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The Christmas Killer

(DI James Walker #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  4,327 ratings  ·  735 reviews
As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half fr
...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 29th 2020 by Avon
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,327 ratings  ·  735 reviews


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Julie
The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine is a 2020 Avon publication.

When a dangerous criminal is released from prison, who happens to carry a grudge against DI James Walker, his wife insists they move away from the city. Just as they begin to settle into the small Cumbrian village, and a much slower, and hopefully less dangerous life, an ominous package arrives on their doorstep with a note attached which threatens a twelve-day reign of terror ala the Twelve Days of Christmas.

In blizzard like conditi
...more
Emma
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
DI James Walker just got the kind of Christmas present nobody wants: a promise that 12 murders are about to happen in the small Cumbrian village he now calls home. Having moved from London to escape the vengeful attentions of a gang boss he once arrested, now free and back on the streets, it seems like he's relocated from the frying pan into the fire. As the bodies drop into the beautiful winter snow, he rushes to discover who's suddenly become stabby and why.

Sounds 100% like my kind of thing, b
...more
Regina
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Just for funsies, visualize, if you will, an assortment of sugary goodies on display at a holiday cookie exchange party. There are intricately-decorated Christmas cookies with layers of icing and sprinkles. Then there are expertly-crafted raspberry rugelach lovingly baked from someone’s grandma’s recipe. And who could forget the buttery spritz cookies in various festive shapes.

And then, down at the very end of the table, sit the lazy-a$$ pretzels dipped in white chocolate. You know, from the pe
...more
Tina
This is a Christmas Suspense Mystery, and this is the first book in the DI James Walker Series. I have to say I did enjoyed reading this book after I got pulled into the story, but It took me awhile to get pulled into the story. I also felt the book was slow moving, and I did not felt there was a lot of suspense in this book. I did not guess the person that did it. I wish the characters where more developed because I feel I really did not get a full picture of the characters. Overall, This myste ...more
MissBecka Gee
20% in before someone dies in a murder mystery detective book?

"Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders."
I could have dealt with the lack of murdery moments (though I prefer not too!) if the side stories and characters had had more pull.
All the characters felt uncomfortable in their own skin which made the book feel more drawn out than was pleasant.
It was all very bland.
Thanks to NetGalley & Avon Books UK for my DRC.
...more
Ken
Dec 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Alex Pine's debut novel might have it's flaws, but this was exactly the Christmas themed thriller that I was looking for...

The prologue itself explains that DI James Walker and his wife Annie are desperate to leave London and start a new life in the quite village of Kirkbu Abbey in Cumbria.
James is soon welcomed with a gift and card stating that over the next 12 days will see 12 deserving murders will e committed.

I'm glad that the author actually acknowledged the period that the killer was plann
...more
Louise Wilson
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

DI James Walker #1

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey. But when he opens an early Christmas present that was left on his doorstep, inside the package is a gruesome surprise and a promise, twelve days, twelve murders. It isn't long before the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

In twelve days, twelve deserving people will die. DI James Walker is on the case. He is new to Cumbria. He moved to Kirkby Abbey fr
...more
Linda Strong
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
DI James Walker and his wife have recently relocated to a small remote village. It's a big change from London, but they're both working on fitting in. There's not much crime here and Walker finds himself a little bored ... he's used to all the 'big' crime in London. But when someone from their past gets out of prison prematurely, they are threatened and in order to appease his wife, they leave, and don't bother with a change of address note.

It's almost Christmas and Walker's thoughts are about d
...more
Kelli Wilson
Flat as a roadkill pancake.

Lacking of provocation and stimulation.

The summary intrigued me. This is why I requested and was highly anticipating this book. An ominous Christmas card sent with a dead pigeon, to a police detective. Claiming there will be twelve days of death for Christmas this year and all of them are well deserving of their 'death sentence'.

Overall, it felt a bit elementary, and certainly far from anything R rated. The main character's often had long paragraphs devoted to their
...more
Vanessa Menezes
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
When DI James Walker opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

The minute I saw this book and its cover, I knew I had to read this one! I love holi
...more
Sarah
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...

To be honest, I find there is more suspense with opening an advent calendar than there was in Pine’s murder mystery. I could not get a sense of danger and the perpetrator was too obvious.

For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...
...more
Sara
Nov 30, 2021 rated it it was ok
Stilted dialogue, a predictable plot and slow pacing add up to a not so jolly Christmas read. What a disappointment. I could probably have got past the bad writing if the plot was intriguing or the characters interesting, but every single person felt incredibly flat and one dimensional, almost like caricatures of a Midsummer Murders plot, and the story just wasn't anything special. I ended up skimming to the end to see if I had been right about the killer I guessed in the first 50 pages. I was. ...more
Kelli Wilson
Apr 13, 2022 rated it it was ok
Flat as a roadkill pancake.

Lacking of provocation and stimulation.

The summary intrigued me. This is why I requested and was highly anticipating this book. An ominous Christmas card sent with a dead pigeon, to a police detective. Claiming there will be twelve days of death for Christmas this year and all of them are well deserving of their 'death sentence'.

Overall, it felt a bit elementary, and certainly far from anything R rated. The main character's often had long paragraphs devoted to their
...more
BonnieM☂️
Aug 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Christmas Killer was a nice surprise. When starting the book I was not sure I would like it. As I got into the story I found I could not put it down. Anne Walker and her husband James are the main characters in this story. The supporting characters fit perfectly with the story.. Anne and James move to the house she inherited in Cumbria's Kirby Abbey.. James is the detective inspector who put Andrew Sullivan in prison. He is let out of prison and James is concerned for his wife safety so he t ...more
D.S. Mac
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-reviews-2020
3.5* rounded to 4*

A big thank you to Netgalley, Avon and Alex Pine for letting me read a copy of this for an honest review

He's no Saint Nick but he definitely has list. 12 Days, 12 Victims.

As the little village slowly gets cut off from the outside by a blizzard and the murders start increasing, can the killer be stopped before his twelfth victim.


While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and felt it was a very fun read, I'm left a tad disappointed.
The writing was simple with little to no meaningful
...more
Luvtoread
Detective James Walker and his wife have just moved to the small quiet village of Kirkby Abbey in Cumbria from the hustle and bustle of London where there are many crimes taking place on a daily basis so James is somewhat disappointed with the slow pace and lack of crimes and excitement that he was so used to with keeping him busy in a job that he loved. So when a Christmas package arrives with a gruesome gift inside and a card wIth the "Twelve Days of Christmas" on the front and written inside ...more
Shalini
Dec 12, 2020 rated it liked it
A good police procedural though it was more gentle than gritty. It was up to James Walker to solve the surprise gift that landed on his doorstep.

It was an interesting mystery, though it lacked the punch. The characters could have had more depth, but James had enough pizzaz for me to enjoy the story. This was one of my fast but predictable reads.
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
A Christmas story about a serial killer... sign me up. It was a fun, quick read. I did guess the killer early on and it was a bit all over the place but enjoyed it
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
The Christmas Killer is the first instalment in the Detective Inspector James Walker series and is a book as chaotic as the time of year it evokes. DI Walker has relocated to Cumbria CID, where he and wife, Annie, have moved into Annie’s mothers home bequeathed to her 18 months earlier, believing it'll be a change of pace from his previous police work in London, but little does he know, the serenity of the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey is about to be shattered. One of James’s most high profile ...more
Heidi
Dec 18, 2020 rated it liked it
THE CHRISTMAS KILLER is written in the style of a traditional whodunit, set amidst a small snowed-in village in Cumbria in early December and delivers just what its title promises. A killer is on the loose and has chosen a 12-days-of-Christmas card to deliver their sinister message: he / she is vowing to murder twelve villagers “who deserve what’s coming to them” in the days leading up to Christmas. Enter DI James Walker, a detective who has relocated to the small village from London to get a br ...more
Louise Wilson
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

DI James Walker 1

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey. But when he opens an early Christmas present that was left on his doorstep, inside the package is a gruesome surprise and a promise, twelve days, twelve murders. It isn't long before the first bodyb is found, half frozen in the snow.

In twelve days, twelve deserving people will die. DI James Walker is on the case. He is new to Cumbria. He moved to Kirkby Abbey fr
...more
Caitlyn Lynch
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller, crime, mystery
After a crime boss gets his conviction overturned, DI James Walker and his wife Annie make the decision to relocated to Cumbria for their own safety and peace of mind. And then the murders began… after a creepy card is delivered to James in a box with a dead bird, warning of 12 murders for the 12 days of Christmas to come.

There are a lot of characters in this book and an awful lot of red herrings thrown out. The villain did actually make sense as regards motivation, but the biggest problem I had
...more
Nicole
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a really fun and engaging thriller!

I absolutely loved the setting of this book. I absolutely love Cumbria and the small village closed off because of the snow made this book incredibly claustrophobic.

The writing style was engaging and easy to read.

The pace was a little off though. There were parts where not much happened. But largely I was really gripped with the story and did not want to put the book down.

I did however, see the ending coming from the start and I did guess it correctl
...more
linda hole
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was for me about finding the serial killer in a small town. I liked the book Even though i early knew WHO the killer was. I liked the hunt for the serial killer. And i liked all the small town secrets that appeared when you scratched the surface. I would recommend this.book. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest review
Thea | (unapologetic_bibliosmia)
12 days of Christmas and 12 promised murders. The idea sounded promising to me when I read the blurb to this book.

Sadly though,most of the story is filled with the to-ing and fro-ing of the two main characters -Detective Inspector James Walker and his wife who have decided to move to desolate Cumbria to escape an angry mobster in London, and their day to day trivial conversations, recounts and general going about of their day.

In fact - we don’t get our first murder until 23 percent through the b
...more
Skyesmum
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much, there aren't enough thrillers set around Christmas IMHO.
I liked the setting and DI Alexander, although his wife grated on my nerves.
The 'perp' got me guessing and I had a couple in mind.

All in.all a good book. Hoping there's more to come
...more
Ailsa
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
A page turner of a book? If that’s what you call turning two or three pages at a time so you can skip the nothingness that fills them just so you can skim your way to the end and check that yes, you were right who you guessed was the killer a quarter of the way in. Not a bad storyline (in a been here read it before kind of way) but the writing, characters and language just felt so wrong and awkward. Predictable to the point I even knew why the uncle was acting so shifty.
Lainy
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 400

Publisher - Avon

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards des
...more
Mallory
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This thriller had a pretty interesting premise - a killer sends a Christmas card to a detective promising to present 12 gifts for Christmas in the form of murdering 12 people who the killer says deserve to die. That detective and his wife and recently moved home to her small hometown and there are certainly the fair share of secrets hidden amongst the villagers. There were certainly a lot of suspects and interesting clues. It was a little hard to get into for me, I’m not totally sure why as it w ...more
Joanna Park
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ooh I do like a thriller set at Christmas time. The expectation of it being a happy occasion always makes the book more atmospheric and the crimes extra chilling. This book was no exception and I liked the added twist that the snow falling created a locked room scenario where the killer was trapped in the village alongside everyone. The mention of 12 murders helps give an ominous countdown to Christmas and one that I’d prefer not to have. This did ensure I kept reading as I wanted to see when th ...more
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Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on ...more

Other books in the series

DI James Walker (3 books)
  • The Killer in the Snow (DI James Walker #2)
  • The Winter Killer (DI James Walker, #3)

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