Hope you’re all good and well rested after the weekend. I had a lovely day out yesterday and bought my first batch of new Christmas decorations for this year. I don’t buy new every year, but we have an extra tree for the cottage. I know Halloween isn’t out of the way yet, but it’s not really my thing anyway, so I seem to have unconsciously moved onto Christmas already.
I have an ARC lined up (next on my TBR) that is the second in the DI James Walker series so naturally I had to read the first one beforehand; The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine. Just from the title, the cover and the fact that this is a murder mystery, I knew that this was going to be right up my street.
DI James Walker is ready for a quaint family Christmas with his wife and extended family in their quiet village of Kirkby Abbey. But those plans are soon scuppered by the arrival of an unexpected gift on the Walker’s doorstop; a gruesome surprise and a promise in the form of a note – twelve days, twelve murders. Shortly after, the first body turns up half frozen in the snow.
Blizzards start to descend on the village and panic starts to spread amongst the residents. Can DI James Walker catch the killer before the promise is kept and another eleven villagers are murdered?
General Thoughts 🤔
So a very general statement…I really liked this book. It was a good police procedural book with a lovely Christmas quaint feeling to it too. I don’t know how I’ve managed to put quaint and murder together but I have. Kirkby Abbey sounded like such a lovely place to live but definitely not boring. Murders aside, I loved all of the secrets that were being held by the residents and they helped to make the story more thrilling.
The book wasn’t without fault and downfalls. There were some sections where not a lot happened and it got a bit slow. There was also quite a big gap at the beginning before the first murder actually took place. However these points weren’t negative enough to put me off reading and the positives outweighed the negative in my opinion.
I think that James Walker is a character that I may grow to love as this series progresses. He struck me as quite a level headed and calm detective and I liked that. I do think he was a little blind in this investigation though and he should have seen what was right in front of him earlier. One thing that did aggravate me about James (and this is a very personal niggle) is how he constantly called his wife hun. It’s a term of endearment that I cannot get on board with.
Writing Style ✍️
This wasn’t the most complex of storylines and to be brutally honest, I wasn’t massively surprised when the murderer was revealed. That person was my prime suspect from very early on, but it was fun seeing James Walker run around trying to work it out for himself. What the book lacked in twists and turns, it made up for with a feeling of comfort and just uncomplicated entertainment.
I’m really not sure if this is what Alex Pine was aiming for when writing this book but either way, it worked for me and I enjoyed reading it. It was a bit like a more exciting version of an episode of Midsummer Murders but with swearing.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
If you’re looking for a book to read that isn’t going to have you so tense you’re stiff but will keep you somewhat on your toes and definitely put a little smirk on your face, then I would recommend The Christmas Killer. If you go into this book with the right expectations, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it like I did.