We were killers once

Becky Masterman

Book - 2019

In 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confe...ssion, explaining everything? Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo's days as a prison chaplain--a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo's old things--has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he'd like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he'll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.

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Series
Masterman, Becky. Brigid Quinn series.
Subjects
Genres
Thrillers (Fiction)
Detective and mystery fiction
Suspense fiction
Mystery fiction
Published
New York : Minotaur Books 2019.
Edition
First Edition
Language
English
Physical Description
310 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9781250074522
1250074525
Main Author
Becky Masterman (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

The fourth entry in the Brigid Quinn series explores the enticing possibility that the two murderers portrayed in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood may have been accompanied by a third murderer and that the trio went from killing the Clutter family in Kansas to killing the Walker family in Florida one month later (an actual case, still unsolved). Masterman shuttles between the investigation of retired FBI agent Quinn and the movements of the possible third killer, named Beaufort, just out of prison for an unrelated crime and determined to destroy a written confession left by one of the convicted killers. What makes this latest Quinn mystery especially nerve-racking is the fact that Quinn's husband, a former prison chaplain, may have the evidence that Beaufort seeks. Quinn and husband explore the cold case, unaware that the killer is hot to find the evidence, with the path leading right to Quinn. The narrative is slowed down a bit by overly long chunks of dialogue, but, overall, the plot never loses its drive, and the characters are truly intriguing. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Inspired by Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Masterman's intriguing fourth Brigid Quinn thriller (after 2017's A Twist of the Knife) supposes that Dick Hickock and Perry Smith didn't act alone when they killed the Clutter family in Kansas in 1959. For Brigid's upcoming wedding anniversary, her husband, Carlo DiForenza, has the perfect gift, a memento from his days as a prison chaplain—a sketch by Hickock. Retired FBI agent Brigid has been obsessed with the notion that Hickock and Smith were also guilty of murdering a family of four in Florida a month after the Clutter slayings, a crime that was never solved. Brigid discovers a letter hidden behind the sketch that leads to a written confession by Hickock implicating a third person, Jerry Beaufort, who was 15 at the time. Now nearly 70, Jerry, who was recently released from prison after serving time for trafficking and drug possession, decides to track down a detective and others involved in the Clutter case. Fearful that modern-day forensics could expose his role in the murders, he's prepared to kill anyone who could implicate him. After his research reveals Carlo's link to Hickock, Jerry sets out for Arizona to silence Carlo. Masterman keeps the tension high throughout this page-turner. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency. (June) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A man who has been released from prison after decades for murder pursues a handwritten document in the possession of Brigid Quinn's husband, Carlo, that ties the case to a 1959 murder made famous by Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Former FBI agent Brigid Quinn, with her trademark toughness, raw humor, and human frailty, is back and better than ever in Masterman’s latest novel. As Quinn is drawn into an infamous cold case with a possible link to the two killers immortalized by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, she finds danger closing in. A gripping premise, brilliantly executed—you won’t be able to put this one down!"—Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next DoorIn 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote's masterpiece, In Cold Blood. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confession, explaining everything?Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo's days as a prison chaplain--a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo's old things--has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he'd like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he'll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.Becky Masterman's unputdownable thrillers featuring unique heroine Brigid Quinn continue with this fascinating alternative look at one of America's most famous crimes.