Wednesday 1 December 2021

Book Review: The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine book cover

AD* | 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?

What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than with a murder mystery? Granted, the two don't usually go hand-in-hand, but this festive-themed crime novel will definitely keep you busy over the holiday season!

The Christmas Killer has a great premise. Police detective James receives a parcel containing a chilling note that promises a Christmas slaughter. 12 days of Christmas; 12 murders. 

So far so good, right? Sadly, though, the book failed to live up to its premise. The story was quite slow to get going, focusing on seemingly inane internal monologues and side characters rather than James' investigation. It's also quite formulaic and repetitive which wears a little thin after a while. Did you know it's going to snow? 

On the flip side, the village is well described. It's easy to imagine the picturesque Kirkby Abbey with its covering of snow and fairy lights twinkling in each window - even as the murderer stalks its streets. 

What should be a fast-paced thriller with the detectives racing against the clock turns into rather a bizarre mish-mash of typical festive scenes interspersed with murder. It's jarring and just doesn't flow well. Coupled with unnatural dialogue and a lack of investment in the characters, sadly, The Christmas Killer falls short of the mark. 

Rating: 2 stars

The Christmas Killer is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Have you read the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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