Reverend Willie Maxwell was never found guilty but most of the people in his home town were certain he murdered five family members. He took out insurance on all of them shortly before their mysterious deaths and collected thousand of dollars soon after they died. Tom Radney is the lawyer who got Maxwell off each time, but after the Reverend’s death, wanted the world to know Maxwell had murdered all five relatives. Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, after years of publishing nothing, wanted to tell the story of Willie Maxwell and the attorney who defended him.
In some ways Furious Hours is three separate books-Maxwell’s story, Radney’s and Harper Lee’s. While Cep is a descriptive writer, she never took enough time bringing all of their experiences together. My guess is she really didn’t have enough information to do that. Also, I expected and wanted Furious Hours to be more of a true crime story than a biography of Harper Lee.