"As Betty Jane Hegerat struggles with a new piece of fiction, she recalls an infamous murder case that shares many similarities with the story she is proposing to write. Fifty years after the trial of Robert Raymond Cook, Hegerat re-examines the evidence from the grisly crime for which the accused received the death penalty. She is both repulsed and intrigued. Did Cook commit the murders? And, if so, what possessed the young man to murder his entire family - his father, stepmother and half-siblings? In The Boy Hegerat's fiction and Cook's story become entwined. The author and her narrator engage in a dialogue that explores what drives a young boy to murder, and what ultimately constitutes reality and fiction."--P.  of cover.