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This bleak story is one of the best true crime books around.Joan Robinson, the daughter of Ash Robinson, a rich oil millionaire, dies mysteriously, and her husband, John Hill, is brought to trial for murder It ends in a mistrial, and John is murdered by a contract killer before he can be tried again The books then follows the people involved in the murder as the law attempts to bring them to justice.Now, I don t believe John murdered his wife If I recall the book correctly and it s been a wh This bleak story is one of the best true crime books around.Joan Robinson, the daughter of Ash Robinson, a rich oil millionaire, dies mysteriously, and her husband, John Hill, is brought to trial for murder It ends in a mistrial, and John is murdered by a contract killer before he can be tried again The books then follows the people involved in the murder as the law attempts to bring them to justice.Now, I don t believe John murdered his wife If I recall the book correctly and it s been a while , it was described as medically impossible for him to have intentionally given her that disease The only way for him to be guilty is through murder by omission , which strikes me as a bizarre legal quirk which allows someone to suffer as a murderer when all they ve committed is involuntary manslaughter And in all probability, John isn t even guilty of that The book pretty much admits that the only reason this case became an criminal trial is because of Ash Robinson s influence It s also very strongly implied that Ash set up John s murder.You would think that John, having been harassed, wrongfully accused, and finally murdered by his crazed father in law, would be the most sympathetic person on earth.And you would be wrong He s a douche everyone in this book is No one is completely sympathetic, and no one is completely unsympathetic, either Every character is carefully written so that they can have full personalities, and they all have huge character flaws It really gives you a bleak picture of humanity.But the picture this book gives you of humanity is nowhere near as bleak as the picture it gives you of the legal system I don t think a single person in this book gets fairly treated by the law We get to see John be railroaded at the grand jury, through the eyes of it s only unbiased member, whose concerns are pretty much ignored by the rest Another person on trial has some defense, but her lawyer lazily pleads her guilty on the chance that she ll be released on appeal A third person she was almost certainly guilty is convicted, but it is not so much on the evidence but rather because her well meaning lawyer made a slip up which allowed the defendant s daughter to testify that her mother had prostituted her as a child All in all, this a wonderfully written book I recommend it to anyone who enjoys true crime, or to anyone who feels too happy or optimistic about life and wants to put an end to that nonsense First, some advice Don t look up any of the names before you finish the book It s somewhat like the movie Psycho where it goes in a very different direction from what you might expect You ll have a much better reading experience if you don t already know the story.The writing is very good and the story is full bodied Thompson ably demonstrates the author s power to change the reader s perspective with subtle shading and illumination I never watched Dallas, Knots Landing or Falcon Crest but First, some advice Don t look up any of the names before you finish the book It s somewhat like the movie Psycho where it goes in a very different direction from what you might expect You ll have a much better reading experience if you don t already know the story.The writing is very good and the story is full bodied Thompson ably demonstrates the author s power to change the reader s perspective with subtle shading and illumination I never watched Dallas, Knots Landing or Falcon Crest but I suspect the best of those shows would tie in well with Blood and Money The book is slightly overlong but worth reading it sags a bit at the three quarters mark but finishes well If you ve read a lot of true crime this will fit in well with the others if you re new to the genre this is an excellent book to start with Utterly compelling and well worthy of the hype It s a story in three books but is a tragedy in five acts Very well written, I especially like that the court cases, which could have been boring if allowed to dominate the book, are seperated by the stories and people who lead up to them No one is portrait as a saint, they are shown as real people with real flaws but it s very tactfully done With the last most damning court case, the author allows the real events and words to do the talking On Utterly compelling and well worthy of the hype It s a story in three books but is a tragedy in five acts Very well written, I especially like that the court cases, which could have been boring if allowed to dominate the book, are seperated by the stories and people who lead up to them No one is portrait as a saint, they are shown as real people with real flaws but it s very tactfully done With the last most damning court case, the author allows the real events and words to do the talking One of the things I came away with was just how convoluted and binding the system at the time was for prosecution lawyers For example It s ludicrous that it was not legal for the prosecution to show a jury police records of a defendant Had this happened today we would be reading a radically different and much shorter book Great book This book is as great as In Cold Blood There is truly an art to writing a True crime book and making it as compellable to read as a good novel Unfortunately now I have to read all of his books because it was that good. an old classic one of my favorites It s a classic I re read it, and somehow had forgotten EVERY freaking detail Except of course how totally bizarre the rich Texans are That stuck with me from decades ago when I read this for the first time.The crime of the murdered wife daughter was all resolved by halfway through, then the obsessed old rich guy the original victim s father just basically went out and hired people and made sure that the murderer paid.Wonder what ever happened to the kid Time to google It was the first tim It s a classic I re read it, and somehow had forgotten EVERY freaking detail Except of course how totally bizarre the rich Texans are That stuck with me from decades ago when I read this for the first time.The crime of the murdered wife daughter was all resolved by halfway through, then the obsessed old rich guy the original victim s father just basically went out and hired people and made sure that the murderer paid.Wonder what ever happened to the kid Time to google It was the first time I had read about Racehorse Haynes, the attorney for the original murderer Wow, and attorneys wonder why people think they are totally willing to sell themeselves