Blood and Money
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Blood and Money

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Story of an infamous Texas murder that took place in society's realm of River Oaks, Houston; a search for the killer, and the subsequent trial
Hardcover, 474 pages
Published September 1st 1976 by Doubleday (first published 1976)
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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...more
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...more
don't get me wrong, this is an entertaining read. worked through it quickly and efficiently. the author does a fine job of weaving what is ultimately an exceptional tale. so many topics, people and places come up in generally discussing the history of the City of Houston and the legendary opulence of the Texans of the era. and from that perspective, I would recommend this reading to anyone interested in 20th century Texas history.

now with that said, I'm happy I read the book. but for me it was j...more
Sam Reaves
This was recommended to me by a veteran journalist and true crime author as a classic of the genre. It's the story of a scandal that rocked high-society Houston in the early seventies: an oil man's daughter, star of the horse shows and gossip columns, weds a young plastic surgeon from a humble background who has been put through med school by her wealthy and indulgent father. The marriage goes sour; the wife dies of a sudden, savage illness and the husband is suspected of poisoning or infecting...more
Dennis A Nehamen
I notice that my average rating on books is almost a perfect five. There's a reason. I only rate books I finish and I only finish books that thrill me. Blood and Money, similar to Serpentine, is not a complex story but it is a great way to spend a couple days sitting out by the pool on vacation. I'm not giving it a 5 for it's deep meaning or stylistic presentation. It's just a great story of a little too much parental love.
This true crime book is chilling, particularly if you grew up in River Oaks like I did and went to Christmas parties in the house where everything happened. I'm not much into the true crime genre, but I highly recommend this book for people who are... and even people who aren't, now that I think about it.
Jim Thomsen
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...more
A long time ago, I found it among the old books at home but I have just finished reading it. It's Turkish translaton of the book but still it's a story impressing me in a strong way. Ambition, resentment, greed, violence, passion and of course blood and money combination with them or natural result of them. It was written in 80s and set in notorious Houston, especially. But 2010 in which we live today witnesses this emotions around the world, that's very upsetting.
Anyway, our author is so talent...more
Katie Moore
An amazing true crime book that's even better than In Cold Blood. I'm sure the story held more interest for me because my parents grew up in the same part of Houston as the novel's setting, but I world recommend this book to anyone, anywhere. I couldn't put it down.
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 susp...more
Fascinating story of the death of a wealthy scions daughter and his subsequent quest to exact revenge for her death. Spellbinding!
K.G. White
True crime story of a Texas' socialite's brutal murder. The book showcases the lives of Houston's elite rich and the seedy underbelly . Inversitgative journalist Thomas Thompson artfully completes the details surrounding the deaths of this philandering husband and glorified wife. He combs through every scrap of detail and knowledge surrounding the case: from medical experts reports to probing interviews from many many people. I liked it, I love true crime and Thompson is uniquely skilled at draw...more
Such a good author - so sad that he died so early.
My mom handed me this book, written in the 1970's, and told me she loved it. Whatever. It's been sitting on a shelf in my house for 8 years. I finally suggested it as a book club read, and every single person in my club is obsessed. Pardon the cliche, but Blood and Money has so many twists and is so shocking that it is stranger than fiction. With every turn of the page, the story became more and more unreal, but that is what makes it great. It is real. Scandalously real.
A must-read for true crime fans; really engrossing in terms of characters, drama, and the legal procedural aspect.
ღ Carol jinx~☆~
A cast of colorful characters, this anatomy of murder first chronicles the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death in 1969 of 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. In 1972, having been charged by his father-in-law with Joan's death and having survived a mistrial, John Hill himself was killed.
This is one of several books that I re-read frequently; in the true crime genre, I have found few that draw me back repeatedly, but this depiction of "maybe-murder" among the Texas wealthy is rife with "only in Texas" characters and intrigue. Though not one of the characters is wholly sympathetic, and though I certainly know the outcome(s), I am drawn back by Thompson's style which maintains the suspense.
First read when published in 1976 - first half or so becomes very engrossing - last third seems much slower and somewhat repetitious, but still a Four-Star True-Crime read.
I read this book a long time ago and it's still the best True Crime book ever! I live in Houston and whenever we had company we'd always take them on the "John and Joan Hill Tour" Also - Andy Griffith made a great Ash Robinson and of course Farrah was the perfect Joan!!
Best true-crime book I've read since In Cold Blood. A fascinating case and the "characters" are well-drawn. I dock it a star only because the prose sometimes gets a little purple (e.g. "Soon would begin a dance of death"- not necessarily an exact quote, but close to one).
This true crime is very interesting, especially if you know Houston at all. The descriptions really take you back there! I have family who knew the family and that made it even more interesting. The house still sits prominently on a corner lot in River Oaks.
♥ Marlene♥
On Sunday, November 25, 2007 I wrote:
9 out of 10

Well I finally read this classic True crime book and I do understand why this was such a hit.
The writing is so good. The author really lures you into the story.

Finished this on November 12 2007. 4.5
Was already intrigued before I even purchased this book. It's a true story set in our own Houston, Texas! Along the lines of my favorite Dominick Dunn - Power, Privilege & Justice story lines. Even seen the house on Kirby a few times! WOW!
Marie Goffard
This book is a page turner about the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death in 1969 of a pampered daughter of a Texas oil millionaire and the wife of plastic surgeon. The book examines the bizarre consequences that followed it.
This is the best true crime story I have ever read. It was made even more interesting to me because I lived in Houston at the time of the murder of Joan Robinson Hill and the unbelievable aftermath. More exciting than any fiction story!
This is an amazing, amazing true story of a Houston debutante who mysteriously died and her plastic surgeon husband who was suspected of murdering her. So many crazy twists and turns. I never say this, but I could *not* put this book down.
Glenda Ricord
This is my second reading of this terrific true crime book. I just started it tonight but it's just as good as I remember it being. This book is rich in Houston history and will keep you interested to the very end.
This was the second True Crime book I read. And it was largely why I became a True Crime aficionado. It is a fascinating story that holds your interest. The added bonus is that this book is well written.
This was a good read. True story. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I didn't have to rush to finish by Friday. :( Definatly want to locate the TV movie.

Wow, couldn't put it down the first half then slogged through the ending. Is this a movie? If not, Larry Hagman would make an excellent Ash Robinson.
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He was born in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas in 1955. He then worked as a reporter and editor at the Houston Press.

Thompson joined Life Magazine in 1961 and became an editor and staff writer. While at Life he covered the JFK assassination and was the first writer to locate Lee Harvey Oswald's home and wife. Among his stories were coverage of the making of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely He...more
More about Thomas Thompson...
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