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The Killer in the Snow

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The first fall of snow can be fatal… A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongsid The first fall of snow can be fatal… A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. Without a neighbour for miles, there are no witnesses and little evidence. And the crime scene has strange echoes of another terrible murder committed at the farmhouse, twenty years earlier…   James knows that to catch this killer, he needs to solve a case that has long since gone cold… Perfect for fans of smash-hit TV series Whitehouse Farm, Simon McCleave’s The Snowdonia Killings and Catherine Cooper’s The Chalet. Readers love The Killer in the Snow: ‘I loved this book! It is dark, gritty and thrilling … It is fast-paced and has you hooked from the first few pages. I devoured this book in two sittings.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘Dang! Now this was one heck of a story! If you want suspense, thrills and chills, then this is your book!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A chilling page turner’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘WOW! This book had me hooked from the first page, I didn’t want to put it down and this was one of the twistiest and most complicated murder cases I’ve ever read about.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐     ‘Another fantastic book from Alex Pine!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   ‘I loved this book and enjoyed every minute of it. There were so many twists, turns and surprises on just about every page.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘DI James Walker is fast becoming a favourite of mine along with Alex Pine being one of my top authors.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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The first fall of snow can be fatal… A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongsid The first fall of snow can be fatal… A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. Without a neighbour for miles, there are no witnesses and little evidence. And the crime scene has strange echoes of another terrible murder committed at the farmhouse, twenty years earlier…   James knows that to catch this killer, he needs to solve a case that has long since gone cold… Perfect for fans of smash-hit TV series Whitehouse Farm, Simon McCleave’s The Snowdonia Killings and Catherine Cooper’s The Chalet. Readers love The Killer in the Snow: ‘I loved this book! It is dark, gritty and thrilling … It is fast-paced and has you hooked from the first few pages. I devoured this book in two sittings.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘Dang! Now this was one heck of a story! If you want suspense, thrills and chills, then this is your book!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A chilling page turner’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘WOW! This book had me hooked from the first page, I didn’t want to put it down and this was one of the twistiest and most complicated murder cases I’ve ever read about.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐     ‘Another fantastic book from Alex Pine!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐   ‘I loved this book and enjoyed every minute of it. There were so many twists, turns and surprises on just about every page.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐      ‘DI James Walker is fast becoming a favourite of mine along with Alex Pine being one of my top authors.’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

30 review for The Killer in the Snow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: There was a set of shoeprints in the otherwise pristine snow, and Robert was sure that they hadn't been there earlier. They were coming from the road and leading over to the steps on the right side of the house, the ones that descended to the cellar door. And yet there were no prints going in the opposite direction. It puzzled him because the cellar door was always locked and there was only one set of keys, which hung from a hook in the kitchen. What's more, Mary rarely ventured down th EXCERPT: There was a set of shoeprints in the otherwise pristine snow, and Robert was sure that they hadn't been there earlier. They were coming from the road and leading over to the steps on the right side of the house, the ones that descended to the cellar door. And yet there were no prints going in the opposite direction. It puzzled him because the cellar door was always locked and there was only one set of keys, which hung from a hook in the kitchen. What's more, Mary rarely ventured down there because she'd convinced herself many years ago that it was haunted. He tightened his grip on the bag and went to investigate. What he saw made him frown further. The shoeprints went down the steps and stopped in front of the door, which suggested that whoever had gone in there hadn't yet come out. But who could it be? He was about to go down and check when the sound of raised voices came from inside the house. They were loud enough to cause a blast of alarm to shoot through him. Instinct told him that whatever was going on in the house had to be more important than what might be happening in the cellar, so he turned sharply on his heels and rushed towards the front door. Just as he reached it, the shouting was drowned out by a high-pitched scream that sent his pulse racing. ABOUT 