Cover Image: The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

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Member Reviews

DCI James Walker is looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and young daughter.
Then on Christmas Eve he receives a call, four trail hunters have gone missing and with the light fading and the weather closing in, time is starting to run out to find them.
James immediately alerts the relevant services and goes to the farmhouse where the four set off from that morning. What they find there makes them wonder if it is just a case of the men getting caught in bad weather or is something more sinister going on.
Then one of the men is found brutally murdered and James and his team know they are in a race against time. With every lead throwing up more questions than answers and a heavy snowstorm hindering the search, can they find the missing men before it’s too late.
If you like a good thriller that will keep you guessing you need to read this.

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This was actually the first book that I've read in the series, but an introduction on the team is given at the beginning of the book, which I found really helpful.
I am now going to read all the others because this was really enjoyable!

This story was deliciously dark, tense and mysterious.

There were lots of details slowly leaked as you read, some that you don't even realise until things start to add up. I enjoyed the investigation aspect, we get to see what goes on with all involved which was really interesting!

I found the pacing to be on the slower side, but I was still completely hooked and had a lot of fun reading this. I definitely found it hard to put down at times!

A huge thank you to Alex Pine and NetGalley for providing me with the copy ahead of publication in exchange for my honest review!

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As someone who starts listening to Christmas music in August and decorates for Christmas on Halloween night while usually listening to or watching something involving murder, this is right up my alley. The title and description immediately pulled me in! I was not disappointed. This was so good!! I see now that it is part of a series but I had no trouble reading as a stand-alone. I will have to read the others because I absolutely loved this! Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for giving me an opportunity to enjoy this book.

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i have read most of these books by Alex Pine think i just missed out on the last one i loved this one as soon as you know theres fox hubting involved you know theres going to be drama there is so much going on and i was very surprised as to who the killer was.

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3.5 stars rounded up. This was just an okay read for me. If failed to hold my attention throughout, I kept putting it down to read a different book. I'm sure many will enjoy it. I found it to be cozy crime, which I'm not a fan of, so maybe it's me. Thanks for my review copy.

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Book Review 📚
The Night Before Christmas by Alex Pine - 4.5/5 ⭐

One of my favourite Christmas themed thriller authors has striked again! I've yet to feel disappointed in a book by Alex Pine, I will never stop buying his work. It always keeps me on my toes.

We've got the usual thriller, suspense, mystery with the added snow, blizzards and Christmas 🎄 The one thing Pine always manages to achieve is keeping me guessing! Honestly, we've the amount of books he's done and I've read, I never sit there and think "oh yes, I know what the endings got in store". Nope. Never. I don't know how, but with everybook I'm always in sheer suspense and enjoyment at the same time.

Ok it is part of a series (I've read them all so I'm all good) but it can quite easily be read as a standalone, so fear not! You can jump straight into this book without the others being spoiled for you. And there aren't any huge links you need to worry about.

It's the perfect Christmas book for those who bypass the warm and cuddly and want the thrill. This one is the one you want. And any other of his Christmas themed thrillers. They're all amazing!

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books for allowing me to read this ARC - this is an HONEST review from my own personal opinion.

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This is a solid police procedural with a Lake District setting that is integral to the story. The twists at the end took me by surprise! It didn’t feel particularly Christmasy though, so readers looking for a seasonal crime book may be disappointed.

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I sat and read this in one sitting, I did not want to put it down. The book is exciting, thrilling and gripping in equal measure. Very clever and with many twists and turns. A true belter of a read.

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This book is part of a series, but I read it as a standalone book. It kept me guessing until the big reveal. The characters were interesting and realistic. The settings and the weather hindering search and rescue described well so it was easy to imagine. I will be reading the previous books in the series.