for money One of the best true crime books of all time, in my opinion Which feels odd to say when the ending is so unsatisfying I walked away from Blood And Money thinking I hung on for some 500 pages for THIS And yet, it worked in its way, because I was pretty I knew who did what to who, even if those people were never going to get a fair day in court And that wound up being good enough for me, largely because everything that had built up to that feeling of squirmy justice was simply One of the best true crime books of all time, in my opinion Which feels odd to say when the ending is so unsatisfying I walked away from Blood And Money thinking I hung on for some 500 pages for THIS And yet, it worked in its way, because I was pretty I knew who did what to who, even if those people were never going to get a fair day in court And that wound up being good enough for me, largely because everything that had built up to that feeling of squirmy justice was simply incredible The characters are larger than life, drama kings and queens in the mode of the true Southerner of the upper classes in the time There s a great bit in the book about how being dainty and fainty and hysterical was considered in Southern blue blood circles to be a sure sign of good breeding among their women The things they do, and against, one another are deliciously outrageous And every over the top scene in rendered in detail so incredible that I find myself incredulous at the idea that so many image conscious people would spill their spleens to someone who wanted to preserve their indiscretions forever in the public eye through the power of print.For getting all those riotous details of affairs and seductions and abuses and corruption, and being able to make sense enough of them to weave them into a nearly seamless narrative, Thomas Thompson must have been one of the greatest interviewers of all time And his other journalism skills are on keen display here too it s obvious he got his hands on private records he probably should have been denied as often as he got the public records that he should have gotten It s equally obvious that he knew Houston and indeed all of Texas as well as Dominick Dunne knew Manhattan, Long Island and Connecticut And he knew how the law and justice system worked every bit as well as he knew how it DIDN T work Blood And Money is exhaustively thorough, and exhaustively long, in the way that the best true crime books of the 1970s were and in the way true crime books are no longer allowed to be As an unrepeatable phenomenon that stands up long past its time, it deserves to be celebrated with the best works in its genre And, happily, many of today s true crime authors routinely hold it up as just such a classic.I don t care about the South, I don t care about the upper crust and I didn t like a single character in Blood And Money But none of that mattered because I like a good story, and Blood And Money is one of the best &Free E-pub ↯ Blood and Money ↿ Power, passion, oil money, murder all the ingredients of a fast paced, gripping mystery novel drive this true crime story that on its original publication leapt onto best seller lists nationwide To that mix, add glamorous personalities, prominent Texas businessmen, gangland reprobates, and a whole parade of medical experts At once a documentary account of events and a novelistic reconstruction of encounters among the cast of colorful characters, this anatomy of murder first chronicles the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death inof Joan Robinson the pampered daughter of a Texas oil millionaire and the wife of plastic surgeon Dr John Hill then examines the bizarre consequences that followed it For in , having been charged by his father in law with Joan s death and having survived a mistrial, John Hill himself was killed, supposedly by a robber So was the robber, by a cop, supposedly for resisting arrest From the exclusive haunts of Houston s super rich to the city s seamy underworld of prostitutes, pimps, and punks, author and investigative journalist Thomas Thompson tracks down all the leads and clues And in a brutal tale of blood and money he uncovers some shocking and bitter truths The Houston newspaper recently said that Thomas Thompson s Blood and Money was the quintessential book about Houston I had read the book in 1978 when it was first released, and I found it fascinating With this new accolade, I decided to read it once again And I wasn t disappointed Reading like a novel, rather than the non fiction it is, Thompson captivates his readers with a story of devotion, greed, treachery, prostitution, and guile The book opens with the death of socialite Joan Robinson The Houston newspaper recently said that Thomas Thompson s Blood and Money was the quintessential book about Houston I had read the book in 1978 when it was first released, and I found it fascinating With this new accolade, I decided to read it once again And I wasn t disappointed Reading like a novel, rather than the non fiction it is, Thompson captivates his readers with a story of devotion, greed, treachery, prostitution, and guile The book opens with the death of socialite Joan Robinson Hill, the daughter of crusty wealthy oilman Ash Robinson Both she and her father were firmly entrenched in the River Oaks set the area of Houston where the fabulously wealthy live and play Ash is convinced that Joan s philandering plastic surgeon husband John Hill murdered her And thus begins a tangled web that doesn t unravel until the final word, 475 pages later Ash Robinson is a J.R Ewing as he uses his influence and money to pursue an indictment against his son in law What takes place would today and probably even then be considered illegal, but this was 1960s Houston, Texas, and rich men could get away with a lotthan perhaps they can today Before the story is over, there is a trial, a murder for hire, a crazy heroin riddled prostitute, and a woman, who wants us to believe she is a simple society matron, who is accused of master minding a heinous crime and put on trial as well A fiction writer who made up a story of this complexity would be hailed a master storyteller, but Thompson worked from interviews, research, and trial transcripts and made up nothing, yet he spins a story that is compelling and revealing of Houston in the 1960s or at least of one segment of Houston society, presided over by a smothering father who felt he could control his tiny world, at least where his daughter was concerned This true crime story covers the typical elements that precede the act of murder The hunger for power and control is fueled by greed, lust and revenge that drives desperate people to unimaginable acts It s a detailed analysis of the motives of a troubled family and prominent businessmen sinking to the level of gangland reprobates to satisfy their insatiable desires The twists and turns along the way deliver surprising results all the way to the last page in this Edgar Award winning tale.