09 December 2020

The Christmas Killer


By Alex Pine

My Review

Having recently relocated from London to the quiet Cumbrian village of Kirkby Abbey, DI James Walker finds a Christmas present on his doorstep. Inside is a chilling message — twelve days, twelve murders. Soon a body is discovered frozen in the snow; stabbed in the chest and stomach. With more bad weather forecast the village will soon be cut off. DI Walker must act quickly if he's to prevent eleven more deaths.

This was a relatively quick and easy read. Its setting in a rural village where the gossip mill is rife was perfect. With worsening weather and the fear of becoming trapped with an unknown killer, it was a claustrophobic read.

Sadly the book lets itself down with its clumsy dialogue. Conversations felt forced and stilted; the writing over-simplistic. I can only liken it to an episode of Midsomer Murders in book format. It's not exactly 'cosy crime' but it's not Inspector Morse either! The pacing suffers due to the book being unnecessarily long and padded out with rehashed conversations and theories.

Nevertheless it was a welcome change from the more gruesome crime novels I normally read. Despite some reservations and criticisms, yes, I did enjoy it. It'll be interesting to see what DI Walker's next case throws up.               

Book Source: Purchased copy
My Rating ⭐⭐⭐

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Avon (29th Oct 2020)

The Blurb

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The Author

Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world - many of the stories he covered were crime-related. 

Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast - providing him with the best of both worlds!

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