Author: D S Devlin
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Format: Paperback 400 pages
Release Date: 1 December 2017
My Rating: *****
I received a complimentary copy of this book from HarperCollins through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This book is actually part of a 2 book series which can be read alongside ‘The Present’ by Charlotte Phillips. The book written by Charlotte Phillips, however, is a completely different read altogether with the blurb describing it as ’12 magical gifts, one love that lasts a lifetime…’. The book I have read and will review below is described as ’12 deadly gifts, one killer on a Christmas countdown…’. Make sure you have the right book or you could be in for a surprise!
The book opens with a rather gruesome scene whereby the killer breaks into a couples home, kills the husband and abducts the wife. This same scenario has been happening for the last few years, always around Christmas, always abducting women, who then always turn up murdered on Christmas Eve. This has led the police to dub the killer the ‘Santa Killer’.
Anna Vaughan is an investigative journalist who is drawn into the investigation when the killer leaves a rather gruesome present for her on her doorstep signifying the ‘first day of Christmas’. Reluctant as she is, Anna finds herself working with the police trying to fit the clues together that the ‘Santa Killer’ leaves behind.
However, try as they may, Anna and the police always seem to be one step behind the elusive ‘Santa Killer’.
You can buy your copy of ‘The Present’ on Amazon at:
And at the moment of posting this review the Kindle edition is only 99p!
I’ll admit, the whole concept of the ‘Santa Killer’ was a little bit cheesy. But it does tie in nicely with the theme of the 12 days of Christmas and it does become apparent later in the book why the Santa Killer chooses to abduct and kill his victims around the Christmas period each year.
I thought the concept of the countdown and the delivering of presents coinciding with the 12 days of Christmas was clever. There were plenty of red herrings in this book that kept me guessing all the way to the end. Just when I would think I had it figured out who the killer was another curve ball would be thrown in. I can honestly say I didn’t see the twist at the end coming!
I read this book in two sittings as I was completely hooked by the twists and turns the storyline took. The pace of the book moved well with more clues and presents being delivered to Anna.
Overall, in my opinion this is a brilliant crime thriller/murder mystery read. It was well written with good twists and one I would recommend to anyone who likes this genre. The only downside is I now have the 12 days of Christmas song stuck in my head and it’s only August!
About the Author
D S Devlin writes crime and serial killer thrillers. This was his debut novel.
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