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

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

In the 1970s of rural Alabama, the Rev. Willie Maxwell bought insurances policies for five of his family members, and he profited enormously when they died under mysterious circumstances. Thanks to Tom Radney, a tenacious local lawyer, Maxwell avoided any charges in the deaths. While attending the funeral of one of his alleged victims, Maxwell was shot by Robert Burns. Ironically, Radney successfully defended Burns, who was acquitted. In this highly engaging and readable book, Casey Cep first profiles Maxwell and then Radney before detailing Harper Lee’s attempt of writing a book about the case, titled “The Reverend.” Cep provides fascinating insights into Lee’s career, highlighting the editing process behind the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, her collaboration with Truman Capote, and the probable reasons behind her inability to complete her own “true crime” book on Maxwell. (Alfred A Knopf)

About the Author

Otto Selles teaches French at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich., and attends Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

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