Monday, June 26, 2017

In Cold Blood

Sorry about missing a post last week.  I was busy feeling sorry for myself due to an emergency root canal followed by a crown.  Who could possibly type with a sore jaw?  The fuss and bother is over, excerpt for the embarrassing weeping each time I check my finances.  When I think about it, the trade off for the huge expenditure is vanquished pain.  Plus, I have a crown,  How wonderfully royal.

When it comes to reading - well, it has been two weeks of creepy for me.  Benjamin Percy's The Dark Net seemed like a good choice.  The deep net and the dark net have fascinated me for a while and I even logged on to Tor for about five minutes before chickening out.  If you're not sure what these nets are, here's a passage from the book that describes it nicely:

...Deep Net, which is hundreds of times the size of the surface Internet, all of the information that is unlisted, unsearchable, much of it legit, academic and government and military data bases.  The Dark Net is like the basement of the Deep Net.  Mail-order drugs, weapons trafficking, human smuggling, terrorist communications, spy communications, insider trading, intellectual property theft, death porn and kiddie pron. Anything nasty or forbidden.  Anything people don't want other people knowing about.  It's a red light district, it's a torture chamber, it's digital hell.

The book began with lots of intensity.  A young journalist begin investigating a building being re-purposed by an unidentifiable group of businessman believed to be setting up a work space for IT geniuses who control and hide paths on the dark net.  That was all well and good until a huge dog came into the picture and the plot turned to something out of a Dean Koontz novel.  The Koontz blurb on the cover should have been my first clue as to where this book was headed.  Needless to say, I did not persist.  I crashed after the blind girl put on her special sight enabling glasses and began to see phantoms.  

In Cold Blood, on the other hand - now that is holding my interest.  I read it when it was first released, when the intrigue for me was still with the crime and nothing else. Reading it again leaves me with only one descriptor - chilling.    Capote writes well.  Enough said about that.  What strikes me most is the normalcy that surrounds the horrific events.  People walk their dogs. They go to church.  Many gather in the cafe to share stories.  Four dead bodies in a farm house. Two guys fish in Mexico.  Students put on a production of "Tom Sawyer."  The world turns.  

Without a doubt, the book's impact is strengthened by the on-going drama connected with the murder of Theresa Halback.  So many lives shattered...changed forever. Most of us were only affected by the stain upon our community...yet we were affected.  Capote lets us in on the reactions of those both close to and those removed from the Clutter family.  Profound reaction, no matter the distance.  

My book group has chosen In Cold Blood for July, and some people have already expressed that they will skim the sections on the description of the crime itself.  The content here goes far beyond that and takes us into some fairly common yet complex moral issues.... nature vs nurture, death penalty, mental illness....oh, we will have plenty to discuss, I am sure. 

Thanks for stopping by.