Blood and Money ~ by Thomas Thompson

Originally published in 1976, this is an older book but it’s been revived over the years so I figured it looked promising and yes, it’s excellent True Crime. It deals with the background problems of the several involved families in which a rich, beautiful woman dies of unknown causes. Her husband, a plastic surgeon with access to drugs and methods, is the prime suspect.

Blood and Money
by Thomas Thompson 

1976 (original) – 474 pages 
Read by Mike Chamberlain 21h 8m
Rating: 9+ / True Crime 

Then there are the procedural issues of the small hospital and its lack of facilities from bedside care to autopsies.Then comes the Houston area police departments and its District Attorney office plus all the publicity of the press. Then another murder and police work. Finally there are the trials. This book covers it all.

I don’t remember hearing or reading anything about the somewhat mysterious death of Joan Robinson Hill a wealthy young Houston woman whose very rich father, Ash Robinson, spoiled her and pretty much bought her a plastic surgeon and musician husband at age 26. But that murder was back in 1969 and in Houston – I was 21 years old and in California. So this story was brand new to me and I’m glad I picked it up when I saw it on sale.

First Thompson goes into the background of Ash Robinson, where he came from and how he got his money and small family.  Then there’s Joan Robinson, Ash’s beloved only child, a Houston socialite and horsewoman who on her third try, married the man of her dreams.  John Hill, Joan’s husband becomes a plastic surgeon but he was not exactly what Joan had hoped for and eleven years later Joan was dead with John on trial for her murder and Ash determined to put John behind bars forever.  John’s lover stood by him and married him after his divorce , for awhile. 

And so it goes through five Parts with lots of characters and so many twists and turns it could be several novels but it’s one story –  whew!   

The writing is good, better than a lot of them, and sprinkled with light humor, but it’s not a literary book by any means. For the most part Thompson keeps a fast pace quite nicely.  I used up a lot of midnight watts listening to this for 21 hours.  The narrator took some time to get used to but he did a fine job even with what seemed at first a very nasally voice.  

It’s a long book. What with all the backgrounds on people and the detailed procedural and almost verbatim trial sections it just gets that way. It’s a complex story. I might have to read more Thompson.

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