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Out of Control (St. Martin's True Crime Library) Mass Market Paperback – April 6, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: St. Martin's True Crime Library
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (April 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312990278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312990275
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A Moment Of Madness?
Or A Calculated Crime Of Passion?
Clara and David Harris were married on Valentine's Day. Young and in love, they developed a thriving dental business, built a half-million-dollar mansion, and raised the perfect family. Then whispers of an affair between David and his beautiful secretary drifted through their exclusive Houston social circle. A private detective confirmed the rumors. When Clara saw her husband with his mistress, she climbed behind the wheel of her luxurious car and put an end to their charmed life together-by crushing her husband to death underneath the wheels of her silver Mercedes-Benz.

Clara Harris Had The Perfect Explanation For Police:
"It Was An Accident."
What the headline-making trial ultimately revealed was: a high-profile marriage running on empty, marital infidelity, a woman's deadly passion, and the private hell behind a public life of the rich and privileged.

About the Author

Steven Long literally wrote the book on catastrophic failure in a nursing home. His award winning non-fiction work Death Without Dignity, Texas Monthly Press, 1987, prompted the Austin American-Statesman to call the book the "literary equivalent of the movie Platoon. Frances Humphreys, the national director of the Gray Panthers wrote, "Steven Long presents a horrifying account of conditions that can exist when the profit motive takes precedence over healing and compassionate care." The book won the State Bar of Texas Gavel Award for distinguished journalism. The work is found in the libraries of most medical and nursing schools. However, it is not a dry factual tome. Instead it is true crime writing at its best, reminiscent of the style of the late Tommy Thompson.

For 11 years, he served as editor and publisher of Galveston's In Between Magazine, an award-winning alternative weekly. After closing the publication, he carved out a significant career as a feature writer with the Houston Chronicle producing more than 700 stories in six years. One highlight was his investigative work, which resulted in the indictment, conviction and disbarment of the late Houston adoption lawyer Leslie Thacker for buying and selling crack babies in the Harris County Jail. Another series of investigative stories ultimately resulted in the indictment and conviction of the head librarian of the oldest medical school west of the Mississippi for stealing rare and historic medical texts, some dating to the sixteenth century.

Steven Long covered the Andrea Yates murder case for the New York Post from the scene to conviction. He is covering the ongoing Enron scandal, as well as the Robert Durst murder case. Now under contract with St. Martin's Press, Steve's book on the Clara Harris case will be released in March 2004. He has recently appeared on Inside Edition, the CBS Early Show and Catherine Crier Live on Court TV.

An avid horseman, he is a regular contributor to Western Horseman magazine. Long also serves as editor of Texas Horse Talk. His work has appeared frequently in the Houston Press. Another freelance client is Agence France Presse. He covered the criminal trial of Arthur Andersen LLP from charge to conviction for the French news agency.

Besides his writing career, Steven Long holds a certification in corporate community relations from the Center for Corporate Responsibility at Boston College.

He is a co-founder of the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions, and recently completed three terms on the national board of CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates Association, based in Seattle, WA.

Steven Long lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife Vicki.
 
For more information, check out: www.stevenlongwriter.com

Customer Reviews

Get the book...great read.
divine dee
This book felt like a great fiction read, because in this case truth was even stranger than fiction!
K T Laughbaum
The author focused on some many details that had nothing to do with the story.
Martha

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan on April 29, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book and read it in two days. Although it was clear Clara Harris killed her husband in cold blood, I still had a great deal of sympathy for her. I was positive her attorney would defend her as a temporary insanity case; however, he didn't and I'm not sure why. I can totally understand the rage she had after discovering his mistress; then after he promises to stop seeing his lover and try to make his marriage work, she finds out he was deceiving her once again. Clara Harris worked so hard all her life and it was obvious she was a caring mother and a devoted wife who loved her husband very much -- almost to obsessive levels. For her to do what she did, over and over -- run the car over him again and again, she HAD to have been in some kind of out of control mode and I think they should have taken that into consideration and cut her a break. The Judge was relentless, almost as though she had no sympathy for Clara Harris at all. I realize she is a murderess but I still felt bad for her. Her heart was broken and her jealousy toward her husband's other woman just set her off. I definitely would recommend this book and I promise you will not be bored.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K T Laughbaum on June 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Out of Control details the lengths some people will actually go to. I have always wondered why Clara Harris would do what she did; now I know. Read this book and you will see for yourself what lengths some people will resort to. This book felt like a great fiction read, because in this case truth was even stranger than fiction! If you like interesting, page turning reading, than this is the book for you. Reading it was an amazing experience. All too often, I actually felt like I was there - in the car, getting out of the car, actually seeing and hearing what it felt like to be there with Mr. Harris as he died. The trial coverage was incredible, I felt for all involved. This book made me thankful for the good life I have when I saw how some people live. Have at it and enjoy yourself!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Irish Blood English Heart on July 30, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Though this story made headlines across the country, there was not enough tabloid ink to cover all the truly bizarre details of the case.

