Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep
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 murder 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. Lee spent a year in town reporting on the Maxwell case and many more years trying to finish the book she called The Reverend.