Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote
Page Count/Review Word Count: 354
In Cold Blood is basically a sort of non-fiction novel that tells the story of the Cutter murders, where an entire family was wiped out by a person or persons unknown. Capote sets the scene then starts introducing the evidence and the murderers themselves, culminating in the eventual arrest and trial of the two main suspects. You can read about the case in plenty of other places, but this is notable because it’s written by Truman Capote and because it’s one of the first examples there is of a true crime book.
Of course, it does feel as though a lot of the book is actually fictitious, mainly because of the insane amount of detail that Capote was able to include here. I’ve read both Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Summer Crossing, but it was still a pleasant surprise for me to see a different side of Capote. There’s also a connection to Harper Lee somewhere, because the two authors are friends. I think they talked about the book and then Capote wrote it because Lee said she wasn’t going to. But I may be wrong.
It’s a pretty slow paced read and it took at least eighty pages for me to really get into the book, but it picked up towards the end and I can still recognise that it was beautifully written. I feel as though the problem with the first section was with me as a reader and not Capote as a writer, although I’m also glad that I ended up just reading it 20 pages or so every evening before going to bed. I’d probably recommend doing something similar, because if you try to read it all in one go then it’s going to end up overwhelming you.
Despite that, and despite the slow start, I still can’t help but recommend this one. My advice is to stick with it and to keep sinking your teeth into it a little at a time. If you like crime shows, you’ll like this.