Cover Image: The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

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Member Reviews

It's Christmas once again in the Lake District, and the weather is closing in. Detective James Walker is hoping that, for the first time in four years, he can actually spend a few days at home with his family. Unfortunately, once again, it's not to be. When a call comes in from a local woman unable to contact her husband out on the fells with three friends, James knows speed is of the essence. There is no doubt that, once again, Cumbria will be deep and crisp and even, with a blizzard induced white Christmas and all the danger that entails.

Things begin to unravel quickly when a ransacked farmhouse hints at something more complicated than just a missing persons investigation. With the temperature falling and rescue teams struggling, it becomes clear there is more in the backgrounds of the four friends than first met the eye. Soon the Internet is alive with accusations and counter accusations and, as the comments get ever more heated, and vicious, a body is discovered.

Book four in Alex Pine's excellent Detective James Walker mystery series is, to my mind, the best yet and I've loved them all! The investigation is detailed and difficult with a cast of characters who cover all aspects on both sides of the case and my only criticism would be that there are an awful lot of people in this story! The book is deceptive in that it seems to be a slow burner but actually something is happening all the time with hints and red herrings both helping and hindering in equal measure! Although this can be read as a standalone all four are definitely worth reading on a cold night maybe as the snow falls outside.

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books, but the opinions expressed are my own. I love this series which has become required and much anticipated winter reading. Highly recommended.

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This is the fourth instalment of the DCI James Walker series but can easily be read as a stand alone.
When four male trail walkers disappear on Christmas Eve DCI Walker and his team are asked to investigate. But on arriving at one of the missing mens homes to find it vandalised and all four cars meeting the same fate, the investigation turns up a notch especially when in one of the rooms a message had been painted with the words 'murder's ' across the wall.
Things also take a sinister turn when it looks like the four men weren't going on a hike but were illegal fox hunting.
When a message with a photo turns up and the local paper Walker knows he has a murder on his hands.
As tensions mount between anti fox protesters and the locals things start to turn political.
Can Walker and his team find the remaining three men before it's to late and who has a deadly secret to hide?
Another great outing for Walker and crew.

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3.5 stars
After really enjoying the first 3 books in this series I was excited and looking forward to the latest release.
Sadly, this was the first book in the series that left me feeling disappointed.
The pacing was really slow, only for the ending to feel incredibly rushed.
This left me feeling incredibly frustrated as I was reading it.
There was quite a bit of repetition too.
It just didn't grab my attention the way that the previous 3 books did.
Sadly this wasn't a hit for me.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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12 Hours, 4 Captives, 1 Chance to save them.

When 4 friends fail to return from a Christmas Eve meet up a full scale hunt for them is launched. Worsening weather, remote settings and sinister warnings turn this into something far worse than anyone can imagine.

Although this is the 4th book in a series and despite me only reading the 1st it really didn’t matter. The setting was superb, I really felt like I was there and the pace of the story kept me engaged. For me I wish it had more of a Christmas link but that was just my expectation and no reflection on the story and when a load more characters were introduced about 40% through it did have me writing everyone down to keep track. Overall a good read and thank you @netgalley for the opportunity to read it.

Publication Date - 26/10/2023

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#TheNightBeforeChristmas
#AlexPine
#NetGalley

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This is the 4th book in the series about detective James Walker, but it can easily be read as a stand alone book.
I had read book 3 in the series and really enjoyed it, so I was delighted when NetGalley offered me a copy to read, Again it is set at Christmas time. On 24th December 4 hunters go missing in a blizzard. The weather is worsening and the reader realises all is not as it seems. When the police call at the home of one of them, they discover the place has been trashed and also their cars. Is this simply 4 men lost in bad weather conditions in Cumbria? Are they on a day’s hike, or are they out on an illegal fox hunt? I recommend you read the story and find out! My thanks go to NetGalley, Avon Books and Alex Pine for an arc of this exciting story.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for my approval to read and review this book.

This is the 4th book in the DI James Walker series.

It is really great to catch up with the team and see how there interact with each other in the glorious location of Cumbria and the Lake District in particular.

James is called in to start a search of 4 missing men who had set off on a hike on Christmas Eve. The team arrive to find the farmhouse and vehicles have been vandalised where the owner is one of the missing men.

Will the team find the missing men in worsening weather. It's a fast paced storyline with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing how it will come together. I will be recommending this book to read.

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This is the 4th in the series with DI James Walker but can be read alone.
I found the previous books were addictive from the beginning but this one was a very slow burner and didn`t seem to get going till half way.
Four fox hunters have gone missing on Christmas Eve and the weather is getting worse then one body turns up with a warning sign on him, the anti fox hunters are the suspects but things are not as it seems with lots of twists.

Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC and I give my honest review.

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I struggled getting into this latest book by Alex Pine. I could'nt conect with the characters but I did read till the end but sadly this one just wasn't a hit for me.
Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for the ARC.

