A gut-wrenching true-crime account of a couple on a twisted killing spree in the American South.
Evil has a way of finding itself. How else could you explain the bond between Alvin and Judith Ann Neelley, who consecrated their marriage in blood? Before the killings started, they restricted themselves to simple mischief: prank calls, vandalism, firing guns at strangers' houses. Gradually their ambition grew, until one day at the Riverbend Mall in Rome, Georgia, they spotted Lisa Ann Millican.
Three days after Lisa Ann disappeared, the thirteen-year-old girl was found shot and pumped full of liquid drain cleaner. In between her abduction and her death, she was subjected to innumerable horrors. And she was only the first to die.
Drawing on police records and extensive interviews, Thomas H. Cook recounts the story of Judith Ann Neelley, who at nineteen became the youngest woman ever sentenced to death row
"Strong writing, particularly in the portrait of the South's urban Tobacco Roads, enhances the book's grisly appeal." - Publishers Weekly
"Cook has shown himself to be a writer of poetic gifts, constantly pushing against the presumed limits of crime fiction." - Los Angeles Times Book Review
Thomas H. Cook (b. 1947) is the author of nearly two dozen critically lauded crime novels. Born in Fort Payne, Alabama, Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980 while serving as the book review editor of Atlanta magazine. Two years later, on the release of his second novel, The Orchids, he turned to writing full-time.
Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Frank Clemons trilogy, a series of mysteries starring a jaded cop. He found breakout success with The Chatham School Affair (1996), which won an Edgar Award for best novel. His work has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. Besides mysteries, Cook has written two true-crime books, Early Graves (1992) and the Edgar-nominated Blood Echoes (1993), as well as several literary novels, including Elena (1986). He lives and works in New York City.