its sultry social scene, painting a picture so vivid that the reader feels transported to the oak-lined streets of this Southern belle.


  • Good vs. Evil: The narrative delves into the moral complexities of its characters and the events that unfold, challenging readers to consider the nature of guilt and innocence.
  • Justice: The trial of Jim Williams highlights the intricacies of the legal system and the influence of social standing on judicial outcomes.
  • Social and Cultural Tapestry: Through its rich portrayal of Savannah and its residents, the book explores themes of tradition, change, and the diversity of American life.


Critically acclaimed and a fixture on The New York Times bestseller list, this book has captivated readers with its blend of meticulous journalism and storytelling flair. It has also been adapted into a film, further cementing its place in American cultural history.

"Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" remains a fascinating exploration of a city and its complexities, a true crime story that transcends the genre to offer a snapshot of Southern life and the universal themes of humanity.