He is reading it because he recently saw the film Capote. (I think that's the film he was referring to--maybe he saw the film In Cold Blood somewhere. I will follow up on this. In Cold Blood was filmed at the site of the murder, and I remember it as chilling indeed.)
Since today I have to be off and about early and for much of the day, I will pose a question, write a little here, and get back to you.
What I want to know is this: When did you first read In Cold Blood, if you've read it, and did it scare you?
And, of course, why did you read it? (And why and how did it scare you?)
All the accounts, and the film Capote, inform us that Truman Capote wrote the book because he saw a brief news account of a family murdered in their home in Kansas. Since there was no robbery and no clear motive, the article suggested "a pychopathic killer," a phrase attributed to the sheriff. Capote went to Holcomb, Kansas to learn more about the event, the town, the people there, and, of course, the murderers. The novelist Harper Lee went to Kansas with him and helped him communicate with the townspeople and gather the necessary information.
He wrote his famous "non-fiction novel," blending memory, imagination, and "participant observer" reporting. He and it became a sensation.
I was 10 when the film In Cold Blood came out, so I'm pretty sure I didn't see it then. I think I saw it several years later, on television.
But I remember reading the book in my teens when living with my family in a farmhouse out in the country, surrounded by corn and bean fields. I tried not to read it at night, instead taking it out in the yard, in the sunshine, the wind blowing, my dog nearby.