The Holiday Murders Paperback – 30 January 2013
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- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1922070254
- ISBN-13 : 978-1922070258
- Product Dimensions : 13.34 x 2.54 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : Scribe Publications (30 January 2013)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 141,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"[M]ore than just a pulsating procedural thriller, Gott's novel presents an acute socio-political rendering of a nation haunted by an underworld of fascism and the bloodshed of war...a fascinating cautionary tale that explores the wonderful bond between crime fiction and the shadows lurking in our collective past."
--Scott Macleod, Australian Book Review
"The Holiday Murders is a new crime novel from Robert Gott, author of the "William Power" crime novels as well as many children's books. I hope it will be the first of many...Drawing on the political and social milieu of the time and name-checking some of Melbourne's landmark streets and hotels, Gott's story rings true--as well as being a real page-turner. It's also a little grisly in parts. Fans of Kerry Greenwood, Sulari Gentill and any readers who like a little history with their crime will love The Holiday Murders."
--Pip Newling, Australian Bookseller and Publisher
"Aficionados of all that's hard-boiled will thrill to the frisson."
--Australian Financial Review
"A spell-binding, fast-paced story...[that] romps along at a rollicking pace...Anyone who enjoys curling up in front of the television to watch Midsomer Murders, Inspector Morse or Phryne Fisher will relish Gott's work."
--Fran Metcalf, Courier Mail
"A great addition to historical Oz crime fiction...a fantastic read."
--Andrew Nette, Crime Factory
"It's difficult to know where to start with the list of things I loved about this book...Every time I thought I had worked out how things would resolve another element or twist came to light and the resolution, which I stayed up long past my bed time to get to, was a stunner. I'm hopeful this is the first of a series of novels featuring these characters and I highly recommend it."
--Fair Dinkum Crime
"The Holiday Murders offers everything you could want in a crime novel: tension, intrigue, complex characters (both male and female) and a powerful social context."
--Blanche Clark, Herald Sun
"[An] excellent read with...a strong plot and a surprise ending."
"Gott's new book is as close to perfect as a mystery can be."
--Christine Cremen, Sunday Age
"A spell-binding, fast-paced story."
"What works best...are the characters and their nicely judged relationships. Titus, Joe and Helen are keepers. More please."
--Sue Turnbull, The Saturday Age
"A compelling story of guilt and redemption in wartime Australia."
"A riveting crime novel that is both intelligent and terrifying."
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In December 2013, she reviewed this book by Robert Gott in “Literary Review”, describing it as very good, gripping, instructive and illuminating. While Gott is not female, and although most of those who “get done” in his book are male, there is no lack of sadism, including one unpleasant example of a female. But Ms Mann also states in her review that the senior policeman investigating the murders is William Power, a character from Gott’s earlier books. As it is in fact Titus Lambert, one has to question whether she actually read it.
Whilst trying not to get too uptight about it, because it is not particularly graphic, it does seem that the high body count and violence depicted, if not exactly gratuitous is largely portrayed for the delectation of its potential readers. Please understand that although I don’t mind a little “rough“ myself, I was first attracted to the book by Ms Mann’s review, which suggested not much worse than a little tickling under the foot. Apart from the high head count, there is also the odd cock or two, but then that is a bird native to Australia, isn’t it?
It must be conceded that the ending did come as a surprise, which is a big plus for any crime novel reader. But as the book proceeds largely by relating the thoughts and deeds of its main protagonists, it is surely cheating to withhold their most prominent reflections? Anyway that’s my excuse for not predicting it.
And two of those characters, WPC Lord and Sgt. Sable are such a couple of resentful wimps; you would think they were whinging pommies just arrived off the boat. Inspector Lambert (remember, not Power) doesn’t seem to do anything much, other than be authoritative with his subordinates and submissive to his wife. My favourite two characters are lesbians, Dora and Constance, one of whom certainly knows how to deal with a sudden attack from a couple of rampaging rogue males, no messing. Well - that is apart from the blood and brains. I won’t tell you what the other one says afterwards, but it is worth the price of the book alone.
Gott is actually quite a fluent writer, which certainly helps the book go down. But he does have the habit of occasionally using words in what seems inappropriate ways. Being tied to a chair, rather than being a circumstance is surely just a fact? Or, as I would prefer a predicament when confronted with a maniacal psychopath. One has a sneaky feeling that he is trying to be too literary and that the thesaurus is never too far away.
Don’t get me wrong. I did find the book entertaining and don’t regret reading it. But I do have to agree with YarraGirl on the US Amazon.com site that Gott is not up there with Hammett, Chandler, McDonald or Burke.
Here's the advantage of Kindle. I called up the book while the interview was still running and had it waiting for me and ready to read when the session was over!
I have since recommended it highly to my writing colleagues and also read star reviews in the dailies. For a non-Australian, even of my generation, the theme of the fascist Australia First movement, traitors during World War II, is probably unfamiliar, although it has attracted academic attention. Perhaps it's somewhat esoteric to a postwar generation (which is nearly everybody, now). But take it as a thriller, rather than a mystery, and it enthralls. There is no mystery in "who dunnit?" - just mounting horror and tension - but the denouement is a heart-stopping surprise. Read it and find out.
The characters were opened and developed early and continuing through the plot we got to know them more personally. A solid twist in the climax brought unexpected interest and enjoyment. Overall a recommended read and one that left enough development for the sequel to also delight readers.
Well written with interesting characters. The plot is a bit different as you know who the killer is and you wait for the police to put all the clues together.