Devil in the Hole

Devil in the Hole

by Charles Salzberg


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432826963
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 08/07/2013
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

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Devil in the Hole 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Bookalicious65 More than 1 year ago
Being from the UK I had never heard about the List murders from 1971 in the USA. This made the book seem like a complete work of fiction, as you really can't comprehend anyone carrying out such a heinous crime or even understand what drove them to it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I enjoyed the way the author had based each chapter on each of the characters involved. This made the "story" extremely easy to follow. The dedication and passion of the lead investigator in the case makes you really warm to him because of his passion and drive to succeed in finding who carried out such a despicable crime. I felt his pain when each lead he had just led to a dead end. He never gave up searching and I found this admirable.  I think the author has done a great job on this book and his passion in the real life case really shows through his writing. It's a hard hitting novel and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Narrative was a little strange, but overall decent read
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Crime thriller fans, boy do I have a riveting book for you! In Devil In The Hole, author Charles Salzberg weaves a fascinating fictionalized tale based on the 1971 NJ true crime murder case of John List, who mass murdered his family in their posh family home, then fled the scene and eluded capture for eighteen years until he was highlighted on the TV show, America's Most Wanted. Devil In The Hole is a fast paced page turner that follows the murder case of John Hartman, who cold-bloodedly planned and carried out the mass murder of his family in their affluent Sedgewick, Connecticut home, then disappears and eludes capture for three years.  Author Charles Salzberg draws the reader into this riveting story with a convincing recounting of the murder, escape and hunt for the murderer told in an alternating first person narrative that includes John Hartman and well over a dozen other people whose lives have been impacted by his heinous crime. Each character's voice comes alive as they recount the frustrating hunt for the seemingly mild mannered murderer, who not only escaped the murder scene but also from the torment of his own troubled mind. Through a richly descriptive interweaving of accounts by the various characters, the reader delves into the complexity of the murderer, the crime and the impact that it had on the close knit Connecticut community, and those who became obsessed and doggedly searched for John Hartman. Devil In The Hole is a haunting novel that will keep the reader in suspense as the dark portrait of a seemingly mild-mannered man's life descent into madness and murder unfolds, leaving a chilling rippling effect on people connected to this man and his heinous crime. As a born and bred Jersey girl, I remember the 1971 NJ mass murder case that John List committed on his unsuspecting family. I have also enjoyed the made for TV movie featured on Lifetime about the List case, so when I read the book description for Devil In The Hole, I knew I had to read this book, and I wasn't left disappointed. The author connects the murder and the ensuing manhunt with intriguing first person narratives that keeps the reader captivated and guessing what would happen next, it is a story that you won't be able to put down. Devil In The Hole is one of the best psychological crime thrillers that I have read, it is a powerful story that is thought provoking and expertly told by an author who convincingly fictionalizes a true life crime into one hell of a riveting tale that is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We often wonder what’s on the minds of people capable of killing; in Charles Salzberg’s new book “Devil in the Hole”, we get a frighteningly compelling glimpse of the thoughts and motives of the killer. We also learn from others what they saw from the outside as the main character takes a wrenching journey from his unspeakable series of acts to how he faces his deeds. The journey feels all too real; I felt like these people could be my neighbors. The pages kept turning. A good read with a unique format to keep you paying attention, and then wondering about the people you know…
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first heard Charles Salzberg read an unbelievably good prose piece on the comedian Pat Cooper at a KGB event in the 90's. I knew then that, if he wasn't already a famous writer, Salzberg would be soon. His prose was impeccable and he captured the real-life character of Cooper beautifully. Now, many years later, I still don't understand why Salzberg is not a household name. In "Devil in the Hole," which I just finished, Salzberg uses multiple points of view to examine the psychological effect a mass murder has on all who knew and encountered him. I am not typically a big murder-mystery fan, but "Devil in the Hole" has changed my mind about the genre. In the hands of a master story teller like Salzberg, a murder mystery can shed light on the human condition as well as the best "literary fiction." Kudos to Charles Salzberg for this wonderfully written, insightful novel!
