“It looks like a regular advent calendar. Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors… and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.” Christmas advent calendars are notorious for being fun and the excitement of revealing behind the hidden door is unrivaled. So, sending a handmade one of crime scene photographs to a police station hinting that 24 murders have, or will have, take place is a refreshing storyline with a festive twist, and it’s one that I enjoyed immensely.
The sequence with which the magnitude of crimes was unveiled is suspenseful and daring; the quest to match the date on the door with it’s photograph and victim plus the added strain on the detective team as it comes to light that there are 4 doors empty… but has the killer left these for a reason? Or does he already have plans in place?
The format is interspersed with “The Photographer’s” POV which added depth to the storyline and kept the plot thriving. Mixing cold and current cases is always a tricky area of the thriller genre because if it works well it’s really good, but it can fall flat if it’s too heavy either way but the balance here was good. My attention was kept hold and I read this really quickly as I just wanted to see what was behind the next door and if the police team would make the links in time to prevent more deaths!
The author, Susi Holliday, has chosen a niche segment of crime thriller writing and exploited it very well! The language and tone were coordinated, characters thought out, backgrounds kept relevant and concise… just a great thriller! The Christmas aspect naturally will draw you to read it at a certain time of year, but it’s not overly saturated with festive extras so it can be enjoyed all year round. Refreshing, different and worth a read as a cosy standalone book. Did make me reluctant and suspicious to open post for a while though! – GJ