This non-fiction crime novel will keep you on the edge of your seat as you follow the true account of a planned robbery turned into murder in the book In Cold Blood. It is told by Truman Capote, which you may recognize as the author of his most widely-known fiction novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The novel starts in a third person point of view as it describes the Clutter’s on a typical day in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas. Afterwards the four members of the Clutter family consisting of father Herb Clutter (48), wife Bonnie Clutter (45), daughter Nancy Clutter (16) and son Kenyon Clutter (15) are found by a friend of Nancy’s shot to death in their countryside home.
Although the book describes the condition of the victims after the savage murder, it purposefully leaves out exactly what happens in the house that night. It does include the details that they were killed at close range by shotgun after being bound and gagged, but the police leave the motive unclear. The only thing stolen was a couple of dollars from a rummaged through purse as Mr. Clutter is known for never carrying cash. The telephone lines had been cut making the crime seem more of a plan then a quick theft gone wrong.
The rest of the book jumps between the investigation taken by the Holcomb Police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation with the main investigator being Alvin Adams Dewey, and the two criminals post-murder Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.
Throughout of the novel Capote plays with the different themes of justice as well as the destiny of events. He uses an interesting sense of characterization that makes the reader almost sympathize for the killers, especially Perry. In Cold Blood is a gripping novel told in extreme detail and reflects on violence in America. I would recommend this book for most audiences because it’s a classic nonfiction work that will keep you interested throughout as new information lurks behind every chapter of the novel. I would not recommend for people you have a light stomach and do not like murder stories.