Book Review: “In Cold Blood”

Reviewed by Zachary Borey

Truman Capote portrays two ex-cons, Percy and Dick, in his novel In Cold Blood. When they rob and kill the Clutter family in a late 1950’s rural Kansas town, their motive is unknown, for they take only about $40.

The plot starts the night of the murder, November 14, 1959, and reveals the weapons used, a vague summary of the last moments of the Clutter family’s lives, and their great escape. The rest of the novel takes place a month before the murders and describes the Clutter family and their role in Holcomb and Garden City. At the same time, Capote describes both antagonists in a sympathetic manner. He shows their thoughts while in prison and elaborates their plans after release. Each has his own vision of success. Percy wants to uproot treasure in Mexico, and Dick wants to make a quick buck. While in jail, Dick had heard that Mr. Clutter was making a nice living with a copious amount of money in agriculture. Therefore, this is where they decide to go to begin their lives after prison.

In Cold Blood is an interesting mystery because the reader gains a basic understanding of who did the crime just by reading the first chapter. In my opinion, the book starts off slowly and seems to drag. However, it is worth reading as the speed picks up towards the middle of the book. I would rate In Cold Blood a four out of five due to its initial speed as the only real drawback.

A graduating sophomore in Hahnville High School’s gifted program, Zachary Borey has strong interests in running and music. He partakes in Student Council, band, Cross Country, and has been inducted into National Honor Society.

Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.


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