Most of the time, we never really get to see a murder with the perspective of the murderer in mind. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, allows us to do just that by telling the tragic true story of the murder of a family in Kansas by Perry Edward Smith and Richard Hickock, as well as the subsequent aftermath. The Clutter family was comprised of the well-liked Mr. Clutter, depressed Mrs. Clutter, outgoing Nancy Clutter, and intelligent Kenyon Clutter. After the family was shot and found, the leader of the investigation, Al Dewey, begins his fervent search to find the culprits of this heinous act. Meanwhile, Perry and Richard continue in their journey through life, for they left behind few clues that would give them away as the murderers. As the novel progresses, readers explore more about the two characters and their behavior after their crimes.
Although I have never been a fan of murder mysteries, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed Capote’s take on this gruesome event. Many are quick to assume that murderers deserve no mercy whatsoever, or that they only committed crimes for unthinkable reasons. However, by examining the behavior and histories of these two characters, readers are better able to understand why they made the decisions they did, as their actions and mentality stemmed from varying biological and environmental factors. The writing is compelling, and the fact that it is a true story makes it both mysterious and revealing at the same time. I highly recommend this book to those who are fans of mystery stories, but I would be cautious if you do not like violent scenes.
Age rating: 15+
Star rating: 5 stars