"Devil in the Hole is powerful stuff. Drawing on real events, Salzberg has crafted a mesmerizing tale in many voices. He masterfully drip-feeds the compelling story, funneling moments from disparate, scattered lives to define the personality of a madman. The overall effect is like slowly opening a beautifully wrapped box of poisoned chocolates." --Tim McLoughlin, editor Brooklyn Noir."Salzberg masterfully weaves together dozens of voices, including the killer's, in an effort to find out why a man would murder his entire family and then disappear. Devil in the Hole is a haunting meditation on the thin, wavering line between sense and senselessness." --Kaylie Jones, author Lies My Mother Never Told Me: A Memoir, and Speak Now "The devil isn't in the details, but in a tony Connecticut town. Charles Salzberg's Devil in the Hole is a fine piece of crime writing and a hell of a fun read." --Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award-winning author of Gun Church
In this smartly constructed crime novel, Salzberg uses multiple viewpoints to portray an unlikely killer who methodically slaughters his family . . . an intriguing collage of impressions and personal perspectives for the reader to ponder.
From the Author
Reviewed by Robin Thomas, New Mystery Reader
James Kirkland notices that all of the lights are on in his neighbor's house. Not trying to be the nosy neighbor, but still curious, he checks every night and notices that lights are going out over time. As he watches the house he never sees any activity within even though the Hartman's have three children and John's mother lives with them. Kirkland finally decides to call the police and what they find is beyond horrifying. The wife and the three teenaged children have all been killed in the same way, a single bullet in the forehead. Then the killer neatly positioned them in the ballroom. Upstairs, Hartman's mother is lying in her bed killed in the same manner as the rest of the family. All the shell casings were picked up, the weapons were cleaned and oiled and the house was made presentable before the killer fled. John Hartman, the husband, is missing and based on the coroner's estimate, he has a three-week lead on the police. The hunt for Hartman becomes an unwieldy obsession for Charles Floyd, the senior police investigator assigned to the case. John Hartman is a complex individual who commits a heinous crime to shed is oppressive old life as he seeks to find a new life while eluding the police. Devil in the Hole
is a mesmerizing, elegantly constructed crime novel that is based on a true story. Charles Salzberg tells the tale using numerous characters that knew Hartman or encountered him as he moves around to avoid being caught. The voices of Charles Floyd and Hartman himself are raw and compelling as each of them deal with their own inner demons. Each of the other characters provide a teasing snippet of information about Hartman that keeps the reader enthralled as the story unfolds. Even though Salzberg uses over a dozen voices to tell the story, the reader never gets lost despite the complexity of the book. I am typically not a fan of books written in this manner but Salzberg masterfully uses this technique to create a novel that is different in an extremely good way. The author effortlessly blends the different perspectives, viewpoints, and impressions of each character into a brilliant tapestry that envelops the reader, while peaking interest and the desire for more information about the crime. Devil in the Hole
is one of the best books that I have read this year and I most highly recommend it. 5.0 Bolts