Review: DEVIL IN THE HOLE by Charles Salzberg

Devil In The Hole by Charles Salzberg
Published by Five Star
Publication Date: August 7, 2013
ISBN-10: 1432826964
ISBN-13: 978-1432826963
Pages: 252
Review Copy from: Author
Edition: HC
My Rating: 4

In the ballroom of a sparsely furnished Connecticut mansion, police find a shocking sight: four bodies lined up next to each other, three teenagers and a middle-aged woman, each lying on a blanket, each shot once in the head. In an upstairs bedroom: an elderly woman and the family dog, both of them shot as well. The only person missing is the husband, father, son, and prime suspect, John Hartman, who’s got a three-week jump on the police.

Through the eyes of almost two dozen characters, including the neighbor who reports the crime, Hartman’s mistress, a dogged state investigator, the family minister, and some of the characters Hartman meets on his escape route, we piece together not only what happened and how these shocking murders affect the community, but how John Hartman evades capture, where he’s headed, and maybe even why he committed this gruesome crime in the first place.

Based on the notorious John List murders and already compared to works by Norman Mailer and Russell Banks, Devil in the Hole is gripping, literate, and haunting.

My Thoughts and Opinion:
This book was riveting and intriguing right from the start. As the synopsis states, it is based on a horrific true crime murder that went cold for many years. The chapters are short and each one is narrated by a different person as their “take” on the murder.

At first I thought that the amount of more than 20 characters would make this read confusing but after a few chapters I knew that wouldn’t be the case. I was so engrossed in the story that it truly felt that each cast member was talking directly to me with their opinion of this story. So compelling that I had to keep reminding myself that these characters were fictional. So captivating, that by the middle of the book, I had to research the actual murder.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which had me turning the pages, to see what the next voice would reveal. A highly recommended read!!!

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