About the Book
“Furious Hours” is the stunning story of a serial killer and the book Harper Lee failed to publish about his crimes.
Part true crime narrative, part biography, “Furious Hours” documents the remarkable story of the 1970s-era Alabama serial killer Willie Maxwell, and Harper Lee’s attempt to write a book about his crimes, the justice system and racial politics in the deep South. Cep first tells the story of Maxwell, the mysterious deaths of several family members, accusations of voodoo and his dramatic murder at the funeral of his final alleged victim. Cep next dives deeply into the trial of Maxwell’s killer (which Harper Lee attended), Alabama politics and the insanity defense. Finally, Cep creates a portrait of a frustrated Lee, trying — and failing — to get to the truth behind the murders onto the page. The result is an extensively researched and immersive work of nonfiction. Read More
Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s One Read book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.
Final 10 Selections
A Children’s Bible
The Color of Law
Furious Hours (Winner)
The Great Pretender
The Nickel Boys
The Resisters (Runner-up)
Other Suggested Titles
Voting for the 2021 One Read book is now closed. We appreciate everyone who cast a vote for either either “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee” by Casey Cep or “The Resisters” by Gish Jen.
We will announce the winning book on May 18 here at oneread.org.
In the meantime, read more about the two finalists.
The One Read reading panel narrowed the list of more than 230 book suggestions for the 2021 program to two top contenders. Between now and April 24, cast your vote for either “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee” by Casey Cep or “The Resisters” by Gish Jen. Read More
Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2021 One Read book! Voting will take place April 5-24 in-person at all of our library locations and online here at oneread.org.