In craftingIn Cold Blood, Capote employs many tools of the novelist, shaping his non-fiction work almost as if it were a novel.
Foreshadowing is used effectively and repeatedly throughout the book. Capote's narration often presents information that suggests a knowledge of events which will take place after the story has ended. The death of Dick Hickock's father is one example of this kind of narrative omnipotence.
Also, the narration employs foreshadowing to build anticipation. This occurs when the deaths of the Clutter family are predicted with lines like the one that describes Mr. Clutter being "unaware that his would be his last day alive" (paraphrasing here).
Flashback is also a tool used throughout the book. Often these flashbacks are accompanied by a source material (letters, etc.) which are written in a different voice than the rest of the narrative.
The inclusion of correspondence and journal entries can also be considered a literary element here employed by Capote to create a style which is personal and factual with an emphasis on the personal aspects of the narrative.
Extended quotations are also very important to the text of In Cold Blood, with Hickcock and Smith characterized largely through their own words.
Finally, symbolism is another significant literary device used in the book. Perry's painting of Christ and the big yellow bird from his recurring dream are primary examples of symbolism from In Cold Blood.