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.
Scott Macleod is a PhD research candidate and associate tutor in the Department of English, Creative Writing and Australian Studies at Flinders University, South Australia. His thesis examines the influence and transformation of the detective fiction genre in the postmodern works of Thomas Pynchon. Scott is also a Film and TV columnist for Killings (the Kill Your Darlings website) and has critical essays and reviews published in Transnational Literature, The Conversation and The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture.
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February 2013, no. 348
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