Edgar Award Finalist: A true-crime account of a vicious massacre and the legal battles that followed. It was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a fifteen-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of Thomas H. Cook’s retelling of this gruesome story; the horrors continued in the courtroom. Based on court documents, police records, and interviews with the surviving family members, this is a chilling look at the evil that can lurk just around the corner. “With this scorching indictment of the legal and court systems, Cook shows how justice was not done in the case of the 1973 Alday mass murder, perhaps the most famous crime in Georgia history.” —Publishers Weekly “Cook’s narrative . . . is vivid.” —Library Journal “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.