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

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Review

The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.

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 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.

Title:Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
Edition Language:English

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    Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee Reviews

  • Maureen

    Divided into three parts, Furious Hours tells the true story of Alabama serial killer the Reverend Willie Maxwell. In the 1970’s he was accused of murdering five family members in order to collect t...

  • Diane S ?

    She wrote one book, a book that defined a time period. A book that made her wealthy, but took away the privacy she cherished. She became recognizable everywhere, and though writing was her passion, th...

  • Peter

    AccursedFurious Hours is a truly engrossing documentary style book, which brings three enthralling stories together around a series of events involving a serial killer. Each part focuses on the perspe...

  • Carolyn

    Casey Cep has written a fascinating account about Harper Lee's obsession with writing a true crime novel about the Reverend Willie Maxwell, who murdered five family members in Alabama for the insuranc...

  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    4.5 starsI was fascinated with the character of Scout Finch in Harper Lee's masterpiece To Kill A Mockingbird when I was a kid.  When I re-read the novel for my high school lit class, I was in awe o...

  • Lou

    I must start by saying that Furious Hours is probably the best true crime work I have had the pleasure of reading; it has so much more to it than one would initially imagine and that's what makes it s...

  • Kathleen

    Harper Lee was intrigued with the true-crime story of the Reverend Willie Maxwell. She did an amazing amount of research, and then floundered when she tried to write a tale that would appeal to her ma...

  • Louise Wilson

    The story of an Alabama serial killer and the true - crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the rears after To Kill A Mocking Bird.The Reverend Willie Maxwell is a preacher who's been acc...

  • Susan

    Seventeen years since the publication of, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee lat in a courtroom in Alabama. She was planning to write a true crime book about the case she was watching, but that b...

  • Jill Meyer

    "Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee", by Casey Cep, is my favorite type of book. It's a work of non-fiction that reads like fiction. It's a bit of a strange book - Cep writ...