The Port Fairy Murders
The Port Fairy Murders is the sequel to The Holiday Murders, a political and historical crime novel set in 1943, featuring the newly formed homicide department of Victoria Police.
The department has been struggling to counter little-known fascist groups, particularly an organisation called Australia First that has been festering in Australia since before the war. And now there's an extra problem: the bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants, which is especially raw in small rural communities.
The homicide team, which once again includes Detective Joe Sable and Constable Helen Lord, is trying to track down a dangerous man named George Starling. At the same time, they are called to investigate a double murder in the fishing village of Port Fairy. It seems straightforward -- they have a signed confession -- but it soon becomes apparent that nothing about the incident is as it seems.
Written with great verve and insight, The Port Fairy Murders is a superb psychological study, as well as a riveting historical whodunit.
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"At first glance, The Port Fairy Murders appears to follow the male lead, female sidekick combo. But Gott knows better: by far the smartest investigator on the block is Constable Helen Lord, whose frustration is barely contained as she watches the men around her fumble, falter and generally get it wrong...Dickensian or even Jamesian in its breadth...a very "literary" crime series that works so well on many different levels."
"Set during World War II, the novel, like its predecessor, has a strong sense of place, not just in the little Victorian coastal town of Port Fairy, but also in the streets of inner Melbourne. Gott skilfully illustrates the sexist, racist and homophobic culture of this historical period, but he weaves through the necessary details with a light touch."
"A dazzling mix of elegant prose, convincing period detail, and heart-stopping violence."