On November 15, 1959, four members of the Clutter family were killed—murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. The crime, committed in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, stunned the residents, who were subsequently paralyzed with fear as detectives and FBI agents combed for clues.
These apparently “motiveless” murders seemed like the perfect crime, since few clues or evidence were left behind. Just a cats-paw boot mark that left tracings in blood and some stolen items from the farmhouse.
This true-life drama opens by spotlighting the normalcy of the victims’ lives, and describes the ordinary moments that marked the last day that they would live.
In Cold Blood is told from the viewpoints of several characters, including the perpetrators, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, whose lives leading up to those moments were characterized by troublesome childhoods and a series of criminal acts, the most recent of which had led to their incarceration. They had met and formed a bond in prison, and upon their parole, they implemented their plan.
This novel, written like a fictionalized tale, leads the reader through the journeys of the perpetrators, the detectives, and then later, to the trail that ended at the moment of arrest.
Certain aspects of the story were very intriguing, but I lost interest before I reached the end. Capote’s style of prose did not grab me, despite the gruesome details that illuminated the horrific events. I wish I could say that it captivated me and held my attention, but the most I can say is that it was informative. As a result, I can only rate this one with three stars.