The Night Before Christmas by Alex Pine

The Night Before Christmas by Alex Pine

Welcome to day 6 of #12daysofchristmas. In case you have missed any of the previous books, they are listed below:

At the time of writing it is actually Day 2 of #12booksofchristmas and I have already been through the range of emotions from A-Z. Day one saw me a bit tense and feeling overwhelmed and today has seen a complete 180, because I have been out for a Christmas lunch with my team at work.

It is these events that remind us to enjoy the festive period. Having been a shocking blogger, I am trying to get to grips with Instagram again and have had lovely messages from friends over there. And it reminds me why I love doing #12booksofchristmas. It's a chance to connect with all of you and to share lovely Christmas reads.

So for me, Christmas is about those many catch-ups over dinners and lunches, the simple messages, a thought in a Christmas card. It's a pretty magical time of year. My blurb has absolutely nothing to do with the next pick. In fact given DI James Walker's luck at Christmas, he should really consider hibernating! But what follows is an excellent Police procedural. Let's dive in shall we!

The Plot

This Christmas, the hunters become the hunted…
When four trail hunters go missing in the fells of Cumbria on Christmas Eve, the race is on to find them before nightfall – when the temperature plummets.
After hours of searching, the first body is found… Not frozen in the snow, but brutally murdered and bearing a warning: the real hunt has begun.
As a snowstorm descends, three lives hang in the balance. But can the killer be caught before the trail goes cold?

My Thoughts

This is a new-to-me author and is the fourth book in the DI James Walker series. I have not read the first three books, but didn't feel I lost out by not reading them. The crime is rather chilling. 4 friends go off hiking, and are reported missing by one of their wives. When the police arrive at the home of one of them. they discover the house has been vandalised and a chilling message is left.

We are very quickly into the action with this one, and the descriptions of the beautiful but cruel snowy countryside mean our hunt for the hikers becomes much more pressing. And then we discover that the hikers weren't just hiking and a conflict between 2 groups with differing opinions is thrown up. More pressing still.

In the meantime, DI Walker's team compile a list of suspects, are frustrated by worsening weather and enter the world of hunt saboteurs. The novel just keeps ramping up the tension.

Uncharacteristically, I did guess the murderer but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. It was a cracking read, well-paced and absorbing. I will definitely be reading more of this detective, who seems to have the most awful crimes to solve at Christmas.

This is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good police procedural, especially if set at Christmas time.

This marks the halfway point in this year's #12booksofchristmas We are already 6 books in. I will be back tomorrow with a rather magical book. See you tomorrow!