My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Cold Blood was the true story of the brutal cold blooded slaying of a farmer and his family by two men with little motive and no concept of the wrong that they had perpetrated in the United States in the late 1950’s.
The book is split up into segments about the victims, the killers, the hunt for the killers and their subsequent capture, the court case itself and the aftermath of the court case.
The family who are the victims of this awful crime are portrayed as being people who are universally liked by the entire populace of where they live, which makes their demise all the more shocking as they didn’t seem to have an enemy in the world.
We then meet the perpetrators of this terrible crime, two young men who seem to have spent their entire life in trouble in some way or another who are looking for one big score so that they can leave the country and live the life of riley.
The reader knows what they are ultimately going to do and we don’t really get a real idea of actually what actually happened until much later in the book after they are caught and the case goes to trial.
Then you really begin to despise the two young men for what they have done especially when they show no remorse for what they have done, especially when earlier on in the book, before you realised what they had actually done, you couldn’t help but feel a bit of sympathy (for one of them at least, but that might have been the way the person was portrayed in the earlier part of the book rather than anything else).
It is a fascinating read about the judicial system in the United States at the time of the books writing, and also about looking into the mind of a killer and what drives them to do such terrible things.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the section at the end which describes their time in death row and explains how people can spend such a long time on death row before they are finally executed.
In the end the cold bloodedness of what they did, and the way in which it happened, and the reasons behind it, always serves to show that a human being is capable of absolutely anything.
This is a really compelling book not just for the subject matter, but in the way that it is written and this is easily the best true crime story that I have ever read.