Cover Image: TWICE ON CHRISTMAS

TWICE ON CHRISTMAS

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Great story, short chapters, and I couldn't put it down! The twist was a little predictable but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Perfect Christmas read

Was this review helpful?

Twice on Christmas puts a new twist on a serial killer thriller. This book will grab you from the beginning and you won't be able to put it down. I finished the book in one day and kept trying to figure out who the killer was. After choir practice, Rose Brandon, a college sophomore begins the walk home. It's dark and cold, but she knows if she cuts through the park it will save her a lot of time. It's Christmas Eve and Rose has a lot to do before coming back to the church to sing for midnight mass. Rose decides to cut through the park to save time. She hears twigs breaking as someone behind her is stepping on them. She picks up her pace, but it's not enough. Before she knows what's happening, the person behind her has put a burlap bag over her head and is hitting her head hard. He's also strangling Rose and Rose is having trouble breathing. As she is losing consciousness, Rose hears the most beautiful voice singing Silent Night.

When Rose isn't home at the normal time, her mother and father grow concerned. They assume she is chatting with friends and just slow getting back. When it gets to be a couple hours past the time Rose should've been home, they call the police. Rose's father goes out and drives the route that she would've walked from the church to their house. Her mother calls the church and Rose's friends that were with her at choir practice. No one has seen her since they all left the church at 7. As Rose's father comes back with no sighting of her, the police arrive.
A search party is dispatched with neighbors, church goers, and friends, Rose's body is found down in a ditch. She's badly beaten and has serious injuries, but she is somehow alive.

Rose has surgeries to repair her broken bones and gets all of her cuts and lacerations stitched up. It's going to take awhile for Rose to recover physically and the mental recovery will take even longer. When Rose is recovering in the hospital the doctor informs her that she is pregnant. Her attacker raped her and it's his child. Rose decides to have the baby and put it up for adoption. No one understands why she wants to put herself through this, but everyone is supportive. Nine months later, Rose gives birth to a baby girl. She decides to name the baby Mary and she knows that she can't give the baby up. Rose decides to keep Mary and loving her is the best thing for Rose's recovery. Rose moves in permanently with her parents as they have plenty of room. They have converted one of the rooms into a nursery for Mary and they are happy to have their daughter and granddaughter with them.

The man who attacked Rose keeps it up each year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The woman he attacks on Christmas Eve usually survives, but the woman he attacks on Christmas Day normally dies. He doesn't kill at any other time of year, so it's almost impossible to catch him. He also attacks/kills in different states along the east coast each time. The two women are always attacked in the same state and it seems as if he's heading south each year. Who would attack and kill women only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Why would someone choose to do it on only those days? What does the man do the rest of the year? How does he keep it together? When the attacker finds out that Rose had his baby he's a man on a mission. What will he do? He is drawn to his daughter and wants to be near her. How will he accomplish this? Is Rose safe? Is Mary safe? Rose never saw his face, she only heard him sing. How will she know who to trust?

This is a fantastic book with several possibilities of men who could be him. It will keep you reading well into the night and up early to start again. McGarvey Black does a phenomenal job of adding more and more suspense as you read. I rate Twice on Christmas 5 stars with my highest recommendation. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Joffe Books for an advanced copy of Twice on Christmas in exchange for a fair review. #TwiceOnChristmas

Was this review helpful?

The concept was interesting, and the author tried steering 5e reader in several directions of suspicion which I felt was very contrived. It was too long, and too much repetitive in the discussion of the case year after year. Seemed unrealistic.

Was this review helpful?

This was a real page turner! Just like all of the other books that I have read by this author, this was a book with a gripping story and real twists.

I found myself dreading the chapters which were set in December - waiting with bated breath to see who had been attacked that year.

The trauma that Rose went through, and the emotions and distress that she still felt all those years later were well-written and really came across to the reader.

A great book!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for the free ARC of Twice on Christmas.

This book was a slow burn that picked up 2/3rd the way through. There was a few things that threw you off (the Intern priest) but in the end it was predictable. It's not my favorite but it wasn't terrible. 3 stars.

Was this review helpful?

Twice on Christmas by McGarvey Black.
Twisty, nail-biting crime mysteries and suspense thrillers book 5.
After choir practice for midnight mass, college sophomore Rose Grandon takes a short-cut through Harbor Park. Grabbed from behind, she is violently assaulted, beaten and left for dead.
A good read with good characters. Did like the story and plot. 3*.

Was this review helpful?

I am always in the mood to read a story with a Christmas backdrop, but this one did not quite work for me. I do love the cover art. It is what initially drew me in.

Was this review helpful?

I love Christmas themed books and this year I wanted to mix things up a little. Normally I only read cozy romance with a Christmas setting. But considering 2023 is the year I got into thrillers, I was thrilled (see what I did there ;-) ) to see some Christmas themed suspense stories.
After choir practice to sing the midnight mass, college student Rose Grandon is taking a shortcut through a park when she is brutally attacked and left for dead. But surprisingly Rose survives and even recovers. At least, physically. Mentally she is instable until she finds out she is pregnant. When her daughter Mary is born Rose realizes that she was mend to be a mother and begins building her life in her quite hometown.

