Review: The Christmas Killer

The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine | Publisher: Avon Books UK | Publication Date: 29 October 2020 | Genre: Mystery & Thriller | Find it on: Goodreads

DI James Walker and his wife have decided to move from London to Kirkby Abbey after James has a run in with a well-known underworld kingpin while working for the London PD. Their move is supposed to mean a slower, safer pace of life, but shortly before the Christmas holiday they receive a Christmas card that changes everything. 

And as the bodies start piling up the Walkers begin to wonder if they were safer in London after all.

Pine has written an effective “locked door” mystery by sealing the small town of Kirkby Abbey off by a snowstorm that keeps all the suspects and victims stuck in place. 

He’s also managed to give each character a unique personality with a unique story—and motivation—for being the killer. It makes for fun armchair sleuthing and, while more police procedural than cozy, it’s not too graphic of a read to ruin your appetite for Christmas treats. 

My biggest disappointments were that I didn’t quite feel the festive, holiday vibes of a Christmas themed murder mystery. Other than the killer’s “twelve days of Christmas” threat, there isn’t a whole lot of Christmas here. And when the killer is finally revealed this character seems to have the least original motive of all the potential suspects. 

That being said, it was still an enjoyable cold weather read, perfect for a snowy day, thick blanket, and mug of something hot. 

Rating: 3 out of 5.

*Thanks to Avon Books and Netgalley for the ARC*

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