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Lake District, crime-fiction, thriller, suspense, vandalism, blizzards, snow-season, detective, mystery, animal-rights-activism, animosity, procedural, Cumbria, local-law-enforcement, colleagues, friends, tense, lies, secrets, protests, paparazzi, multiple-murder, hunters, body-dump*****

It starts out messy enough with a blizzard and four men gone missing on Christmas eve. It ramps up with the discovery of the house of a man involved in their activities. Then the suspects keep adding up and the motives get more and more murky. DCI James Walker and his crew are in for some extreme but necessary due diligence assisted by the Mountain Rescue Team and hindered by the ever present press. The pressure to find the men and the perpetrators keeps mounting until the astounding ending. Tense read!
I requested and received an EARC from Avon Books UK/Avon via NetGalley. Thank you

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This book is the fourth book in the DI James Walker series, and it’s definitely every bit as good as the previous 3 books. The story was intriguing and kept you guessing all the way until the end, it’s super twisty with so many people who could of done it. And who doesn’t love a Christmas murder mystery?

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Alex Pine has done it again with The Night Before Christmas as each new book in this series just keeps getting better. The wonderful description of winter in Cumbria and the delightful returning police personnel.The storyline is great and keeps you guessing right till end.I would highly recommend this book.

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What a rollercoaster of a story this was. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an arc in exchange for a honest review. This is a police detective thriller part of a series but can be read without having read the others. This book follows the disappearance of 4 huntsman who had gone missing while out on Christmas Eve and the investigation that follows. Set to the backdrop of christmas and a snow filled trail. This is perfect for a easy to read festive read if you prefer a thriller to a christmas romance. The characters were very well written and the conclusion was a surprise. I would definitely read more in this series. I'm rating it 3.5 stars as it was an easy read nothing ground breaking for this genre but I flew through it and it had me gripped from start to finish .

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The night before Christmas by Alex One is the fourth book in the DI James Walker series but can be read as a standalone.
DI Walker is now DCI Walker, and it is near Christmas again and he wonders if he is going to have a quite time over the festive period. But the quiet life is short lived when he gets a call from a woman who says her husband and three of his friends gone on a hike in the Lake district and they haven’t returned home, and she worried about their safety.
It have been several hours since they have been seen and severe bad weather is closing in. The Police pull out all the stops to find them, even the Mountain rescue are involved to rescue the four. with further investigation into them they find out that the four-take part in illegal hunting and they are presently on a hunt and after threats from anti hunt protesters and the vandalism of their nearby farm, James realise that they might be involved in the disappearance of them.
I have read now all four books from this series, and this is another unputdownable episode in the series involving DI James Walker. I like the thought that has going on this book. Even the author has written a short recap of each character at the start of the book, which is appreciative if you haven’t read any of the others in the series. I was totally engaged in this story, and I enjoyed it so much I read it in a day. I recommend this. 5 stars from me.

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The Night Before Christmas is a chilling tale that unfolds against the backdrop of a snow covered town in Cumbria, where four men mysteriously vanish in the midst of a relentless blizzard. Author Alex Pine presents a story that's filled with intrigue, a dash of holiday spirit, and a hint of dark secrets lurking beneath the surface.

The novel excels in crafting well-defined characters, however, the abundance of these characters can sometimes be overwhelming making it difficult to keep track of everyone's motives and relationships.
The plot begins with a call from a worried wife, which leads the police to a vandalized home, an incident that initially appears unrelated to the disappearance of the four men. The slow unfolding of the connection between these events adds depth to the story.

One of the novel's strengths lies in its vivid description of the wintry setting and the palpable tension created by the relentless blizzard. The icy landscape becomes a character in itself, enhancing the sense of isolation and danger that pervades the story. Additionally, the incorporation of Christmas as a backdrop adds a layer of festive charm, even amidst the chilling events.

The backstory of fox hunting and its ties to the central mystery is a captivating element of the novel. It serves as a reminder of the town's history and traditions, while also playing a significant role in unravelling the secrets that haunt the characters.

While the story is filled with twists and turns, which will certainly keep you engaged, the pacing feels uneven. The final revelation feels somewhat hurried, taking away the satisfaction of a more carefully constructed resolution.

All in all this is an atmospheric mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end and for those seeking a frosty, holiday-themed mystery with an array of intriguing characters, this novel is worth the read.

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It always feels a bit weird reading Christmas books in early autumn, but I couldn't wait to immerse myself in the latest book in the series featuring DI James Walker of Cumbria Police. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this before publication - as always, opinions are entirely my own.

