ARC Review: The Christmas Killer

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Title:  The Christmas Killer
Author:  Alex Pine
Series: DI James Walker #1
Published: 2020
Publisher: Avon
POV:  2
Genre: Thriller/ Mystery
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


Get a copy:

P.S. This review was meant to be published on 5th November. However, my-tired-self scheduled the post for 5th November 2021, already going ahead of myself! Apologies! So here it is – a day before Christmas. Still perfect timing!

I started early with Christmas books this year. I’m desperate for some festive vibes to pull me out from the grumpy, murky everyday life filled with a statistic about the death toll and newly infected.

Here we go!

DI James Walker is loving his job at London police. A bit more than a year ago he put behind bars Andrew Sullivan after spending several years trying to disrupt his illicit activities. And this put a target on his back. Now, out of the blue, Sullivan case has been reopened and he has been found not guilty and released. This, of course, makes James and his wife Annie feel quite nervous. Receiving a ‘message’ tied to a brick and thrown through their window was a crucial moment in which they agreed that they have to move out of London.

That’s what they did. They moved to the quiet, rural town of Kirkby Abbey – Annie home town. He started work at the local police station, while Annie started working in the local school. So far, they are settling fine and prepare themselves for nice and quiet Christmas.

Until the day James received an early Christmas present. A present that brings no joy to his holiday plans. Inside – a partridge and a Christmas card promising that 12 murders will set place in this quiet Cumbrian village as an interpretation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Unfortunately, soon after a body is found and this is just the beginning.

I was looking forward to reading this book. The premise it gives brought me creeps. Plus, I’m collecting snow globes from the places I visit and I couldn’t pass by a book with a snow globe on its cover.

The book hooked me on and kept my interest till the end but something bothered me all the time. The writing style is kind of odd. Sounds somehow matter-of-factly. Strange short sentences, bizarre conversations, the story felt ‘dry’ or at least this is the first association that comes to my mind when I’m thinking of the book. The characters are flat. They do show some emotions but they look overplayed and unrealistic.

So yeah, not impressed. It’s an easy book, but if you are reading lots of mystery/thriller books, this one will bore you pretty early. That’s because of the lack of suspense and nothing to keep you at the edge. It’s just police officers talking to one person, then to others, then back to the first one and keep going in a circle, asking the same people, same questions.

However, if you are up for a quick, easy read to chill out with – this is your book!

A huge thanks to Avon and the author Alex Pine for sending me an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are mine!

Publication Date: 29/09/20 (out now)

Cheers, Hope Xx

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