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?
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I initially read a sampler of this book in the Summer and only read the full version this month.
This is a police procedural with a festive setting. James, a detective inspector in the Met moves to Cumbria when the threat of vengeance from a gangland boss looms. The village in Cumbria, the childhood home of his wife Annie has its share of deceit, hate and secrets but is someone willing to kill?
James is a likeable protagonist, straightforward and dedicated. Annie’s past in the village is chequered. Has her moving back started something dreadful?
There are no murders, only menace and threats in the early part of the book. Suspense builds and the reader realises that this is going to be a Christmas the villagers’ don’t forget.
The murders are suspenseful but not overly graphic. The police investigation is realistic and the conflict and crossover of personal and professional for Detective, James relatable.
Whilst I worked out the murderer, this added to the reading experience making the story authentic and immersive. There is little character development for the investigation team, but hopefully more will be revealed as th series progresses?
This is a good holiday read for crime fiction readers.