Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! After finishing the Obama Biden Mystery series by Andrew Shaffer, I was completely out of things to read. So, I decided to finally take Johnny’s advice and read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. He has been telling me for three years to give it a try and after caving, I don’t know why I didn’t listen to him from the start. It. Was. AMAZING!
Without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing what is thought to be one of the best True Crime books after written. Before we begin, however, I will be placing a big fat trigger warning on In Cold Blood for disturbing content and gruesome violence. Now, let’s get to it:
Holcomb, Kansas is a small rural town where everyone knows everyone. People are generous to their neighbors, attend church, and never lock their doors. The Clutter family is at the center of this community and each member is well liked and respected by all. Mr. and Mrs. Clutter and their children, Kenyon and Nancy, live on a beautiful ranching property and spent their final day without even an inkling of what was going to happen next.
On November 15th, 1959, each member of the Clutter family was murdered in their own home. The slaying was brutal and no one could make sense of it. The assailants left behind almost no clues and the inhabitants of Holcomb couldn’t imagine a crime like this unfolding before them. Especially a crime against the Clutters. After the discovery of the murders, everyone began locking their doors at night.
As the crime scene was examined with a fine toothed comb, fresh from prison Perry Smith and Dick Hickock are patting themselves on the back for a job well done. They executed their plan to perfection and left no witnesses or clues. There was nothing tying them to the Clutter killings so there’s no way they will get caught. Now, they were on their way to Mexico to search for work and live the lives that they always dreamed about behind bars.
With seemingly no information for the detectives to work with and the assailants on the move, it is believed that the Clutter’s murderers will never be brought to justice. However, when a huge break in the case happens, Perry and Dick are officially on the radar. Will they get caught before they can hurt anyone else? Read In Cold Blood to find out!
Let me start off by saying that I found the first seventy or so pages of In Cold Blood to be boring as HELL. There were two things that kept me reading, though, and I am glad for it. 1) Johnny’s promise of “things are about to get crazy” and 2) His copy of the book was purchased at Goodwill and there were notes, highlighted, and underlined sections from the previous owner on every page. I thought that this was really cool and liked seeing what someone else was thinking as they read!
When the pace of In Cold Blood picked up, I was completely absorbed in it and always felt disappointed when I had to put it down. This book was INSANE. It went back and forth between Perry, Dick, and the detectives and I never had any idea what was going to happen next. It was a nail biter because of the cat and mouse chase between the parties. I knew that eventually Perry and Dick would be caught but I never knew when or how.
In Cold Blood made me experience a whirlwind of different emotions. I was enraged by the Clutter family tragedy and rooting for justice to be served. I also felt sympathetic to Perry in a sense but not so much for Dick. Truman Capote’s masterful writing was able to invoke so many diverse feelings and it felt like I was a resident of Holcomb too and waiting on pins and needles for the end result. It was a rollarcoaster ride!
Despite a slow start, I am still going to rate In Cold Blood with the highly coveted ten out of ten stars. The story needed to be set up and I see that. Once all of the Dominoes were in place and tumbling down, it kept me invested for days after finishing the book. I can now understand why people call it “the best”!
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah