Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

RATING: StarStarStar

Genre: Non Fiction > True Crime

On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.


How will I rate a non-fiction book?… When I’ve always rated a book based on how I enjoyed the story. In Cold Blood is not an imaginative tale, but a grisly true account of a senseless murder of a family living a simple farm life. So, tell me. How do I rate this?!!!

I didn’t like how the layers of stories were told in Part I. I felt I was being led into a wild goose chase (from one character to another) when all Capote wanted to tell me was how the Clutters lived for the last day of their lives. I was like, just get to the point, please.

But when I reached Part II, my reading was smooth sailing already. It fascinated me how the killers have other facets of their lives other than being the murderers of the Clutter family. Capote keenly captured my interest. I was mesmerized with the storytelling.

I only wanted to know the reason behind the murders, I really do. The killers’ psyche was what I wanted to delve on, and I got that. Only… the reason why Dick & Perry killed the Clutters was simple and shallow that it deflated my interest a bit. Still, people kill for less obvious reasons, right? Oh, well.

So… 3 stars? 4?

To say the story was not impressive is harsh (since this is non-fiction). Because Capote gave life to a story that could have been another senseless crime. The portrayal of the killers was distinctive but there was a point where I thought Dick & Perry were being glorified…?

I love crime stories. Add to that the ugly reality of In Cold Blood since it happened in real life, I was hooked. Between Dick & Perry, the latter is more dangerous for me. Perry was the one I’m a little scared of. His indifference in taking a life gave me the creeps.

In Cold Blood is a must read for crime fiction fanatics, if only to discourage us, even for a while, that senseless deaths do happened in real life. It can touch us with a single thought of greed and malice.

I think I will settle with a 3.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

  1. I just bought this book. It is on my reading list. I can’t believe I haven’t read it yet considering it is a classic. I will let you know what I think after I read it.

Hello! Lemme know what you think :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s