Cover Image: Last Christmas

Last Christmas

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, this novel was not for me. It was more of a family drama than a psychological thriller, which isn’t a bad thing at all, but this family drama in particular was not the sort of drama I enjoy reading at all. The themes explored here are themes I despise, and I wasn’t aware of them when I started reading it. The characters were quite developed but none was likeable enough for me to keep me entertained. Some moments were full of dramatic tension and that was rather interesting, but the reason why the drama was being built up in the first place did not interest me — I don’t know if that makes a lot of sense. Clearly, it was not a novel for me. It was well-written but the topics chosen were not intriguing to me.

Thank you to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for a honest review.

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I will start by saying that I haven’t typically read holiday type novels in the past. When I saw this one mentioning Christmas and being a thriller, I was excited!

The story is told in multiple POV’s, Neil is suffering from depression, he’s miserable and forced to spend Christmas with his in-laws (who give him a hard time and make him feel like an outsider). Tensions are high, many drinks are had and well, it’s a recipe for disaster!

Christmas was the backdrop for the main trigger event in this story, but it moves on from that time quickly (so it wasn’t the Christmassy read I thought it was going to be). What transpired at first was a little predictable, but there continued to be some twists that kept me guessing!! There is quite a bit of family drama, so I’m not sure it felt like a psychological thriller much. The conclusion happened quickly, I would have liked a little more explanation but I often feel this way about shorter books (under 300 pages).

This is perfect for an in-between read, where you want to read something quick, easy and entertaining.

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This is the first book I’ve read by Maria Franklin and I was pleasantly surprised. I really thought I had this one figured out and I definitely did not. I will say, some of the beginning of the book with a lot of the family drama and introducing some of the characters was a little slow but the book coming in right under 300 pages didn’t feel like it took up entirely too much of the book. If you enjoy books with a lot of dysfunctional family drama around the holidays then you’ll enjoy this book. They author did justice also to the struggles of cancer and infertility which is always appreciated. 4 out of 5 stars from me!

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Really enjoyed this book. It was easy to follow yet I still didn't manage to hit the nail.on the head with the ending! Hard to put down from the very start
⭐⭐⭐⭐

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This book was almost a DNF for me which is rare. Too slow….too many whiney relatives and predictability. Ahhhh…but predictability was not on the mind of this author. If you can get past the slowness of the first half of the book, there are plenty of twists to whip you through the book just to find out what is really happening Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for an early copy of this intriguing book. This review is my honest opinion.

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I found Last Christmas to be more of a family domestic suspense read rather than a psychological thriller.
Most of the characters were completely unlikeable. As I read more and more into the book, I just wanted to slap them across the head!
What else will you get with reading Last Christmas?
Dysfunctional Family
Terminal cancer
Alcoholism
Infertility
Unemployment
Clinical Depression
Infidelity
If you are in the mood for a story about extreme sibling rivalry/drama, this is a book you should definitely pick up.
Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I enjoyed this book it was interesting and unique and fun. I didn’t expect the ending I thought I knew what was going on and then boom plot twist

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Sacha and her husband Neil attend her family's Christmas. Sacha and Neil have been struggling to get pregnant and all the stress has sent Neil into a downward spiral. Neil is clinically depressed and consumed with an alcohol problem. During Christmas dinner Neil gets into an argument with Adam, a brother-in-law, and they are sent to walk it off and cool down. Only Neil doesn't return. Did Neil fall, jump, or even worse was he pushed?

This fast paced thriller is throughly enjoyable. Told from MPOV. Full of family drama and one tragedy after another it'll keep you on your toes. I took a star off because I felt it wasn't a very believable story line and it felt a little too soap operay, especially at the end. I also guessed one of the twists that is revealed in the final pages of the novel. Thank you to #Netgally and Bookoture for the E-ARC, out November 10!

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This book was a quick, easy read for me but I found it very entertaining. Usually Christmas books are not so dark but I enjoyed this holiday mystery. The family dynamic and the multi-POV kept me engaged in the book. Overall, the story is well written with a good plot. I recommend. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the allowing me to give my unbiased review

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Neila and Sasha are forced to spend the holidays with her family because of her sick father. The tensions are high as their marriage is not going well and Neil does not like her family, and her family does not like him. After celebrating Christmas, Neil is found dead. Did they dislike him enough to kill him? Or was it an accident?
I was so excited for this book as I love me a good Christmas thriller. I expected it to be a psychological thriller, but it's much more domestic family drama than a psychological thriller. None of the characters are likable and by the time Neil dies, I just did not care. I have read a lot of very good reviews about this, so maybe it will fit your taste more than it did mine.
I received an advance review copy of this book for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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This is a quick, easy read that focuses on a family Christmas gathering, which is memorable but not in a good way. Most of the characters range from flawed to obnoxious and hold dangerous secrets. This is a family thriller built around toxic interactions. I found some of the developments and twists to be disappointing, implausible, and predictable. There was plenty that could be criticized, but I found the story highly suspenseful, entertaining, and hard to put down.

Well-intentioned parents have invited their three daughters and husbands to spend Christmas with them. This will be their final Christmas together. Their father is terminally ill and will not survive much longer. Their home is in a remote area near a scenic cliff-top view. The dreadful Christmas 'holiday' is less than half the book, and the rest deals with its aftermath and sorting out what went so wrong.

Neil wants to avoid the Christmas gathering. He is on a downward trajectory, depressed and alcoholic, which has resulted in his unemployment. A diagnosis of infertility has rendered him feeling useless and a disappointment to his wife, Sacha. He is pressured into attending by Sacha. He has already disgraced himself by drinking to access away from the others and throwing up all over the patio. The two brothers-in-law (Adam and Greg) are hostile towards him during dinner. Adam's words are especially cruel. The mother orders Adam and Neil to leave the table and go for a walk to settle their differences. Greg later joins them. Disaster ensues.