ZenobiaF More than 1 year ago
Devil In The Hole, by Charles Salzberg Nobody likes murder—especially when it wipes out a whole family—minus one, in this case. The only family member missing in this bloody tableau is John Hartman, the father, husband, and son of the dead. Did he do away with his entire family—including the dog? Three teenagers, their mother, and their grandmother—all shot once in the head—lie for weeks, undiscovered in an elegant but nearly unfurnished Connecticut mansion. Finally, an alert neighbor notices that all the lights in the house stay on, day and night, for weeks—and Charles Salzberg, mystery writer extraordinaire, offers us the first of almost two dozen voices narrating this strange crime story, Devil in the Hole, based on the true story of a man in New Jersey who murdered his entire family. It is these many voices which bring the story alive: the neighbor who helps discover the bodies and can’t get the crime out of his mind; the minister who talked about religion with Hartman and is haunted by his sense that he failed him and is thereby somewhat responsible; Hartman’s ardent young mistress who feels she literally dodged a bullet—but also misses him; the cynical police investigator who can’t let go of the case even after everyone else gives up—and others.  Salzberg deftly brings each of these characters to life, swiftly letting us enter their lives as we hear their thoughts, their idiosyncratic ways of speaking, and their streams of consciousness show us their real or imagined relationships to Hartman. Each one “knows” that Hartman did or didn’t commit the murders and tells us why, confusing and confounding us about what we think “really happened.” Which you may or may not “know” until—well, you’ll see. Salzberg pulls us one way then another, just the way a skilled storyteller should—and then some. Nobody likes a murder—but almost everybody loves a murder mystery beautifully told. The murders in Devil in the Hole are revealed in the first twenty pages. But the story—ah, the story and its startling twists and turns lasts for more than two hundred delicious pages more. Keep the lights on. You’re in the hands of a master.    Ellen Schecter, author of Fierce Joy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an awesome read!!! From the beginning to its climatic end the author transport you through the dark passages of a killer's mind. I could not put this book down!
bmitch More than 1 year ago
This is a clever book based on a terrible tragedy that really happened in New Jersey in 1971.  I remember, and you might too, when John List almost got away with murdering his wife, three teenage children, his mother-in-law, and even their dog.  He disappeared long before the bodies were discovered and the law didn't catch up with him for 18 years, until after the case was featured on "America's Most Wanted." Salzberg has turned this awful crime into a novel set in Connecticut.  He tells the story through many characters, each with his own chapter or chapters.  This sounds confusing and a little ridiculous, but it is actually very effective.  First we hear from a neighbor across the street who gets suspicious when all the lights are on in the huge house 24 hours a day and he doesn't see anyone coming or going.  The family is strange and not friendly, but this finally gets to the neighbor and he calls the police.  They find the bodies, but the husband/father is gone, as is the car, and the bodies are so badly decomposed, it has obviously been a couple of weeks since they were killed. We then get the perspective of one of the cops who entered the house, then the other.  The neighbor has his say again, then the chief of police, etc.  The story advances through chapters supposedly written in the first person by people who are somehow involved with the case or the missing murderer.  The characters seem real; almost as if you are listening to various types of people sitting with you telling their brush with a killer. In retrospect, I think this way of telling the story is brilliant.  I can't imagine any other method that would work as well.  There are nearly two dozen characters and as we hear from them, we begin to form an idea of what was in the killer's mind when he did this unthinkable crime.  We can't be totally certain of that, nor can we know John List's reasoning when he actually killed his family, but this gives us some inkling of the workings of a murderer's rationale for his crime. Highly recommended Source:  author through Partners in Crime Book Tours
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carefully crafted and gripping, this was a great read that got hold of me in a quiet way and never let me go.