The Port Fairy Murders

Robert Gott

The Port Fairy Murders
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The Port Fairy Murders

Robert Gott

The Port Fairy Murders is the sequel to The Holiday Murders, a historical crime novel set in 1943 in the newly formed Homicide department of Victoria Police. The Holiday Murders explored the little-known fascist groups that festered in Australia both before and during the war, particularly an organisation called Australia First. The Port Fairy Murders continues with this exploration but looks, as well, at the bitter divide between Catholics and Protestants. This divide was especially raw in small rural communities.

The Homicide team, which includes Detective Joe Sable and Constable Helen Lord, is trying to track down a man named George Starling. Starling is a dangerous loose end from the investigation in The Holiday Murders. At the same time they are called to investigate a double murder in Port Fairy. It seems straightforward - they have a signed confession - but it soon becomes apparent that nothing is straightforward about the incident.

The novel examines the tensions that simmer in a small town, riven by class and religious divides, and under economic stress from the shrinking of its fishing industry, and the exploitation of fishermen by Melbourne’s markets. It also examines the tensions within the Homicide Department.

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