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Publisher's Summary

Two families, mysteriously murdered under similar circumstances, just a month apart. One was memorialized in Truman Capote's classic novel, In Cold Blood. The other was all but forgotten.

Dick Hickock and Perry Smith confessed to the first: the November 15, 1959 murder of a family of four in Holcomb, Kansas. Despite remarkable coincidences between the two crimes, they denied committing the second: the December 19 murder of a family of four in Osprey, Florida.

Over half a century later, a determined Florida detective undertakes exceptional efforts to try to bring closure to the long-cold case.

©2016 RJ Parker Publishing (P)2016 RJ Parker Publishing

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

So much lost potential here

Obviously the lost potential of the people who were murdered..... (that should not be a spoiler)

This COULD HAVE BEEN a better book. Perhaps someone else will do the deep dive on this crime at some point. I honestly thought the reader was a computer generated voice. Which is a TERRIBLE way to treat such a subject matter. This needs someone with empathy, with sympathy. Someone who can convey through tone and inflection the horror of what happened. Instead we get the emotion of the recitation of a grocery list.

Get the Kindle book, skip the audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Worst reader not the best writing...interesting subject

Thank goodness this book was short or I never would have put up with the reader. Weird pauses and a breathiness that annoyed.

The writing.....I am picky and thought some word choices were questionable: over and over “semen on the back of Christine’s panties” better....DNA collected at the site. Yea...picky.

I listened to the whole thing and enjoyed it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Raises more questions than it answers

As a long-time scholar of Truman Capote's famous true-crime novel In Cold Blood, I eagerly began reading this book, which teases out a scene described almost in passing to in Capote's account. As Dick Hickock and Perry Smith were reportedly in Southern Florida for a week during December 1959, could they have committed the murders of a family of four near Sarasota that month? Although I had read news accounts of the 2012 exhumation of Hickock's and Smith's bodies for the collection of DNA evidence (evidence which did not conclusively tie them to the Florida case), I was unaware of the very interesting similarities between the Clutter and Walker cases. Laying out these parallels is the best part of Hunter and Parker's effort, although the narrative lacks the scrupulousness, with regard to the documentation of facts, for which Capote's book is famous. For example, one point late in the discussion concerns a Miami Herald news article about the Walker murders that Capote says Smith read and discussed with Hickock (who reacts with amusement but does not speak). The authors' description of their discovery that the article likely was not published when Capote says it was (if at all) evolves into a discussion of the factuality of Capote's book, when it needed to go in the direction of more detail concerning the authors' investigation of this fact.This example, like many others, raises intriguing possibilities but lacks depth. In the epilogue, Hunter and Parker advance the theory that Capote's knowledge of the Florida crimes might have come not from the media but from Smith or Hickock himself; the authors further speculate that, had he heard these revelations, Capote might have had motive (anticipating Hickock and Smith's executions as providing closure to his story) not to reveal them to investigators. (Capote's angst over not being able to finish his narrative as Hickock's and Smith's appeals were exhausted is well-told in Gerald Clarke's famous biography of the author.) This theorizing concerning whether Hickock or Smith revealed to Truman Capote any involvement in the Florida case is fascinating, but, absent more evidence, it is speculation at best, and the book just ends on that note. With the passage of nearly 60 years since these crimes occurred, it appears unlikely that the Florida case will ever be solved, despite the good work of the detective who brought about the exhumation and DNA testing.

The narrator of this book is the least successful reader of any Audible book I have heard during a long membership. He pauses is very unfortunate places, in mid-phrase or between a preposition and its object, for example, as well as mispronouncing words ("opined"). It is as though he had never read the book prior to narrating it. Except for readers undertaking road trips, I would recommend a print edition instead.