In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote

This book was a great read, however, I did find it slightly lacking at the latter stages.


In Cold Blood is considered the first proper true crime book. It describes the life and brutal murder of the Clutter family from Holcomb and is masterfully constructed through the use of witness statements, interrogations and interviews with the killers. Capote has created a very readable and harrowing book about these killings.


One of the things I enjoyed most was how Capote managed to breathe life into these characters, making them vivid and engaging. The author filled in the blanks, making it have a sweeping narrative that read like fiction.


Another thing I really liked was how viewpoints constantly shifted. For example, at the beginning there were segments concerning the residents of the town of Holcomb and the Clutter’s, moving then to that of the killers. This devise meant it never got stale or suffered from overexposure to a certain viewpoint.


I loved the first half, the time before the killers were caught, but found myself skimming a bit towards the end. I think this was probably my fault as I felt the tension was over and then failed to fully appreciate the later aspects, such as the trial etc. I have a bit of a hard time with non-fiction because I find it hard to identify and form attachments to the characters and obviously here that wasn’t likely for the most part, being largely told from the killer’s point of view!


I flitted between the hard-copy and the audio version, narrated by Scott Brick. It was an excellent narration, so if you like audio books, that’s a good option.


A fairly easy, if not harrowing read, it's a book that well deserves its status as a true crime classic. It just may not have the same emotional punch in today’s world as it once did.