Furious Hours, The Salt Water Reads May Book Club Pick
"Nearly 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee was living out of the public eye, drinking and suffering from writer’s block. Then she came across the sensational case of a murderous preacher" and her creative spark was reignited. Lee began researching and writing a manuscript titled "The Reverend" after witnessing the trial of Reverend Willie Maxwell, the preacher accused of committing five murders in a quiet, Alabama town. However, her manuscript was never published and it's current whereabouts are unknown.”
Enter Casey Cep. She has spent the last four years researching Lee and her interest in this case, (which she discusses at length in the fascinating article in our bio) and the result is this incredible book. "From the shocking murders to the courtroom drama, to the racial politics of the Deep South", we are so excited to start this true crime debut and we hope you will join us!! Thank you so much to Knopf Publishing for partnering with me and providing a free, advanced copy.
Full Story Synopsis::
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.