This novel opens with the Christmas Eve disappearance of four men in the Cumbrian fells. They're experienced hikers and - as local residents - pretty savvy about the danger of being caught out in the mountains and hills in icy temperatures and snow. The police mount a search, but soon it is clear that there is a more sinister reason for the men going missing. When the first body is discovered, the police realise they have a killer on their hands - and a race against time to find the other men before the murderer strikes again...

Gosh, DI Walker has had a run of bad luck at Christmas! All the books so far in the series feature festive killers, so I feel desperately sorry for DI Walker's wife who seems to always tuck into Christmas dinner solo!

As with the previous books, I enjoyed the bleak and remote Cumbrian setting - particularly dangerous at Christmas - and the contrast between the gritty crime and the joy of the season. The Cumbrian fells sound lethal and I was rooting for the brave search and rescue teams who put themselves in danger to find the missing men. Once the police team swing into action, I thought the team dynamics were well-presented - those who want to do the press conferences, those happy to stay in the background, the hard-workers and team players, the specialists, the rookies and the been-there-seen-it all!

The mystery is intriguing and kept me reading, even as it veered into a topic that I find less engaging (no spoilers here). There are some interesting twists and I managed to accuse all the wrong people and totally missed the killer, so I guess that's good crime writing!

If you've read and enjoyed Alex Pine's previous books, there's more to enjoy here. This isn't my favourite of the four novels so far, but it's well-plotted, engaging and a worthy addition to a good police procedural series. It would also work as a standalone as the characters and relationships are introduced and explained as the story unfolds.

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I received an advanced copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley.

In this chilling Christmas thriller set in the fells of Cumbria, the usual hunters become the hunted. On Christmas Eve, four trail hunters mysteriously vanish, prompting a frantic race against time to locate them before nightfall, when the plummeting temperatures could prove fatal. The search efforts yield a grim discovery: the first body is not merely frozen in the snow but brutally murdered, signaling that a sinister hunt has begun. As a snowstorm descends, the lives of three individuals hang precariously in the balance. The pressing question remains: can the killer be apprehended before the trail goes cold?

This marks the fourth installment in the series, I missed out on the third book but I have read all of the other ones. I didn't feel like I missed anything by not reading the third book though.

DCI Walker continues to shine as a compelling character, possessing the invaluable qualities of level-headedness and composure, especially in the face of crisis. These attributes contribute significantly to his appeal and the narrative's coherence.

The storyline wasted no time in grabbing my attention right from the outset, immersing me in the investigation surrounding the disappearance of these men. As the plot unfolds, a striking revelation emerges: all the missing individuals are fox hunters. This adds a compelling layer to the investigation, raising questions about whether they were specifically targeted. The narrative maintains a fluid momentum, navigating a path replete with twists, turns, and an abundance of potential suspects. While I had my suspicions, Alex Pine managed to outmaneuver me again, leaving me delightfully baffled by who the killer was.

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✨Book Review✨

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/4 stars

A thriller that takes place at Christmas time? Yes, please! This is Book 4 featuring DCI Walker and this time, he and his team are searching for four missing huntsmen. They are facing brutal weather conditions and someone is taunting them as the search gets underway. Are they searching for more than the missing men?

This is a fast read and offers up plenty of suspects and mystery. The ending is epic and delivers a twist you will never see coming!

Alex Pine books do not have to be read in any particular order. They are great as a stand alone. Be sure to grab this one…you will not be disappointed!

Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books UK for sending this book to me in exchange for my honest review.

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Having read the other books in the series I was desperate to get into this new one.

I was not one bit disappointed. It was fast paced. Exciting. Great thriller. I found it hard to put it down.

Great to be back with DCI James and his team. Not forgetting his family Annie and Bella. This time the majority of the book was focused on his work life Which was great. But I missed the family and village aspect to this book

Great plot that played out very well. Lots of twists and turns right up until the end. Hard to believe it all took place on a week. Very well written.

Can’t wIt to find out what’s next for Janes. Will he take the new job?

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This is the 4th book in the series, which I didn’t realise, but it can totally be read as a standalone. Although there wasn’t much Christmas content, there was plenty of murder, twists and turns. It’s out on 26th October 2023 and I definitely enjoyed and would recommend.

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