Friday, July 10, 2009

Catherine Crier's five top crime books

Catherine Crier is a former district court judge turned television personality. She is also the author of several non-fiction books, including A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation.

A few years ago she named her five top crime books for the Wall Street Journal.

One title on the list:
"In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote (Random House, 1966).

In this riveting story of the murder of five members of a Kansas farm family in 1959, Capote dissects more than the horrific, seemingly senseless crime. He famously got to know the murderers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, and sustained his relationship with them right up to the moment a rope carried them to their deaths. The title tells us as much about the author as the convicts: Capote demonstrates an almost bloodthirsty need to gain the confidences of the people involved and a willingness to betray their trust in his quest for the story. With a Poe-like twist, the telling of this murderous tale took its toll on Capote, who was never quite the same after it was published.
Read about another crime book on Crier's list.

In Cold Blood also appears on Ann Rule's five best list of true-crime books and Bryan Burrough's six best books list. Kansas' first poet laureate Jonathan Holden's chose In Cold Blood for The Great Kansas novel.

--Marshal Zeringue