In Cold Blood


In Cold Blood is the fictionalized account of a real 1959 quadruple murder in small-town Kansas.  Beginning with a description of the the victims' last day, Capote introduces readers to the farming community of Holcomb and its large cast of characters.  After an account of the murder scene, the narrative divides, following both the ongoing investigation in Holcomb and the journey of two violent men who flee the small town for refuge elsewhere.   Throughout the book, Capote balances the suspense of the investigation with empathy for all involved parties including the murderers.

“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there.’ . . .  The land is flat, the views are awesomely extensive; horses, herds of cattle, a white cluster of grain elevators rising as gracefully as Greek temples are visible long before a traveler reaches them.”

Truman Capote (1924-1984) was an American novelist, journalist, playwright, and screenwriter.  His works include Breakfast at Tiffany's; In Cold Blood; and Other Voices, Other Rooms.

Published:  1966
Length:  343 pages
Set in:  Holcomb, Kansas, United States