Sacha feels guilt and remorse, deciding she loved Neil and should have been more supportive. She is horrified to learn some of the cruel insults that Adam threw at Neil. Her sister, Christy (Adam's wife), is kind and sympathetic towards her. Her other sister, Rebecca (Greg's wife), is colder and flaunts her pregnancy, which adds to the childless Sacha's misery. On Christmas evening, Sacha goes for a walk to clear her head. She is hit by a vehicle and ends up in hospital with broken bones and in a coma. The hit-and-run driver is unknown. The story now switches to Christy's perspective, following Sacha's slow progress in recovery while trying to grasp everything that has happened and why.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an early copy of the book, which will be published on November 10 and recommended to mystery fans who enjoy a good, suspenseful family drama.

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A twisty tale, unusually dark for the festive season. Husband and wife Sacha and Neil have to spend Christmas together with Sacha’s dysfunctional family because her father is terminally ill. None of the family like Neil, and he and Sacha aren’t getting on too well either, but when he dies on Christmas day she is distraught, especially as she has no idea if it was a tragic accident, suicide or murder. The story is told in chunks from three different character’s viewpoints and had a real twist at the end. A good read

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Neil would rather be anywhere than spending time with his In-laws this Christmas. He has never felt like he belonged in Sacha's family and his marriage is in trouble. Family tensions quickly arise and come to a point during Christmas dinner. What happens next, sets off a series of events that will change every family member's lives.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but it fell flat for me. The beginning was slow but picked up at the midway point. I liked some of the twist plots, but the reveals were predictable at times. My biggest problem with this book was the characters. I disliked most of the main characters, except for Christy. I found most of Sacha's family was selfish and only there for their own agenda. Even though Sacha and her family knew Neil was depressed, they were unsympathetic, and Sacha didn't seem to care. In the end, I was expecting a different outcome of this story based on the synopsis that was given.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to review Last Christmas. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

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This holiday mystery was very engaging! I enjoyed that we got different POVs but didn't have to jump between them and it aided in how the story unfolded. I also really liked that though this was a mystery, the way Maria Frankland wrote characters who were grieving felt very authentic and not pandering. This quick read is definitely going on my recommendations list.

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So disappointed in this - I was expecting a gripping thriller, but this didn’t deliver at all.

The first section of the book, is about how Neil is miserable, whines constantly and drinks himself into oblivion.

Next is Sacha’s POV after husband Neil’s death. She has seemingly forgotten how they could barely stand to be anywhere near each other!

The three daughters and their husbands are vile, toxic people, who I didn’t care for at all.

I nearly DNF’d several times, but pushed through, even though it was very obvious who the killer was and who was responsible for later events involving Sasha.

1 ⭐️ Thanks to Netgalley, Maria Frankland and Bookouture for an ARC in return for an honest review.

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WOW! All the twists! Such a dysfunctional family and so many are guilty. It was a wild ride and in the end, I'm pretty sure that I think everyone got what they deserved.

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The last place that Neil wants to spend Christmas is at his in-laws new house, especially since the whole family seems to be aware that he's a depressed, out of work, alcoholic with a strained marriage. A miserable few days is what he expects. What he didn't expect is that the miserable few days at this in laws house would end up being his last days alive. Now his wife is left to figure out the circumstances of his death. What happened? Who is responsible? Nobody in her family really liked him, but who could hate him enough to want him dead?

I want to state first that I feel a little bit mislead by this being classified as a thriller. To me, it is more of just a family drama. It's an extremely dysfunctional family with a mysterious death looming in the middle of it, but mostly the plot is focused on all of the members of the family taking turns being awful to each other.

I feel that it lacked the suspense and anticipation that drive most thrillers, and I also found that even with all the drama that all the characters brought around, it still fell flat for me. I would have preferred if the characters were developed a little deeper emotionally, so I would have felt more moved by each characters distress.

My lack of strong connection to any of the characters aside, I did enjoy the occasional switch in POV. It was really nice to have a peek into a few of the characters lives, I just wish that it could have been fleshed out more.

Overall, I didn't love this book as a thriller, but it was alight as a family drama. If you're looking for a quick read about an extremely dysfunctional family with a bit of mysterious circumstances around the edges, you might enjoy this one.

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Well this was a thrilling tale of murder or suicide. Family love and family lies. Secrets and betrayal. As their father is terminally ill the family all gathers to try and have one last Christmas together as a family. Unfortunately it doesn’t go that way. Way too much alcohol is consumed and very hurtful things are said. It doesn’t just end there. When Neil, Sacha’s husband goes missing after being told to settle the differences with his brother in law. As the family tries to figure out what’s going on, here comes the twists and turns that will keep you reading until the very end! Speaking of endings you definitely won’t see what’s coming! Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me access to this eARC!

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Last Christmas was a great thriller that takes place around Christmas time. The different character perspectives and twists that just kept coming made this a quick read.

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Ok this book was a LOT! It had more than enough twists in it to keep you pulled in and interested. When turning the pages, you don’t know what surprise is going to be thrown at you.

This story was broken up into three parts each told from a different characters POV. The three different POVs really helped build the suspense but also showed the different issues going on throughout the family.

Poor Neil, what happened to him was just awful and then for the truth to be kept a secret for so long was even worse. Then what happens to Sacha just months after Neil is even worse. But when the truth comes out everything, it’s shocking

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