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You can always rely on Alex Pine to deliver a festive murder mystery, and this fourth book in the D.I. James Walker series is no exception! Though it works as a standalone, I do think it is best read once you’ve got to know James and his team from their previous holiday homicide investigations, as this novel doesn’t contain too much character development.

I liked that the plot of this book focussed on the political issue of fox hunting, and the tagline “this Christmas, the hunters become the hunted” was ominous and intriguing. However, I wasn’t quite as gripped by this one as some of the previous instalments. I also noticed some repetitiveness in the middle of the story, but felt that the ending was rather rushed. The references to this being the fourth year in a row that the Christmas period had been blighted by murder started off as amusingly tongue-in-cheek but did begin to feel laboured later on.

A solid three stars from me as it was an entertaining quick read and I will for sure be interested in picking up Alex Pine’s next annual advent assassination analysis!

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an ARC of this chilling Christmassy crime caper!

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I haven't read any of the previous books by Alex pine, this can be read as a standalone or as part of a series. It kept my interest long enough to finish it but just felt like something was missing. I didn't relate to any of the characters and the story line just felt a bit drawn out and unbelievable. Maybe if I had read the previous books I would have enjoyed it more but this one was not for me

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Another festive murder spree from Alex Pine set in the heart of Cumbria. I was hooked from the start as we are on the trail for four hunters who have gone missing on Christmas Eve. As the weather closes in, Detective James Walker and his team race against time to find the hunters. A great place procedural that will keep you enthralled to the end. I would rate this book 4.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley. Avon Books UK and the author for the chance to review.

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This is the 4th of Alex Pine's Christmas crime stories featuring DI James Walker and I had already read the other three which I enjoyed. Sadly, this is not a patch on the previous stories. There is very little character development and what there is is repetitious. This also applies to references to the weather. I lost count of how many times the author referred to the weather worsening again. The plot is also less than convincing; despite rescue services struggling to find 4 missing men who have gone hunting during atrocious snowy weather conditions, the police are able to drive straight to the first crime scene to view a body. It felt as though the writer was trying to stretch the story line to make the required number of words. I would recommend reading one of the other Alex Pine Christmas murders and avoiding this one.

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DCI James Walker really needs to catch a break, for the past 3 Christmas's, he and his team have faced a hectic festive season with no let up in murder cases. In this 4th novel a call comes in on Christmas Eve to say 4 hikers have gone missing, and what begins as a search and rescue operation soon dissolves into another murder case, in what could be Walker's toughest case yet.
It's easy to say I've loved all of the previous novels in this series, this one, as the others, can be read as a standalone but I would advise readers to read them as they are so good. A great detective series.
With thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for this gifted copy, I'm under no obligation to leave my review

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When four trail hunters go missing in the fells of Cumbria on Christmas Eve, the race is on to find them before nightfall I raced through it this weekend. Such a smart idea. Twisty, warped, credible. Brilliantly plotted and compelling. Deserves to be such a hit.

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Loved this festive crime thriller. Although it's number four in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Gorgeous Lake District setting but with a very dark storyline. Excellent characters and fast paced, I shall definitely be on the lookout for the next one in the series.

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This is book 4 in the DI Walker series and I have read and enjoyed every single one. In my opinion the series just keeps getting better. A fast paced storyline set at Christmas is so enjoyable to read. I couldn't put it down. Although it can easily be read as a standalone I recommend reading the series from the beginning as they are all so good. I highly recommend this book and author.

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This is by far the best book I've read all year. Top marks for storyline, pace and setting. It's the fourth in the Detective James Walker series and like the others it had me guessing to the very end. Alex Pine always delivers a cracking Christmas treat. As far as I'm concerned the festive season would no longer be the same without a dose of Christmas crime in Cumbria.

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I have to say this is probably my 1st Christmas themed thriller but omg! It was amazing and worked so so well. Basically you'll be entirely clueless and suspecting everyone until the big reveal! It's fast paced, the characters are well written, the plot constantly moves forward and drags the reader along with it. I just loved every second of it! Such a breath of wintery fresh air to the thriller genre

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The title The Night Before Christmas was enough to pull me in from the beginning. This book combines murder and Christmas, the two things I love most.

This book is the 4th in the DI James walker series. I plan on going back and reading the the first because I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had no issues reading this, so don't let that deter you if you haven't read the prior 3.
Four hikers become stranded on Christmas Eve after the weather becomes bad. One hiker turns up dead. In the hunt to find the remaining hikers, they realize that there could be plenty of suspects because these were well known fox hunters.
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and Alex pine for ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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The perfect crime and eerie thriller book to read this autumn. There were so many twists, I just couldn't figure it out. This made my jaw drop when all was revealed. The crime investigation team are amazing and with so many suspects I didn't have a clue how this was going to end! The four men that were murdered all have enemies so it had me suspicious of everyone. This is a fast paced story, thrilling to read which had my heart pounding and a dangerous setting throughout. I'm a huge fan of this author and highly recommend this series.

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