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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
by Casey Cep

Published: 2019-05-07
Hardcover : 336 pages
6 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
1 member has read this book
New York Times Best Seller
 
“Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today.” —Southern Living
 
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Introduction

New York Times Best Seller
 
“Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today.” —Southern Living
 
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted—thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.
 
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.

 Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2019: Casey Cep’s Furious Hours is composed of many parts, and any one of those parts would make a good book. Together, they make a great book, describing the elements of a gothic true crime set in the south, and then placing Harper Lee there to cover the trial and write about it. When relatives of the Reverend Willie Maxwell started dying in the 1970s, many locals suspected him of practicing voodoo. The police thought otherwise, noting that Maxwell had taken out life insurance policies on the deceased relatives; still, for years Maxwell managed to evade punishment. Justice eventually caught up with the Reverend when a relative shot him dead at his stepdaughter’s funeral. And that’s where Harper Lee comes in. Lee, who had assisted her friend Truman Capote in researching In Cold Blood, wanted to observe the vigilante’s trial with the idea of writing a book about it. Furious Hours sets one of our most beloved authors in an Alabama courtroom to watch the drama unfold. Then Cep describes the years when Harper Lee reportedly tried to write about the case. This is a story concerned with justice and the truth, but it is also about art, mystery, and our darkest temptations. —Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review

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by Sir Emma Reads-A-Lot (see profile) 06/26/20

 
by ebach (see profile) 08/27/19

Did Casey Cep do in FURIOUS HOURS what Harper Lee could not? You could say that, but Cep doesn’t really. She does more, though .

Lee was Truman Capote‘s assistant when he gathered mater

... (read more)

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