Earlier this year I became obsessed with a show on FX. Maybe you’ve heard of it—it’s called American Crime Story: the People v. O.J. Simpson; just last Sunday it took home nine Emmy awards. The show, which is based off the book Run of His Life by Jeffrey Toobin, dramatizes the trial of NFL star O.J. Simpson for the murder of his wife Nichole Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. I was so enthralled in the show that by the time last episode aired in early April I found myself at a loss, feeling that same type of void you get after finishing a great book .

Luckily in a matter of weeks a review copy of Toobin’s latest book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes, and Trial of Patty Hearst, landed on my desk, and served as a much-needed remedy. The center piece of the book is the story of the 1974 abduction of heiress Patty Hearst in San Francisco by the Symbionese Liberation Army, which has the same qualities of the Simpson story—the notoriety of the case and players in involved. The book cashes in on the sensationalism of the events for sure and that’s what makes it addictive, but its substance and lasting effect comes from the smaller details that fill the narrative.

For example, one of the SLA’s ransom requests was that the Hearst family provide $70 worth of food to all people in California who had “Welfare cards, social security pension cards, disabled veteran cards, parole or probation papers, and jail or bail releases” (which, Toobin points out, is an “insane” request that would “entitle millions of Californians, by no means all poor, to $70 dollars worth of food”). Believe it or not, the family had a go at fulfilling this demand, setting up in a matter of days the People in Need (PIN), an organization responsible for distributing the food. PIN’s volunteer accountant we learn was a woman named Sara Jane Moore—the same Sara Jane Moore who would attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford 19 months later. Similarly Jim Jones of Jonestown infamy makes a short appearance.

The story is filled with these connections and coincidences, the cumulative effect makes for an evocative portrayal of time (1970s) and place (America).