Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade

Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade

by Walter Kirn


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Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade by Walter Kirn

A Slate, San Francisco Chronicle, Amazon, and BookPage Best Book of 2014
A USA Today Top 10 Best Book of Winter 2014
An In Cold Blood for our time, a chilling, compulsive story of a writer unwittingly caught in the wake of a grifter-turned-murderer.
In the summer of 1998, Walter Kirn—then an aspiring novelist struggling with impending fatherhood and a dissolving marriage—set out on a peculiar, fateful errand: to personally deliver a crippled hunting dog from his home in Montana to the New York apartment of one Clark Rockefeller, a secretive young banker and art collector who had adopted the dog over the Internet. Thus began a fifteen-year relationship that drew Kirn deep into the fun-house world of an outlandish, eccentric son of privilege who ultimately would be unmasked as a brazen serial impostor, child kidnapper, and brutal murderer.
Kirn's one-of-a-kind story of being duped by a real-life Mr. Ripley takes us on a bizarre and haunting journey from the posh private clubrooms of Manhattan to the hard-boiled courtrooms and prisons of Los Angeles. As Kirn uncovers the truth about his friend, a psychopath masquerading as a gentleman, he also confronts hard truths about himself. Why, as a writer of fiction, was he susceptible to the deception of a sinister fantasist whose crimes, Kirn learns, were based on books and movies? What are the hidden psychological links between the artist and the con man? To answer these and other questions, Kirn attends his old friend’s murder trial and uses it as an occasion to reflect on both their tangled personal relationship and the surprising literary sources of Rockefeller's evil. This investigation of the past climaxes in a tense jailhouse reunion with a man whom Kirn realizes he barely knew—a predatory, sophisticated genius whose life, in some respects, parallels his own and who may have intended to take another victim during his years as a fugitive from justice: Kirn himself.Combining confessional memoir, true crime reporting, and cultural speculation, Blood Will Out is a Dreiser-esque tale of self-invention, upward mobility, and intellectual arrogance. It exposes the layers of longing and corruption, ambition and self-delusion beneath the Great American con.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780871404510
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 03/10/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,191,178
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Walter Kirn is the author of Thumbsucker and Up in the Air, both made into major films. His work has appeared in GQ, New York, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine.

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Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reviews of this book said that it was an exploration into the mind of a psychopath/con man. It actually is more about a voyage of self-discovery for the author, who has an unnatural fascination with the book's subject and wonders why he was so taken in. The writing is excellent, but it drags on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly disappointing.  All of the necessary ingredients are there for a great story. Instead, the story seems to weave aimlessly, touching on a nugget of interest only to drop it quickly without explanation.  The book lacks depth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author, I'm sorry to say, used absolutely zero critical thinking skills when he met this con artist. I'd be embarrassed to write that I fell for what wasn't even a good con. The book held little interest for me and even though it's not very long, I can't get through it. I feel bad for being so critical, but it's just not good.
KatmomBF More than 1 year ago
From the moment I listened to an interview with Walter Kirn on MPR, I was hooked on this story. I simply had to read this book. It did not disappoint! The fact that Clark was such a supreme manipulator kept me reading. This book makes you think about your own relationships and their quality. In addition to a good read it is an expose on how easily we humans trust and validate each other.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Walter Kirn wrote Blood Will Out following the trial and conviction of his seemingly friend, Clark Rockefeller. I found the book very disappointing as the story centered on Walter Kirn, and not Clark. I thoroughly understand that Walter needed to impose himself in the story in order to tell about his relationship with Clark, but Walter's story monopolized the book. Also, the book seems to follow no sequence of events, I felt lost at times and wondered where the story might go. My mind remembers little of the story, as each event falls into a discussion involving Walter. I realize that most individuals are gullible, but pieces of the story go beyond naivety.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
phorkyadacropolis More than 1 year ago
I heard the author interviewed by Terry Gross on "Fresh Air," and the book sounded intriguing. If the author offered these many insights in a very ordered arrangement (and authors are better at writing than speaking, right?), the book must be great. Actually, I found the book problematic in terms of organization; it seemed to jump around chronologically, and where the revelations and realizations made perfect sense in the interview, here they seemed more haphazard and lacking the discoveries and self-awareness the author displayed on the air. I was glad I had heard the interview before reading the book, as that offered more contexts than the prose itself did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cay More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down. It was especially intriguing because it's true. And believable. Who could make this up? It's the old watching a train wreck thing -- I knew what was coming but had to follow along because the character was so audacious. Sadly, there was just such a fraud in my family's life who behaved the same way, making up more and more incredible stories that were believed by loved ones who ignored the red flags. Yikes. It reminds me to keep my bulls*** detector in strong working condition.