Furious Hours

Furious Hours


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.

As Alabama is consumed by these gripping events, it’s not long until news of the case reaches Alabama’s – and America’s – most famous writer. Intrigued by the story, Harper Lee makes a journey back to her home state to witness the Reverend’s killer face trial. Harper had the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research. Lee spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more years trying to finish the book she called The Reverend.

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.

This is the story Harper Lee wanted to write. This is the story of why she couldn’t.

Our Review

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird and I really wanted to love this story about Harper Lee but I just couldn't get into it. 

I liked parts of the book when I read it but I felt like the story went of on a tangeant at times and never found it's way back again. For example, when the author described how the town came to be founded. I felt this was something I really didn't need to know. 

When I heard about Furious Hours I though the crime itself sounded like something worth reading about - a rural preacher accused of murdering five family members only to be shot down himself at one of their funerals. Then if you added in Harper Lee's obsession with the case that sounded like an even more promising story. For me though the execution was lacking. 


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 2.5/5

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