Cover Image: The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

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Member Reviews

This book was not for me. It was too simple. The language was laughably childish. The thoughts of the main character were that of a 5 year old, not a seasoned detective. The obsessive discourse on fox hunting? So boring. I truly felt this was a procedural written by a child.

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I've never read any in this series or by this author but it was an enjoyable Christmas mystery story. I'll be searching out the others to read.

Id like to thank netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book

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I love a Alex Pine book so i was super excited for this one! This is book 4 but can be read as a standalone as they all can! Loved it, a great Christmas thriller!!

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I love this series and this is a good addiction: entertaining, well plotted and gripping
This is a sort of Christmas must read and it's always good to catch up with the characters and discover what new murders will be featured in the book.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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I’ve read a few Alex Pine books now and there’s always been something missing - this is definitely my favourite in the DI James Walker series.

I loved the set up of the crime and how quickly we dived into the action. I did guess the murderer quite early on as I did with Pine’s other books in the series but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment!

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Another great addition to this series from Alex Pine. Poor James Walker and his family seem to be doomed at Christmas and this Yuletide is no different. 4 men missing, temsion between fox hunters and hunt saboteurs make up one of Walker’s most stressful Christmas’s yet.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.

Having read all of Alex Pine’s previous Christmas DI James Walker books, I was very excited to get an early copy of book 4 and it did not disappoint. Four missing hunters, a trashed meeting place, and a chilling warning set the stage for a race against time, especially with a snowstorm descending. This was as usual a fast paced story, which quickly unfolds into a full blown investigation taking us across Cumbria.

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What a fantastic book this was to read. I've never read any of the other books in the series so this can definitely be read as a standalone. Great chatacters you got into and a storyline that really gripped you from the off and so much so you didn't want to put the book down - my sign of a great book! Highly recommended!!!

4 stars

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I have read all Alex Pine novels, this one being the latest. I am a big fan of this series and don't feel there has been a bad one yet.

The latest centres around d the disappearance of four men who head out on a hike/trail hunt on Christmas Eve, only not to return.

As with the others, this left me guessing until the end. I didn't predict who had done it.

My only criticism is that on occasion, I felt like there was some 'filling in'with text and things were written that didn't add anything to the story but made up the word count.

However, as with the others, I'd recommend this to others.

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Interesting read but not for the faint of heart. Lots of gore and blood shed.

Overall a decent read, would’ve liked to see more of the main characters, the book solely fixates on the crime and not the back story.

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I have enjoyed the previous "Christmas" books by this author enjoyed this one. The atmosphere of the area is wonderful and you feel for James as he negotiates the wintry weather to get home to his wife and daughter.
This story of hunt saboteurs is a different one and it is enjoyable in a grisly type of way.
A good winter read.

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Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy of this book. After finishing the third in this series, I couldn’t resist picking up the fourth book immediately. I really love this authors writing. The writing flows so easy and immediately immersed the reader in.
I hope this is not the last we are seeing of DI Walker and the team and I am hoping that the author intends to release a Christmas thriller each year.
In this book, James Walker has yet another murder to solve at Christmas. I really don’t want to live in Cumbria or be in Cumbria at Christmas. Four fox hunters go missing and the race is on to find the missing men before the snow sets in.
I love the relationship between Annie and James and the way in which she is so supportive of him. James would be a great boss!
As always, the writer kept me guessing. I knew who the murderer was on this one from the moment we meet them but I couldn’t understand why! A great festive thriller read.

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An excellent instalment to the series! Felt it was more gritty than previous books, and it really worked well!
I loved how we continue to follow James' life but also really get stuck in to the crime committed.
It was an outstanding who done it! I didn't guess for a second the perpetrator and felt it was really well written and plotted.
The setting was desolate and sinister, it fitted beautifully with the plot! He transformed the beautiful Cumbria into an unsettling, cold and creepy place.
I really look forward to these books every Christmas, the crime theme breaks up the usual happy romance books we see at Christmas and gives you something to read to get your mind ticking over!

