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Scoundrel
$37.00

Scoundrel

A CBC Books Work of Canadian Nonfiction to Watch For in Spring 2022
An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Biographies and Memoirs
A Los Angeles Times Book to Add to Your Reading List in February
A Seattle Times Most Anticipated Book of 2022

A Vanity Fair New Book to Read this Month

A Publishers Weekly’s Top Spring 2022 History Title
A Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2022
A The Millions Most Anticipated Book of 2022
A Town & Country Must-Read Book of Winter 2022
A Bustle Most Anticipated Book of February 2022
A The Lineup True Crime Book to Be Excited About in 2022
A Bookpage Most Anticipated Nonfiction
A Bookriot 22 Great Books to Read in 2022
A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2022

 
A true-crime masterpiece, this is a story of wrongful exoneration about killer Edgar Smith and the prominent crusaders who fell prey to his charm.

Having spent almost half his lifetime in California's state penitentiary system, convicted killer Edgar Smith died in obscurity in 2017 at the age of eighty-three—a miracle, really, as he was meant to be executed nearly six decades earlier. Tried and convicted in the state of New Jersey for the 1957 murder of fifteen-year-old Victoria Zielinski, Smith was once the most famous convict in America.
    Scoundrel tells the true, almost-too-bizarre story of a man saved from Death Row by way of an unlikely friendship—developed in nearly 2000 pages of prison correspondence—with National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr., one of the most famous figures in the neo-conservative movement. Buckley wrote articles, fundraised and hired lawyers to fight for a new trial, eventually enlisting the help of Sophie Wilkins, a book editor with whom Smith would have a torrid epistolary affair. As a result of these friends' advocacy, Smith not only gained his freedom, he vaulted to the highest intellectual echelons as a bestselling author, an expert on prison reform, and a minor celebrity—only to fall, spectacularly, back to earth, when his murderous impulses once more prevailed.
     Weinman's Scoundrel is a gripping investigation into a case where crime and culture intersect, where recent memory begins to slide into history and where the darkest of violent impulses meet literary ambition, human ego and hunger for fame.
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