Cover Image: Last Christmas

Last Christmas

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Member Reviews

Sacha and Neil head to her parents’ new home for her terminally ill father’s last Christmas, but it’s the last place that Neil wants to be. He’s not in a great place, has been drinking heavily and is currently unemployed. He can’t stand the idea of having to listen to his obnoxious brothers-in-law and spend time with a family he feels has never truly accepted him.

Having too much to drink on Christmas Eve, Neil doesn’t start off the holiday on the right foot. His brothers-in-law are constantly making quips at Neil’s expense and during Christmas dinner he’s had enough. Sacha’s mother sends Neil and Adam out for a walk telling them not to return until they’ve sorted their differences. Hours pass and Neil still hasn’t returned; Sacha doesn’t have a good feeling so alerts the authorities.

Neil’s body is found the next day. Sacha knows Neil wasn’t in a great place but can’t come to terms with the fact he flung himself from a cliff. Her brothers-in-law have never been close but there seems to be something different between them, so she can’t help but wonder if they know more than they are saying.

Fast forward a few months and Sacha ends up in a hospital bed fighting for her life. Who is responsible?

This novel kept me on my toes and always had me questioning what the characters were up to and how the pieces of the puzzle would fit together. I fit some of the pieces together but didn’t want to stop reading until I got to the end and found out how everything would unfold.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read an ARC of this novel. #NetGalley #LastChristmas

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This book was a train wreck in only the best sense of the phrase. I COULD NOT LOOK AWAY!!!!

This book is about a couple who are having some serious marriage problems. Which just seem to get much worse when the husband has to spend a couple days at Christmas with his in-laws. Which is the last thing in the world he wants to do.

After a heated exchange after dinner he heads out into the cold never to come back. Also he wasn’t the only one from the family who venture out that night.

What happened to the husband? If you think that’s a big question mark, oh just wait…. Boy does the plot thicken! The family drama is intense! Keeps your friends close and you’re family closer.

The book is told in multiple POV’s but they don’t bounce back and forth. It sticks with each pov for a good chunk of the book. I really liked that element.

If you are looking for a great who done it this Christmas you should definitely give this book a go!!

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The description to Last Christmas really drew me in and I was really looking forward to it. When I started it it did take me a little while to get into it but once I did I really enjoyed it. It had plenty of twists that I didn't see coming but I would actually describe it more as a family drama rather than a thriller. Very entertaining.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC.

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This story took me awhile to really get into it. It moved really slow in some spots and fast in others. Told from three different narratives with so many things going on all at once made it really hard for me to keep up with at times. It has so many twists that there is no way you can guess them all. The writing itself was done in such a way that you could feel the emotions of all characters.
I just want to say Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this story . I truly appreciate it. I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.

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📚: Last Christmas by Maria Frankland
⭐️: 3/5

A Christmas that no one is sure to forget, struggling couple Sacha and Neil trek to her family's home for the holiday. With a father approaching the end of his life, a pregnant younger sister, and brother-in-laws who get a laugh at Neil's expense, the dysfunction only grows when someone turns up missing and dead by the end of the night.

A solid, but not groundbreaking, domestic thriller with a Christmas season backdrop, Last Christmas brings a few predictable twists, a couple unpredictable ones, and a family that, I for one, am happy to not be a part of. An overall three star rating for the ending feeling just a bit lackluster (a flashback scene could have tied up a few lingering questions.

As a heads up: The synopsis for this book on Goodreads reads like a hot mess - the book itself is stronger than the blurb. Big thanks to @bookouture via @netgalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. Last Christmas is out, and available on Kindle Unlimited now.

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This book is much more family drama than mystery/thriller.

Sacha brings herself and her husband to her parents house for Christmas with the family. Both of her sisters and their families will be there as well. Their father is terminal, and this will be his last Christmas. Sacha and Neil are having a hard time in their marriage, he is drinking too much, they are infertile, and he is depressed and won’t take his medication, but they try to hold it together for the holiday. When Neil doesn’t return from a walk after an argument Sacha begins to worry. Who would have wanted to hurt Neil, or better off, who wouldn’t have.

There’s way more to the story than just what happened to Neil. The book is told in three parts from three different narratives. Even though we are in the mind of the character for their portion, we as the reader never get their full truth or their full thoughts. Lots of things are hinted at and only half said, but this doesn’t enhance suspense or anything.

I found the characters terrible. This family was terrible. They were toxic to one another, even each couple was toxic within themselves. I cannot image real families being like that and still hanging out for holidays.

The writing was good. The flow was nice and the chapters were easy to read. I was kept interested enough throughout. However, when the big reveal is overhearing someone explain the entire thing in perfect detail, it’s pretty lazy writing to me, like the author didn’t know how to end the story so someone will just completely confess and be overheard. I’m conflicted in my review for this one.

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I would count this as more of a domestic/family drama than a thriller. The beginning was quite slow, although I liked the multiple POVs and that they didn’t repeat themselves. The ending was somewhat predictable but that didn’t take away from the story. Overall a decent read, my first from this author and I would read more of her books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Something I enjoyed about this book was the sequential POV, we got to see the story from multiple angles not just two like most stories. Something that was hard for me was the drama!!!! it just seemed to keep coming. We started with a very depressed husband who ends up dead. His wife is dealing with this loss and also with her very dysfunctional family. While the investigation is still going she ends up in a coma, then there is the question of an affair, also her father is dying! I think for me there were so many things going on at once it was just a lot for me to keep up with. The writing itself was well done, you felt the emotions of all characters when it was their turn in the story, I just think it didn't hit the mark for me.

