John Webb OAM, one of our fabulous Committee Members has written two reviews of books that feature at our crime panel – Fatal Attraction: Why We Love Crime on Sunday 14 June at 12.00pm. Tickets $20, concession $17 and early bird $15 (until Sunday 24 May).
Review number one is below. Stay tuned for review number two – What Came Before by Anna George.
The Port Fairy Murders by Robert Gott
Set in Melbourne and Port Fairy during the early 1940s, as the World War raged, the tale brings powerfully to life those days and a particularly nasty character, George Starling, described as a man who ‘hated Jews, women, queers, coppers, rich people and his father. He loved Adolf Hitler and the (pro-fascist) Ptolomy Jones ‘ whose death was the finale in Gott’s previous crime trilogy, The Holiday Murders. A helpful reprise of this earlier tale starts the novel. The diverse collection of police includes one starting to discover his Jewish identity as news of pogroms against Jews in Europe filters through to Australia and a female policeperson, Constable Helen Lord, an unexpected but fascinating character. Two murders are committed in Port Fairy, with a couple more homicides in Melbourne. Both Starling and Lord have a longer story to tell, within later volumes in a presumed trilogy. Evocative of place and character, I read it almost without a break and await eagerly for Gott’s next instalment in this intriguing if disturbing tale.