Book Review: We Were Killers Once

I read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote in my sophomore English class. I found the book to be a combination of horrifying actions and descriptive detail that occasionally still flit through my mind and the rest to be a very interesting story on true events at that time.

The book begins with Jerry Beaufort just getting out of prison after doing about 30 years for dealing drugs. He was supposed to be sentenced to life as it was his third strike but his sentence was commuted since he was a nonviolent offender. Or so they thought. Jerry is in fact guilty of so much more than dealing drugs and it takes the reader to the very ending of the book to discover his part in the historic crimes. Part of the book is written in the first perspective of a former FBI agent who married a former priest. She really has no involvement with Jerry at all and couldn’t imagine that her husband would. What I didn’t like was that her side of the story was written in first person. Obviously she’ll live to tell the story till the end. That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine in a mystery thriller.

Becky Masterman wrote We Were Killers Once as a historical fiction drawing facts from In Cold Blood and the police reports regarding the murders. Her book is like a spin-off of the one by Capote with more detailed events that were merely mentioned by Capote. She took much of what was already told and elaborated further into the possibility of there being more to the historical crime than was admitted and discovered. I love that even though her book is fiction it matches up to the actual events enough to be true.

I rate the book a 5 out of 5.

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