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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
28 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
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3 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Very Good

    This novel is a great read – the pacing is comfortable, it is well-plotted and the story is intriguing. Based in Kendal, forty-year-old DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey, Cumbria. He and his wife Annie have relocated to the small remote village and it's a big change from London. A local farmer has just returned home and it's Christmas Eve; he notices that there is a set of footprints leading to his basement which isn't used. He has a wife, Mary and a daughter, Charlotte and three days later, all three are found dead... There is never a dull moment in this dark and atmospheric story and I was riveted from start to finish. The characters are solidly drawn, lending credibility to the festive mystery/ thriller. I look forward to seeing more of DI Walker in future instalments. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Avon Books via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • a Christmas murder

    A family is murdered on Christmas in the same house that had a murder more than 20 years ago. Now what are the odds of that? And what if I threw in that the father murdered in the present day worked at the farm all those years ago? Now are you intrigued? And the daughter from the first murder went missing as a baby and was never found. Could you ask for a more interesting case? I was hooked. This is a typical British crime novel, focusing on the team investigating the murders in addition to solving the murder. DI Walker is a former Metropolitan copper that moved to the country to get away from something. The comparison between the two murders as told through flashbacks for the older one was an interesting way to follow the progress in the case. This is the second book in the DI James Walker series and while I haven’t read the first book, I was able to follow along. The case from the first book is referenced a bit in this book, but the author reminds the reader what they need to know. I enjoyed the book. I can count this as a Christmas read, right?

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    2 person found this review helpful

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  • What a puzzle!

    What a puzzle! On Christmas Eve, at Oaktree Farm, the owner, his wife and daughter are found murdered. Twenty four years earlier, at Oaktree Farm, the owner and his wife were found murdered. Their infant daughter was never found. Wondering how these cases could be related, DI James Walker and his team begin to investigate. Robert Bateman, killed on Christmas Eve, had a gambling problem and was about to lose the farm. Threats are found on his phone. His daughter Charlotte is dating a possible drug dealer. And, behind the boarded over cellar door, there’s a peephole where someone has been watching the Batemans. Someone who left bloody shoe prints from the outer cellar door. Prints that don’t match any found near the bodies. As Walker tries to unravel the mystery behind the killings, he faces another threat. Andrew Sullivan, a gang leader, is out of jail and looking for revenge. Walker and his wife are on his list. Alex Pine seamlessly weaves together two murder cases, decades apart, with a memorable group of suspects and a distracting outside threat in this well written, suspenseful police procedural. The conclusion is a total surprise. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Alex Pine for tis ARC.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Highly Recommended for Ragnar Jonasson fans!

    I loved this book! This book had a lot of things going for it (dual time line situation, good characters, compelling writing) but the thing that struck me most about it was that it reminded me a lot of Ragnar Jonasson. The isolated location, the crime from a long time ago, the way the investigation is detailed and tight but not so much so that the details of the investigation make it a straight up police procedural... all around just fantastic. While I would definitely say it's more of a slow burn than a thriller, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and highly recommend it to fans of Ragnar Jonasson!

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  • More DI Walker please!

    A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. Without a neighbour for miles, there are no witnesses and little evidence. And the crime scene has strange echoes of another terrible murder committed at the farmhouse, twenty years earlier. This is the second in the DI Walker series and an outstanding sequel. Interesting characters and location, a gripping and dark mystery, this book was such a great read. I am really looking forward to the third book in this series. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced readers copy for review.

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