Devil In The Hole by Charles Salzberg

Devil In The Hole by Charles Salzberg.

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.


…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. By 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. By 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. By 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. By Publishers Weekly

…Salzberg does an ingenious job of weaving together the various voices — each distinct in its own right — and giving us the story as told by the people who experienced it. It paints a psychological picture of a murderer, while also telling the story of those left in the aftermath and how they were affected as well. Brilliant and captivating storytelling. By Erica Ruth Neubauer, Crimespree magazine

…Salzberg has taken a true crime tale and made it into a compelling work of fiction that attempts to imagine the mind of a killer, not only through his own mind, but through the minds of many others. This is a novel which few readers will want to put down, turning pages mostly, I think, to find out how in the world the author pulls it off. ‘How,’ I kept asking myself, ‘how can he finish this story?’ The buildup becomes more and more absorbing because Charles Salzberg has a lot to say about human nature that is thought-provokingly wise and penetrating. By Duff Brenna, South Carolina Review

…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 peeking 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. By Robin Thomas, New Mystery Review

Product Details:
Paperback:  298 Pages
Publisher: ‎Down & Out Books (November 8, 2016)
Language: ‎English
Thrillers and Suspense

Amazon Print:



About The Author: Charles Salzberg is a novelist, a journalist, and an acclaimed writing instructor.

His new novel, Devil in the Hole, a gripping work of literary crime fiction based on the notorious John List murders, is on shelves now.

He is the author of the Henry Swann detective series: Swann Dives In; Swann’s Last Song, which was nominated for a Shamus Award for Best First PI Novel; and the upcoming Swann’s Lake of Despair.

His non-fiction books include: On A Clear Day They Could See Seventh Place: Baseball’s 10 Worst Teams of the Century; From Set Shot to Slam Dunk, An Oral History of the NBA; and co-author of My Zany Life and Times, by Soupy Sales; Catch Them Being Good; and The Mad Fisherman.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and has taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Hunter College, the Writer’s Voice, and the New York Writers Workshop, where he is a Founding Member. He is a consulting editor at the webzine and co-host, with Jonathan Kravetz, of the reading series, Trumpet Fiction, at KGB in New York City.

His freelance work has appeared in such publications as Esquire, New York Magazine, GQ, Elle, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times Arts and Leisure section, The New York Times Book Review and the Los Angeles Times Book Review.

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