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Blood and Money

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  794 ratings  ·  60 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,636)
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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
Anthony Whitt
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.
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
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
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
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.
(4.5) Before I read this, I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And while I read this, I was trying to discern why I liked Blood and Money more than that one. I came to the conclusion that the way Thompson writes the characters is with an air of humanity. Jonathan Berendt treated his like a freak show. Come see the Poison Guy! The transsexual drag queen! The antique dealing murderer at the center of Savannah society. It would be easy to do that in this twisted tail of Texas but Thompso ...more
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.
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.
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
I read this many years ago but because I was slightly acquainted with Dr. John Hill, he being a doctor on staff at the small hospital that I worked at as a nurse, I found it fascinating. I still think of this case every time I drive through River Oaks on Kirby Dr. I'm sure I have forgotten much of the book since, but for anyone interested in true crime novels I would recommend it.
Ryan Dinning
What a story. I wanted old man Robinson to go down in the worst way. I wanted to believe in the pastry conspiracy his son in law was accused of. I wanted so much of this story to be proved one way or the other, but all that money and high social status wouldn't allow the truth to come out on their heads. Only the weak that they surrounded themselves with as pawns were taken from their low lives as easy sacrifice. Not a single bit of truth or justice shows up in this book. Just money and a lot of ...more
Eric Mccutcheon
For anyone that is a fan of true crime, this is a good read. Lots of twists and turns, lots of colorful characters and the story keeps moving the whole time. Even when it enters the courtroom, where many other true crime goes to die, it continues to impress. Even though it was written in the 1970s, it translates pretty well.
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.
Charles Shepherd
I had a hard time with the first 150 or so pages of this book because it read like a melodrama about the Houston elite, but incidentally by the end of the first 150 pages I started to care about what was going to happen to the people discussed. Then this book delved deeper into the lower classes of Texas society and transitioned from melodrama to a gritty, objective, true crime masterpiece.
I found this book for a $1.00 on a clearance rack with no cover on it, but I bought because I've been livi
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!
Suzanne Wright
I read this book when it was first published and still think about the story. Great read.
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.
Tom Wallace
Great true crime book, not In Cold Blood, but very close.
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.
I read this back when I still wore bell-bottoms, so that tells you about how old I am .

This was one of the original True Crime books that got me hooked . A tale of greed, too much money and too little brains, bad choices, one night of stupidity that left people dead and lives destroyed .
If you like vintage true crime, you gotta read this one !
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!!
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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
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