- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted January 18, 2012
The Last Dance of Gus Finley is a fictional account of an actual event. The setting was Friday, April 17, 1885, in Prestonsburg, in the eastern hills of Kentucky. Gus Finley was sentenced to die by hanging. For a year the prisoner had been housed in the local jail. The sheriff resigned because he didn’t want this man to die on his watch. The jailer allowed many opportunities for Gus to escape, but he never once made an attempt. Gus admitted to the murder and felt he had to be punished, but he was afraid of death. Sightseers came from all around to see the man hanged. The shopkeepers were eager because it meant revenue for them.
Frank, John, and Lee traveled from Greasy Creek to see the hanging. Along the way they began to put the pieces of the event together through the rumors of other sightseers they met along the way.
Gus and a bunch of his friends were drunk when he got in a fight with John Degley. John got the best of Gus. Staggering, barely able to see what he was aiming at, Gus pulled his revolver and shot 17-year-old Jimmy Hunt. He’d never meant to kill Jimmy; it was a drunken accident. The State’s Attorney knew what a conviction would do for his political career.
The deputy assigned to hang Gus did not know what he was doing, so it was not a quick death. Gus Finley was the last man hanged in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.
The Last Dance of Gus Finley is well written. The author brings a bit of history alive in the retelling of the hanging of a man that should not have been hanged. The characters were so real. The professor was a real twist. The cover is well done. The quality of the paper is good. I enjoyed this book.