“A brisk, captivating and expertly crafted reconstruction of a community living through a time of fear.... Masterful.” —Washington Post
The arsons started on a cold November midnight and didn’t stop for months. Night after night, the people of Accomack County waited to see which building would burn down next, regarding each other at first with compassion, and later suspicion. Vigilante groups sprang up, patrolling the rural Virginia coast with cameras and camouflage. Volunteer firefighters slept at their stations. The arsonist seemed to target abandoned buildings, but local police were stretched too thin to surveil them all. Accomack was desolate—there were hundreds of abandoned buildings. And by the dozen they were burning.
“One of the year’s best and most unusual true-crime books” (Christian Science Monitor), American Fire brings to vivid life the reeling county of Accomack. “Ace reporter” (Entertainment Weekly) Monica Hesse spent years investigating the story, emerging with breathtaking portraits of the arsonists—troubled addict Charlie Smith and his girlfriend, Tonya Bundick. Tracing the shift in their relationship from true love to crime spree, Hesse also conjures the once-thriving coastal community, decimated by a punishing economy and increasingly suspicious of their neighbors as the culprits remained at large. Weaving the story into the history of arson in the United States, the critically acclaimed American Fire re-creates the anguished nights this quiet county lit up in flames, evoking a microcosm of rural America—a land half-gutted before the fires began.
Monica Hesse is a feature writer for the Washington Post. Winner of the Edgar Award and a finalist for a Livingston and James Beard Award, she is also the author of Girl in the Blue Coat. She lives in Washington, DC.
Thron’s story gives a gripping picture of what it means to protect, serve, and defend among the ranks of New York's finest in the midst of deep-seated police corruption.
Charlie Kray was the only person who knew the truth behind the terrifying violence of his notorious twin brothers, Ronnie and Reggie.
In his dying days, reflecting on how the Kray name destroyed his life, Charlie reveals what he really thought about the twins - and why they treated him so badly.
Today, 40 years after the arrests that ended their so-called reign of terror, the power the Krays wielded is part of criminal folklore - and the fascination with them lives on.
Charlie knew them better than anyone - from the extortion racket that provided riches beyond their dreams and the sexual liaison that took them into the corridors of power to the murderous mayhem the twins embarked on as they came to see themselves as beyond the law.
In this fully updated edition of his best-selling autobiography, Charlie Kray reveals a side of Ronnie and Reggie that not even their closest henchmen ever saw.
The daring movie revolutionized Hollywood—now the true story of Bonnie and Clyde is told in the lovers' own voices, with verisimilitude and drama to match Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
Strictly nonfiction—no dialogue or other material has been made up—and set in the dirt-poor Texas landscape that spawned the star-crossed outlaws, Paul Schneider's brilliantly researched and dramatically crafted tale begins with a daring jailbreak and ends with an ambush and shoot-out that consigns their bullet-riddled bodies to the crumpled front seat of a hopped-up getaway car.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow's relationship was, at the core, a toxic combination of infatuation blended with an instinct for going too far too fast. The poetry-writing petite Bonnie and her gun-crazy lover drove lawmen wild. Despite their best efforts the duo kept up their exploits, slipping the noose every single, damned time. That is until the weight of their infamy in four states caught up with them in the famous ambush that literally blasted away their years of live-action rampage in seconds. Without glamorizing the killers or vilifying the cops, the book, alive with action and high-level entertainment, provides a complete picture of America's most famous outlaw couple and the culture that created them.