The author goes into excrutiating detail to illustrate the moral hypocrisy of the Harris's suburban Texas community. Its affluent deniszens flaunted adherence to the protestant work ethic by indulging in conspicuous consumption, and maintained god-fearing charades by attending frivolous church gatherings. New residents "denomination shopped" by the same critieria used in country club selection -- the choice of methodist vs. baptist was made according to convenience of church location and the social standing of its congregation. Most of the participants in this drama met in their church groups, and their intricate infidelities required a flow chart - in fact one was entered into evidence during the trial.

The author leads us through the horror of the incident itself, then traces back through the eight days prior to the vehicular assault. Empathy for the victim dwindles as he is portrayed as a self-indulgent man-child who humiliates his well-liked, hard-working immigrant wife by having an affair with a sexpot who works in their dental business. He even methodically details for his wife why he prefers his lover to her. Clara Harris thus descends into a desperate, jealous fury culminating in the vehicular assault.

Lest we think Clara Harris is an innocent victim of circumstance, her calculating side is revealed as she schemes to win her husband back, and inexcusably drags his daughter along with her. In turn, she hires an unsavory private detective firm who also have been hired by everyone else involved in the case. The second half of the book is spent detailing the trial.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By whtzin101 on July 3, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A true crime book set in Houston, TX. David and Clara Harris had a life that most Americans can only dream of. They had the huge mansion, fancy cars, advanced education, prosperous business, and seemingly perfect family. David also had a roving eye. When Clara found out about it, all hell broke loose. This is the fact based, true story of how the bottom fell out of their perfect life and what happened to David when Clara went "Out of Control." I enjoyed this book very much. The cast of characters is large, but clearly defined. Each character has something of interest to share, from the private investigators, the "other woman," witnesses to the incident which resulted in David's death, to the dedicated defense attorney who worked even while so sick that he collapsed in court. You'll shake your head in dismay as you read what happened the day that Clara went into a fit of rage, and you will gasp at the events that took place. Was Clara really remorseful? Was she beyond rational behavior when she ran her husband down at the hotel where she caught him with the other woman? Or was Clara just mad as hell? This is a riveting page turner and thought provoking book about life and death in the fast lane.
Gay Springfield
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Honestly Susan on August 31, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Houston stories are hot right now. I'm not sure what's in the water there, but Houston's true stories are making the news. Of course everyone heard about Clara Harris running over her unfaithful husband with her Mercedes. Most wives sympathize with her and her act of rage like they did with Lorraine Bobbitt when she struck at her husband with a butcher knife. This book is an excellent read.
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More About the Author



Steven Long
Steven Long is a triple threat. He is an editor, journalist, and humanitarian most famous for his books on some of the most sensational true crime events in the nation. He has spent more than 2,000 hours in the courtroom, more time than most practicing lawyers spend there in a lifetime. He has covered some of the most important cases of the last two decades. Few can capture the drama of lawyer vs. lawyer quite like him.

Now he takes his immense talent for narrative to the pages of fiction with his new novel Ruby's Passing, a worthy successor to his bestsellers, Death Without Dignity, Out of Control, and Every Woman's Nightmare.

Long began his career in radio but quickly moved to print. For most of 11 years, he served as editor and publisher of Galveston's In Between Magazine, an award-winning alternative weekly famed for its gritty investigative work. His first freelance piece appeared in the respected Texas Observer.

In the 1982 Texas election for governor, Steven Long asked the incumbent, Bill Clements, a question that changed the state's history. "Would you appoint a consumer, for example, a housewife, to the Texas Public Utilities Commission?" The governor blundered and answered, "There isn't a housewife in Texas qualified to serve on the PUC." He lost the election.

After closing In Between, Steven Long carved out a career as a feature writer with the Houston Chronicle. One article resulted in the indictment, conviction and disbarment of the late Houston adoption lawyer Leslie Thacker for buying and selling crack babies in several Texas county jails. Another series of investigative stories ultimately resulted in the indictment and conviction of the head librarian of the oldest medical school west of the Mississippi for stealing rare and historic medical texts, some dating to the sixteenth century. He exposed the Texas prison system's wholesale practice of allowing the use of inmates as subjects for medical residents to hone their skills in cosmetic surgery at a state teaching hospital.

Steven Long covered the Andrea Yates murder case for the New York Post from the scene to conviction. For the same paper, he located rogue CEO Ken Lay who hid for ten days when the Enron scandal broke. He covered the lengthy and complex trial of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for Agence France Presse, as well as Crain's Chicago Business.

An avid horseman, he has been a contributor to Western Horseman magazine. He secured one of the last, if not the final interview with the late actor Tony Curtis for Cowboys and Indians Magazine

Steven Long is currently writing the prequel to Ruby's Passing. It too is set in the storied badlands of Texas' Big Bend country. The working title of the book, set in the 1883 Old West, is Sauceda.

Steven and Vicki Long, a fiction writer, live in Houston, Texas. He serves as Vice President of The Greater Houston Horse Council. The two own Horseback Magazine and Horseback Online, the nation's leading online newspaper covering the equine world.


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