|Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote in Capote (Bennett Miller, 2005)|
The story could be divided in three parts: the previous moments of the killing from the perspective of murderers and victims; the discovery of the assassination, the investigation by the police and the run-away of the killers; and the arrest of both and their trial. The writing style is compelling but dense -it asks the reader for 100% attention due to the complexity of subordinate phrases and introduction of quotes- and the plot itself is intricate because of the multiple timelines (flashbacks included) , points of view (even cats) and the never-ending list of secondary characters who contribute to make the story as real as painful. The portrayal and development of all characters (reminder: real people) are in-depth with the narrator giving every single detail of the past and current situation of them, their physical appearance and personality. Description of time and places are also in-depth.
In Cold Blood is not only a gripping reading about a brutal murder and its manifold consequences but also a thought-provoking depiction of (toxic) masculinity and gender. It’s even a social radiograph: how society rejects non-normative and behaves when tragedy crashes into peaceful lives. You should definitely read it if you are keen on New Journalism works, True Crime genre or just beautifully well written novels. But readers must be previously informed of explicit descriptions, product of vicious but honest Capote’s approach to murder. Even so, its final footnote is the most poetic passage someone will come across for a while.