Robert Gott’s The Holiday Murders fittingly begins with steely-eyed detectives examining a gruesome crime scene on Christmas Eve, 1943. The bodies of a father and son are found broken and bloodied in the dead of night, the son nailed to the floor in a ‘savage parody’ of the Crucifixion. From the memorable opening sequence, Gott demonstrates an intimate understanding of how to craft a compulsive page-turner; he exploits tropes and conventions of the crime fiction genre to dazzling effect, evoking a disturbing wartime malaise.
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