- File Size: 1334 KB
- Print Length: 283 pages
- Publisher: Mulholland (November 16, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 16, 2017
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076P7YVSS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,813 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Hachette Book Group
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The Deaths of December: A cracking Christmas crime thriller Kindle Edition
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|Length: 283 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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DC Becky Green receives a strange piece of correspondence which has been sent to her police station. On opening the curiously addressed envelope, she finds an advent calendar. Opening the windows, she finds that instead of the more usual treats or festive scenes, behind each window is a negative of a crime scene photograph. On closer inspection, one of them is familiar as it details a recent crime. Taking it to her boss DS Carmine, he recognises at least one other which he keeps quiet about. Who has sent it and why? More worrying though is that there are several windows with nothing behind them. With the recognised crimes still unsolved, does this mean that this has come directly from the killer and if so, why? If not then what connects them. And, more importantly, are the blanks indications of more crimes to come? Can Becky and Carmine identify the missing crime scenes and find the connections in time to both catch the killer and prevent more deaths?
What a cracking premise for a story. As things unravel, we go back in time and learn more about each of the crimes depicted in the calendar. We also hear from the initially unknown killer and become privy to their motivation. There is a side story regarding Christmas markets. Quite how and why this fits into the big picture is initially unknown so I just kept that on the back burner for a little while. It's not too long before things start to make sense though so I didn't have to hold it for too long until it all became scarily clear. It's an entertaining and well plotted story that managed to hold my attention nicely throughout, even when I thought I had it all worked out, there was still more to come to light.
Characters were good too. I really liked Becky right from the start. She is relatively new to the detective squad and still finding her feet a bit but she is dogged and determined albeit it still a little green. Carmine on the other hand is a bit of an old hand at things along with all the baggage that comes from a long and varied career as a detective and I thought the two characters complemented each other very well. Also I found it quite refreshing that neither of them fitted the stereotypes that usually crop up in this type of book.
Pacing was a little different in this book to what I am used to. I guess most of that could be attributed to the fact that the main focus of the detectives is on cold cases, committed over several years and in different jurisdictions. This meant that there was quite a bit of the early part of the book taken up with identifying all the previous crimes. Once that was done and we were really off and running then things took on a more frenetic pace. Especially as the killer appeared to be working towards their end game - not really a spoiler as it is obvious from their initial communication that they wanted things to get a wriggle on so to speak. We also found out quite early who and why, another swing away from the usual formula but it did work well with the story being told. That said, I did find that the reasons why were a bit incredible and, as such, I wasn't wholly convinced.
The ending was a little ambiguous and there were things that were left a bit up in the air. I am not sure whether this is an indication of more to come from the characters, whether in just a follow up book or if indeed this is the start of a series. Another thing that point to this being a possibility is the way that the characters have been introduced. I read a lot of series books and the character definition and development during this book did feel to me like this isn't the end of their stories. Personally I would welcome this to be the case as I have already mentioned that they make a good pairing and I would definitely be interested in hearing more from them. They have great potential and it would be a shame if this was it for them.
All in all, ignoring the lack of complete resolution at the end, this was a quite satisfying read for me. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Opening door number one Becky discovers a small photograph of a murder scene, in fact, it is her colleague, Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine’s most recent and unsolved murder.
Behind most of the doors is a different murder scene, but there are a few left blank, presumably for the killers next victims. The race is on to find the person who is responsible and bring them to justice, but how, when all they have is a tiny photograph as evidence?
The Deaths of December complete and utterly perked my attention with its synopsis. I love a good Christmas book, and I also love thrillers, so the combination of the two was not to be missed.
The book is split into days, counting down from nine more sleeps before Christmas, until one day to go. It is also told from various points of view, including Detective Greene, Detective Carmine, The Photographer and a young woman called Carly.
From the start you know who, though not by name, and the basis of why the killer is killing. From what we are initially told I did think it strange as to why someone would become a serial killer for that reason, but as the plot progressed I understood more and more. Then the epilogue confirmed everything for me.
Both Becky and Eddie are very likeable and authentic. Having worked at a police station, including the CID department, at times it was like being back in the open office. Ms. Holliday certainly did her research into the life of a detective thoroughly.
The book is filled with gripping and quite often tense moments. The plot is original and very realistic. If I have one little gripe it is with the ending, I’m not saying it’s not good, it was just not in the direction I was expecting Ms. Holliday to take us. I can’t really tell you anything about it as I would spoil the book for you, but I do wonder whether this is the end, or is there going to be a sequel.
If you are looking for a thriller that is going to excite you, something to get your teeth into and keep you hooked, I would definitely recommend reading ‘The Deaths of December’.
Book Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed