Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

The Deaths of December
By Susi Holliday
Published by Mulholland Books (16 November 2017)
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.

Publisher's description
The hunt is on for a serial killer in a thrilling festive crime novel.
It looks like a regular advent calendar. 
Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors...and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one. 
The police hope it's a prank. Because if it isn't, a murderer has just surfaced - someone who's been killing for twenty years. 
But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station? 
As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them...
It's shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas. 

My verdict
I'm a great fan of Susi (SJI) Holliday's writing, having enjoyed her Banktoun series - Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly. So I was very excited to read her new book, The Deaths of December. 

This is a police procedural with a Christmas theme. Someone has sent negatives of crime scenes in an advent calendar to the police. I loved the new characters - DC Becky Greene and DS Eddie Carmine - who have to figure out whether this is a prank or if there's a serial killer on the loose. I have no idea if this is the start of a new series, but I really hope it is, as I'd love to watch them develop.

The Deaths of December is definitely Susi Holliday's best one yet. It reads very differently from her others, proving the flexibility of her writing skills. I feel like I've watched her grow as an author over the last couple of years. This chilling book has a great twisty plot, with a race against the clock, and is lots of fun (in a sinister murderous kinda way). It also has realistic dialogue and great descriptive writing. It kept me guessing and I couldn't put it down.

I have to be honest - I don't 'do' Christmas, not in the way most other people do (please don't hate me for writing that). And I don't read Christmas-themed fiction. Or rather, the only Christmas-themed fiction I usually read involves crime, thrills and... erm... murder.

So The Deaths of December was a perfectly wrapped festive read for me. And I'm sure it will be a perfect Christmas stocking filler for other crime fiction fans too. Buy it!!!!

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