In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
In 1959, four members of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas were brutally murdered in their country farmhouse. The killers left almost no clues, and the savage nature of the crime terrified the community for six weeks as investigators searched for the men responsible. The news gripped the nation at the time, and a nationwide search for the killers was conducted.
Truman Capote traveled to Holcomb to research the murders and interview community members, investigators, and the murderers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. He compiled thousands of pages of notes and eventually wrote what is considered by many to be the first true crime novel. Capote explores the background and relationships of the family, as well as the killers. He tracks their movements after the murders, in the weeks before they were captured, as well as their experiences awaiting trial and on death row.
Both Smith and Perry were executed in 1965, and are also suspected of the murder of another family that occurred in Florida while the men were on the run.
In Cold Blood is well researched and well written; the book flows well as Capote weaves together the stories of the family and their murderers. Of course, Capote did have his detractors; those who said that even though he described the book as non-fiction, quotes and entire scenes were fictional. I understand the criticism, but in my opinion, it doesn’t really take away from the story to know that some of it might have been created.
I listened to the audio book version; bonus that it was read by one of my favorite readers, Scott Brick!