The Christmas Killer is a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village.
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?
After moving from North London to Cumbria DI James Walker is settling in to what he feels will be a safer and quieter pace of life. Just what he and his wife need after crossing paths with a rather nasty criminal who made it clear he had unfinished business with James.
He is settling into his new posting in Kendal and their new home in Kirkby Abbey. It is the house, the family home his wife, Annie, had inherited from her mother. James’ family are coming up for Christmas and Annie’s uncle is also joining them. Annie is a little apprehensive as she and her uncle had not parted on very good terms at her mother’s funeral.
Still, she and James are looking forward to Christmas and family. Preparations are in full flow when her uncle turns up early and rather than staying with Annie and James he has booked himself into a local pub. Still, perhaps a good thing to reconnect with him and clear the air before the festivities begin.
James is settling into his new posting and trying to smooth some ruffled feathers his appointment has made. All in all it seems like it’s been a good move. Although he does miss the job in London it’s seems all is for the best in this move. That is until he returns home one evening to find an parcel addressed to him on the doorstep. Once inside he opens it only to find a bloody bird and a Christmas card inside. The message sends chills through James – 12 days, 12 murders!
It’s not long before a body turns up. Another card is received – this time by the local priest. Whilst wondering if it may be his old adversary from London he begins his investigation. Then another body and another card appear – this time by a local journalist. Not only that but the weather is getting worse and the forecast is not good. The village is accessed by one road it’s the only way in or out. So, unless the killer has gone without completing their mission which seems highly unlikely, James and his small team are set to be trapped in with the residents of Kirkby Abbey!
This is in the main a police procedural with an interesting variation on the ‘locked room’ or Agatha Christie style mystery as the reader gets drawn into working out ‘whodunnit’. We follow James as he is investigating in very difficult conditions – both geographically with part of the team back in Kendal and weather-wise – and as each of his suspects are ruled out will he be able to get the killer before anyone else is killed?
We also have an anonymous voice who surely is the killer which adds an interesting insight to what is happening – although I’m not sure it’ll help you work out who they are!
With plenty of red herrings, a wonderful December snow storm and some crazy killings and threats that get closer and closer to home for James this book combines two of my favourite things – crime fiction and snow! What can I say? It’s a terrific read and I certainly enjoyed it.
Book: Purchased (on order) | Invite from Publisher
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins) 29/10/2020
Author: Alex Pine | Paperback | Pages 416 | ISBN: 978-0-00-840264-8
Buy: Local bookstore|AmazonSmileUK – the ‘preorder’ eBook price is just 99p!
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!
Book reviews by someone who loves books ...
"Vivre le livre!"
Book Reviews & More
Life is too short to read books you don't love
The Welsh Crime Writing Collective
Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading
a classics club blog
Be Kind | Browse Safely | Buy Books
The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!
Musings about books and a blog journal
This bookish nook belongs to Meggy Roussel and her furry babies
A guy hunting for thrillers across the world, and a firm believer in the power of tea
...a crime-fictional site
A bookish blog (mostly) about women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
By [Sarah] Cavar
WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!
A book lover writes about this, that and the other
A Community of Classics Lovers
Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction
Murder Down To A Tea
Criminally good reads
Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Challenge
One Girl, Too Many Books
Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger
Read All About It
No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.
Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting
For book lovers everywhere
Free bookreviews and other free book related stuff
And for summer days
Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections
All things bookish.
“Read the best books first, or you may not have a chance to read them at all.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Escaping reality one book at a time
Just a quiet knitter with an addiction to books
Reader | Writer | Blogger
Louise Jensen - Writer - www.louisejensen.co.uk
Monthly Festival : Turn your book into a movie and get it seen by 1000s of people. Or garner FULL FEEDBACK from publishers on your novel and help your next draft. Or get a transcript video of your novel performed by professional actors.
Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB
The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations