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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 At the center of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock who vividly drawn by Capote are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative

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