Kirn does not begin with the murder or even what led to it. Instead, he begins with how he met the murderer, Christian Gerhartsreiter. Except Kirn thought he was meeting Clark Rockefeller, yes, of THE Rockefeller family. Turns out, “Clark Rockefeller” was only one of Gerhartsreiter’s many aliases. (Kirn makes, in my opinion, the mistake of calling him Clark throughout the book because, Kirn says, that’s how he knew him for a long time.)
Other books have been written about the man known as “Clark Rockefeller,” but it looks like Kirn was careful to be different. He begins with his drive from his home in Montana to “Clark’s” home in New York to bring him a crippled dog he wanted to adopt. Upon their meeting, “Clark” started dropping several clues that his stories were not true. And Kirn berates himself for not catching the lies at the time, with just being impressed with his new friend. For friends they did become. And Kirn continues to berate himself for that.
But good people tend to trust that most people are good. Most people ARE good. Gerhartsreiter is the exception. I hope Kirn has stopped being angry with himself for being one of the good ones.