On Christmas Eve, 1943, the newly formed but undermanned Homicide division of the Melbourne police force is called to investigate the vicious double murder of a father and son. When Military Intelligence becomes involved, Homicide’s Inspector Titus Lambert must unravel the personal from the political.
If only the killings had stopped at two. The police are desperate to come to grips with an extraordinary and disquieting upsurge of violence. For Constable Helen Lord, it is an opportunity to make her mark in a male-dominated world where she is patronised as a novelty. For Detective Joe Sable, the investigation forces a reassessment of his indifference to his Jewish heritage. Racing against the clock, the police uncover simmering tensions among secretive local Nazi sympathisers as a psychopathic fascist usurper makes his move.
The Holiday Murders explores a little-known and sometimes violent corner of Australian history, and finds oddly modern echoes in its paranoia, xenophobia, and ugly fervour.
‘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
View all reviews
‘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.’