Unfortunately her attacker, the Kringle killer is never caught. And when he finds out he has a child… things get very complicated.
But oh, I struggled with this one. I even wanted to DNF it at about 25% in. I really disliked the writing style, which is very descriptive. I like a story to be show, don’t tell. But this book was very much tell and don’t show. But I struggled on and I have to say I quite enjoyed myself overall.
Does the writing get any better? Well, yes it does! The last 25% of the book is very well written. It almost feels like someone else wrote it. The simplicity of the earlier writing disappears and the story gets more details. I honestly think that this book would benefit hugely from more details and less straightforwardness.
I do think the story struggles from the time jumps used in the story. I understand why they are there. We follow Rose through years of Christmases. But because we follow her 1 or 2 months a year we don’t really connect with her and her daughter. We just see them from thanksgiving till the New Year. Not enough time to really get into their lives and see character development.

It was quite entertaining, but overall not a hit. Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

This one started off on a strong note, but ultimately fell flat.

To begin with, when an 18 year old girl goes missing for a couple of hours, we are told that her parents are able to file a missing person's report and get a large team out searching for her simply because "She wouldn't go out with friends on Christmas Eve". I'm sorry that is NOT how it works. Maybe they could have organized the townspeople getting together to search, but the police would not have been involved that early on. Then as a result of her attack, Rose is faced with the difficult choice of whether or not to give birth to the child that was conceived that night.

I can understand her decision to go through with the pregnancy. Heck, I can even understand why she decided to keep the child and raise it on her own. What I don't understand is why that bit of information would be published in a newspaper article where anyone (the killer especially) can see it. Even if the killer hadn't seen the story, what would have happened years later if Mary did after not knowing the truth for her entire life? I just did not find this (nor much of what happened after) to be very plausible at all.

This includes the police coming to her home every year on Christmas Day to tell her there have been two new attacks and asking her if she remembers anything about the night she was attacked that she hasn't already told them. And this goes on year after year, forcing Rose to relive the horrors of that night over and over again. And of course, the one year they are caught up and don't get the chance to tell her and she hears about it on the news, her father becomes irrationally angry and drags her down to the police station to demand answers as to why they weren't informed. Why would she be? Typically, the police don't tell you about victims in crimes that happen several years after (and two states away from) your own.

Then again, it didn't seem like the police had much to do considering the story only takes place during the holidays. And I mean I get it - the attack happened on Christmas Eve and the perpetrator was never caught, but with time jumps happening nearly ever chapter it doesn't really give the characters a chance to grow, or for things about them to make sense. For example, despite having a normal (dare I say spoiled) childhood, all of the sudden Mary is showing concerning behaviors. Is the author trying to show nature wins over nurture considering who her father was? I was never sure as it seemed to be done only to push the narrative of the father coming back into their lives.

And while, okay there were a couple of red herrings thrown in, I still figured out who was behind the attacks pretty early on. But what I didn't get is how this man managed to evade capture for SO long (if I remember correctly it was about sixteen years by this point), and then just slip up and give himself away in the manner that he did. It was crazy to me. There was also one major plot hole with what actually happened versus the story Rose told, but sadly I can't get into that without revealing a major spoiler. Let's just say even incompetent cops would have been able to tell she was lying and piece together what really happened.

Oh, and one final thing that might have been corrected between the ARC I read and the finished product, but the Poconos are in Pennsylvania NOT New Jersey so to read about a victim being found "at a hotel near a Jersey ski area in the Poconos" was extremely off-putting to me as a Jersey resident. Surely this was something a simple google search could have prevented?

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Was this review helpful?

I read this book in a day and I never looked back! The twist and the plot were pretty easy to identify but the different POV's kept me intrigued to see how everything was going to unfold. A couple of the characters were so unlikable that it made it hard to feel bad or connect with them in any way. I do wish that the ending would've given a little more, I wanted to know how the characters dealt with the aftermath.


*I received a copy of this eARC via NetGalley*

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley and McGarvey Black for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed Twice On Christmas. It was full of intrigue and suspense, it also had some great twists and turns.

It was well written and it had likeable characters with real depth. I suspected a couple of characters of being the killer, but I was still surprised by the ending.

I definitely recommend and will be looking into the authors previous books.

4 stars from me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Was this review helpful?

This is my first novel by McGarvey Black and it will NOT be my last. This is the thriller that I have been wanting to read to get me out of this slump. You will be on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Go ahead and save the date for this one!

4 stars

Was this review helpful?

Wow! This book is not like most Christmas stories—and that’’s not a bad thing!! I found myself so wrapped up in the main character’s (Rose) life that I was actually breathing heavily during the last few pages of this twist-filled, suspenseful book. There characters are so carefully developed as the story goes along that it made it hard to sort out possible suspects along the way because even the oddities in some were cancelled out by the endearing qualities each seemed to also have. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a holiday who-done-it!

Was this review helpful?

