The book is based on real events. In 1959, in Kansas City, in a small farming settlement, the Clutter family, two parents, a boy and a girl, was horribly murdered. Clutter were successful and highly respectable people, all in the district spoke of them only flattering words. Who was guilty of such a terrible crime, was there a motive, and what motivated criminals? The book is an enumeration of events before and after the murder, alternating with a description of the characters and biographies of criminals and interviews with family acquaintances, but the narrative is not dry, but narrated in an artistic style. The characters of the criminals are first showed on the one hand, and there is no doubt who the leader and ringleader are, but when they confess and reveal the details of the murder, everything changes upside down and their characters seem in a new light.