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Another page-turner by Alex Pine set during the Christmas period. This is the fourth book in the James Walker series, but can be read as standalones as there are only a few brief references to the previous Christmas cases. This one sees a group of fox hunters become the hunted. A few twists and turns and solid police investigation leads to the final reveal. I was definitely invested and enjoyed this as much as the previous three. #thenightbeforechristmas #alexpine #netgalley

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The fourth and final (for now?) in the DI James Walker series. So far, it’s my favourite.

Last year James made it all the way to New Year - not so lucky this time. This all kicks off Christmas Eve. His poor wife. I’d be far less forgiving.

Four friends go trail hunting Christmas Eve. The weather turns and the four men don’t return home and are not contactable. As the weather worsens the urgency to find them increases.

Maybe they’re just lost or sheltering? Ha!

The body of one man is found, not cuddled for warmth or sheltering but brutally murdered and posed - with a warning “the real hunt has begun”

At this point I started to really enjoy the book! Where are the other three men? Who’s doing this and why? I think I enjoyed this the most as there was a sense of peril throughout - it kept the pace up and me engaged. The focus was split between finding the remaining men alive and working out whodunnit.

I enjoyed the storyline - a great mix of murder and politics. Is the death of someone that hunts for fun horrifically tragic or is it karmic retribution? Do some lives matter more than others based on those people’s choices?

I’d love to say it was great to be back with Walker and his pals, but having read all four books this month it feels I’ve never left them. I enjoy the characters and I hope there’s a book five that I can read a year from now.

There’s a large list of credible suspects, plenty of red herrings and misdirection. A suitably pleasing ending.

The link to Christmas is tenuous; yes people go missing Christmas Eve but other than the date it could have been set at any point in winter.

I did get an ARC via netgalley but I was so busy reading books 1-3 that the permissions had expired so I ended up buying the book. I couldn’t stop at book three - and I’m glad I didn’t :)

I should probably still say a huge thanks to Avon, Alex Pine and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book for review consideration.  All opinions are my own. Sorry I was so tardy!

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This is one of my favourite thriller series. Yet again I spent the book trying to figure out why was behind the murders and why. I was surprised. While I suspected there was something about one character I hadn't guessed what.
Alex Pine is an auto buy author for me now.

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I find these stories to be well written, fast paced police procedurals. The flow and short chapters keep me interested in slow moving police world. We continue the story of James Walker, who after his promotion, takes on the same role in the force as perilously. Dynamics between the team did not change with their promotions, and roles did not transfer over ( as in James does not do the tasks the old DCI did in previous books).

A little misleading with the tag line “twelve hours, four captives” because as this is a police story, we take about a week to solve the crime and know nothing about any time being captive or tortured or anything. A story from the perspective of the murderer or a missing hunter would be very cool I think.

Overall a good story I will continue to read when the new one is released next, as James story is not over.

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The Night Before Christmas by Alex Pine

I received an advance review copy for free thanks to NetGalley and Avon and I am leaving this review voluntarily.


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 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 Opinion

One of the first books I ever reviewed was the first book in this series and so this series is something that I am always going to come back to. Of course, it helps that the investigations are gripping. DI James Walker moving to Cumbria, has brought a string of festive murders. Every year I look forward to the latest Christmas release from Alex Pine. This is definitely a series I would recommend if you are looking for a different festive read.

Rating 4/5

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I've read all 4 of the DI Walker books but sadly this was my least favourite. The pacing is very slow! The characters were greatly developed over the earlier books but in this one, nothing happens to them. There's no character progression, for the regulars or the new ones.

I liked the idea of the crime/how that came about and the additional complexities that were there.

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I went into this a first time reader of this author and series. I enjoyed how there was a brief introduction to the main characters at the start but I think you definitely need to read the rest of the series in order. Not sure the reason but I just could not get into this and skimmed the last half

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