Harrowing, Sinister..
The Kringle Killer, reputed to kill twice a year, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Is it true and, if so, will they ever be caught? An often harrowing serial killer thriller which takes the reader down some very dark roads indeed, at the centre of which lies a tragic and disturbing story. A menacing and sinister tale with a deftly drawn cast and a tension fuelled and twisted plot.

Was this review helpful?

This is a scarily twisted thriller featuring a serial killer that attacks and kills twice a year, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Named the Kringle Killer by the police and the media, he has a terrifying reputation.

One Christmas Eve when Rose is 17 and on her way home from church, she decides to cut through the park as she is running late. Attacked and raped by the Kringle Killer she is left for dead.

The book follows the story of Rose and the detectives that are looking at the case, many years of attacks have left Rose with anxieties and also with a daughter Mary, who struggles with social niceties and displays some scary behaviour.

There are a few characters in the book that could have been the killer and the build up to the end is excellently written and tense. The characters were really complex and believable and I enjoyed their interactions with each other and tried to solve the mystery along with the detectives.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I've never been so chilled to the bone by a book! As the killer who attacks his victims Christmas Eve and Christmas day, he earns the name the Kringle Killer. As young Rose walks home from choir practise ,she falls prey to this violent attacker. As she loses consciousness she hears a beautiful tenor voice singing Silent Night. Years later ,he still remains at large ,adding to his yearly tally of victims. Still traumatised, Rose avoids all men and concentrates in raising Mary, the daughter she conceived during her terrifying assault. Mary shows disturbing traits as she grows into a solitary, angry little to girl prone to outbreaks of temper and attacks on other children. Her teachers are wary of her and don't know how to handle her until a newly qualified teacher arrives at the school and takes Mary under his wing. Mary takes an immediate shine to him and so begins a friendship that extends to Rose and her parents . A young priest also joins the community and becomes close to Rose and Mary. Meantime, the FBI and local police are no closer to finding the killer. We are fed red herrings aplenty and each time I thought I'd identified the killer, I was thrown in a different direction. The action is tense, fast pacing and nailbiting right to the end which left me gasping for air ! What an ending....or is it the end ????

Was this review helpful?

Wow what a fantastic storyline. Each Eve and Christmas there are terrible attacks on woman. Only a few manage to live . Rose was one of those young woman but managed to survive her ordeal only to find out that she was carrying his baby,. She was determined to keep her baby and to make the most of it.
Each Xmas after each new victim it brings it all back and she doesn't feel safe. She has reason to, someone is watching and biding their time.
Brilliant book which I am hoping is going to continue in another instalment.

Was this review helpful?

This is a first read for me by McGarvey Black and I can say that I was pleasantly surprised. This story flowed so easily for me and was easy to keep up with. The characters were likable, except for the villain of course.

Rose is a young lady that is in college and is a big participant in her local church. Rose had been at choir practice one Christmas Eve and was headed home to get a few things done and change when she decided to take a shortcut that ended up being a bad decision for her. Rose's parents started looking for her and couldn't find her when they decided to call the police. When they started searching, they found Rose beaten up and she had been sexually assaulted as well. Rose ended up being pregnant and decided to keep the baby..

Will Rose be able to get over her attack when it comes around every year at the same time? The police have been able to pin a couple more attacks and deaths on the Krinkle killer, as they have named him. They know he attacks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day so why can they not catch him? He moves too far away from his last attack for them to be able to try to guess where he might strike next. They have vowed to catch him though and they are not going to give up!

This was a fast paced thriller that will keep you turning the pages and wondering who the bad guy is. I enjoyed this read and look forward to more from the author in the near future.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this PAGE TURNING, fast paced romantic THRILLER. Rose is a college student that is raped and left for dead on Christmas Eve. After several surgeries and a very long stay in the hospital, Rose recovers and finds she is pregnant with the serial killer’s baby. She decided to keep her and throughout the years, her daughter displays some socialization and violence issues. A new teacher, Mr. Z, comes into the story in her daughter’s 3rd grade year and changed everything for Mary, or se we think. Years later, as the teacher, rose and her daughter, Mary get closer and closer, things get serious between the two adults and romance enters.
The rapes and murders continue on throughout the years without a clue of who the killer is. A new odd and mysterious priest enters Rose and Mary’s lives right after her birth. He seems to be hiding something, but what? Why is he always disappearing during the holidays?

It has a very surprising, TWISTY, shocking ending that I did not guess at all until the very end! Love the author’s writing and character development. Will be reading more books by this terrific author.

Thank you to NetGalley, McGarvey Black and JoffeBooks for this arc in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was a super quick read, as I suspected. The story covers years of Rose's life after she is attacked as a young adult. Many storyline reveals I had already figured out, but the end certainly ties it all together with some details the reader isn't made aware of until that point. Ultimately, the climax is so quick that you'll almost miss it, which I thought was unfortunate. With all of the lead up to that point I would have hoped for something a little more exciting.

Overall, if you love a thriller you can consume in literal days, this is it. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read this book.

Was this review helpful?