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I enjoyed this book. It was well written and the storyline was enough to keep me interested. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming which is what I like in a book. If you need or want a quick read, I recommend this book!

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I have just read this book in one sitting as it was impossible to put down. This is definitely not your average run of the mill cozy Christmas story. An amazing psychological thriller that kept me constantly guessing right until the end. It had so many great plot twists and I definitely had a few open mouth moments! A great family centred drama with lots of intense moments and great dialogue. I will definitely be looking for more of this authors books to read. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review. 5 stars from me.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC.

What an àmazing and intense family drama. Sacha and Neil have to spend Christmas together with Sacha's family for the last time due to her father being terminally ill. Sacha's 2 sisters and their husbands are also there. Not everyone is going to survive this family Christmas together and many secrets are revealed throughout the story. The twists and turns are quite shocking. I was hooked from the beginning and did not expect the ending at all. The story is told from 3 different points of view and I loved the different perspectives

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This was an incredibly fast read. Fast paced and keeping me enthralled with every page.
The writing is very easy to read, one of the reasons you will fly through the pages.
This book had me on the edge of my seat most of the times. And although it is fast paced, it is also build really well. The POV is split into different characters, so you get the time to really immerge yourself in the family dynamics that play a huge role in the family psychological thriller.
Almost all of the characters are unlikable and unreliable. You have to be a fan of that… but I loved it. Although I knew what had happened from the first third of the book (there is one small line that gives it all away pretty early on), I kept second guessing myself. And when the moment came when I yelled, see I am right at my book, I wasn’t really disappointed.
If you like spiteful sibling, a whole lot of drama and some murder as the cherry on top, then give this book a try. Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me an advance copy of this book.

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I loved this book!! It was a great story with great characters and all the action you could want! Could not put it down!!

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I really enjoyed this book! It was a great Christmas read and thriller! The author did a great job writing the story and plot. A 4 star read!

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Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for a copy of this thriller in return for my honest review.

I enjoyed this one although the characters at times where absolutely insufferable - whether it was on purpose or just the writing it was hard to get through some parts when not really caring for the characters integral to the book. But in saying that the twist was really good, I enjoyed the slow burn and build up, I enjoyed the normal tropes one reads with a thriller of this kind, it was full of twists and turns and the pay off at the end was worth my time.

3 stars - would recommend

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This thriller is set at Christmas and centres on a dysfunctional family with a terminally ill patriarch, and is split up into sections of POV chapters. The core mystery wasn't that mysterious, and it was obvious who dunnit. I found pretty much everyone was annoying at best and I didn't like anyone at all, so I didn't really care what the fallout was. There's a couple of twists towards the end and it was decent enough overall. I don't think it was the best portrayal of sensitive topics like depression, suicide, terminal illness, fertility issues, etc despite being featured heavily throughout. Thank you to netgalley for the arc.

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I’ve really been into Christmas thrillers as a change of pace from the super sweet romcoms that take precedence during the holiday season. Last Christmas brought the family drama for sure!

The story was told from three different perspectives; first Neil, then Sacha, then Christy. I thought this was really well done! I especially liked that we didn’t alternate viewpoints but got them consecutively. It added a little something to the telling of the story!

I don’t think the reveal was shocking though, and much of the book was depressing because of all of Neil’s struggles. I settled on three stars. I am so thankful to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-copy!

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Thank you for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Rating 2/5

This was marketed as a twisty physiological thriller, however it did not fall into any of those categories. This was a tale of a very dysfunctional family during the holidays, that’s it.

While I did enjoy the layout of the story in sequential POVs instead of back and forth POV you commonly see, I found this book lacking in the suspense and entertainment department. The writing style was average. I was just not pulled in to the story, and it was very predictable.

Thank you again for the ARC!

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3. 5⭐️s

This was not a bad book. It just was not what I was expecting.  I thought it was going to be more of a Christmas thriller, but it ended up being more of a family drama and had very little to do with Christmas.

Neil is forced to spend Christmas with his wife Sacha's family.  Her father is dying and wants just one last family gathering.  Neil has never really felt like he fit in, and since he's been struggling with depression and alcoholism this seems like the wrong time to be spending three days there.  Especially since he and Sacha have been having issues dealing with infertility.  Sacha's two sisters and their husbands don't make the situation any easier. In fact, they make it worse.  As tensions start to rise, the Christmas family dinner turns into a disaster.  Neil turns up missing and is found the next day at the bottom of a cliff.  But how did he end up there?  Was he so fed up that he ended his own life?  Or did someone push him? 

This book was written well, and the ending was shocking, but unfortunately, it wasn't what I was looking for. There were definitely some cringe-worthy moments between sisters.  None of the characters were very likable, and I had a hard time connecting with any of them or with the plot.  This does not mean I wouldn't recommend this book.  Everyone has different tastes, and if you're looking for a book with lots of family drama around Christmas, this is it!

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This was a very fast, Christmasy dramatic thriller with nice twists! I read this book in only a few hours and loved the different point of views of each main character in the story. I thought the characters were well developed and you either loved or hated them. Poor Neil was absolutely miserable and you felt sorry for him. His marriage deteriorating because of infertility and alcohol, forced to spend Christmas with his perfect in-laws who mostly despised him. Neil ends up dead on Christmas Day and everyone is suspect including Neil himself.

This story has lots of twists and turns, lots of secrets to uncover. Not everyone is who they seem to be.

I really enjoyed this read and will definitely recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC in exchange for my review! Love this publisher, you really can’t go wrong with one of their books!

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