“Imagination of course can open any door, turn the key and let terror walk right in.”
-Truman Capote, author
The author, Truman Capote, paints a vivid picture of the scene, the times, and the people involved as he develops this story leaving the listener with just the beginning sense of foreboding as the book opens. He exercises his writer’s skills to bring a beautiful, almost fluid descriptive text of the good and bad in people.
Various people in the community had possible motivation for committing this crime – grudge holders, disgruntled employees, daughter’s boyfriend, collecting Mr. Clutter’s life insurance. Outsiders with a robbery motive were low on the list. You listen with rapt attention as the three story lines – the killers, the family, towns people – converge to the ultimate climax of this story.
How were the Clutter’s singled out by Dick Hickock and Perry Smith as their murder victims? How did the KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) finally break this case? You’ll have to listen to nearly the end to find out! It’s unexpected, sad, and just a matter of unhappy chance for all concerned.
The reader, Scott Brick, keeps your attention riveted throughout this story. His vocal skills really add to the great storytelling of the author, Truman Capote. Together they take you to Holcomb, Kansas in the late 1950’s when people felt safe in their homes and strangers were friends you hadn’t met yet.
This audio book would be great as a travel companion this holiday season. The miles will fly by as you listen intently to Truman Capote’s version of the Clutter murders and subsequent clever arrest of Perry Smith/Dick Hickock. The author captures the mindset of the times – the feeling of security because you don’t live in the dangerous big city where vicious crime is common. He aptly relates the change in people’s attitude subsequent to the publicizing of the Clutter family’s murder.
This book is refreshing in that it occurs prior to DNA testing and modern forensic detecting techniques. The KBI just had a photo of boot sole patterns in the dust within the home/crime scene as their only clue. It’s considered to be a true crime novel, becoming the first in this genre. The author was able to interview townspeople and Perry Smith after his capture and conviction to delve deeper into the motivation and later reaction of those involved.