'THE KILLER IN THE SNOW': The first fall of snow can be fatal… A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he’s hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his unused basement – and no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. Without a neighbour for miles, there are no witnesses and little evidence. And the crime scene has strange echoes of another terrible murder committed at the farmhouse, twenty years earlier… James knows that to catch this killer, he needs to solve a case that has long since gone cold… MY THOUGHTS: A good plot, but I found the writing style somewhat dry and lacking suspense. While I didn't struggle to get through my listen/read, neither did I pick it up every chance I got. And that's always a tell. It was difficult to feel any connection with the characters. They all felt very formal and stiff, as was the dialogue. Other than DC Jess Abbott and James' wife Annie, the women in this story are all portrayed as rather weak characters or mentally unbalanced. I enjoyed the mystery being linked to what had happened on the farm twenty four years earlier, even though it was pretty apparent what had happened. It was the 'how' that kept me reading. Initially there are a handful of suspects for the current killings and I did enjoy the resolution. I just wish that it had been a bit less plodding and a lot more suspenseful. I also think that the inclusion of a gangster 'out to get James' was unnecessary and distracted from the main storyline. It just didn't seem to 'fit', and served no useful purpose. I enjoyed the narration of Sid Sagar, but overall this was only an okay, but totally forgettable read. ⭐⭐.6 #TheKillerintheSnow #NetGalley I: #alexpineauthor @avonbooksuk @harperaudio T: #alexpineauthor @BooksAvon @HarperAudio #audiobook #christmasfiction #contemporaryfiction #crime #domesticdrama #detectivefiction #murdermystery #policeprocedural THE AUTHOR: Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast – providing him with the best of both worlds! Alex Pine is the pseudonym of a bestselling author who has also written books under the names Jaime Raven, James Raven and JP Carter. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books UK for providing the digital ARC, and Harper Collins UK audio for providing the audio ARC of The Killer in the Snow by Alex Pine for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for this tantalizing mystery in return for an honest review. The complicated, but easy-to-follow plot that flows well. It will keep readers engaged while they try to untangle the mystery. This is a police procedural that describes how painstaking and detailed their work must be in order to solve the case. There are no graphic sex scenes or vulgar language. Violence was described through flashbacks to the past, or by discovering already murdered victims. I en Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for this tantalizing mystery in return for an honest review. The complicated, but easy-to-follow plot that flows well. It will keep readers engaged while they try to untangle the mystery. This is a police procedural that describes how painstaking and detailed their work must be in order to solve the case. There are no graphic sex scenes or vulgar language. Violence was described through flashbacks to the past, or by discovering already murdered victims. I enjoyed the fact that the lead detective, DI James Walker, seems so well adjusted with a pleasant, comfortable home life, unlike many lead detectives in fiction who have emotional issues in their personal lives that they soothe with alcohol. He also has a cooperative team working together without dissension, and delegates tasks wisely. He is calm, persistent, and patient in his skilled interrogation of suspects. I learned that this is the second book in the DI Walker series, both cases occurring in a quiet village during the Christmas season. This works as a standalone but refers to previous events which raised my interest in reading the first book. A family of three, an adult daughter and her parents, are found in a bloody scene at an isolated farmhouse. Forensic evidence suggests they were murdered on Christmas eve. DI Walker was hoping to spend the holiday season relaxing at home, but like a year ago this is not to be. To add to the mystery, the team finds a walled-in hidden room containing a peephole, giving an eerie suggestion that the family was being watched. There is shocking proof that an unknown person was secretly observing the murdered family. The farm was deeply in unpaid debt, partly due to the father's gambling addiction. The high-strung mother hated the home, believing it to be haunted. The daughter had anger issues and was rebellious, engaging in drugs with unsavoury friends. The detectives uncover multiple suspects, secrets and intrigue. More than two decades earlier, the previous owners of the farm were murdered in the basement and their baby daughter vanished. This murder was never solved. The investigators feel there must be a connection between this cold case and the present family murder. With so many possible perpetrators, they must find a motive linking both killings within the same house during the elapsed time period. Can they succeed? In an unrelated thread, there is a gangster that Walker helped imprison while working in London who is bound on revenge. Recommended for readers those who enjoy a suspenseful, complex, easy-to-follow mystery with engaging and dedicated investigators. I would read Alex Pine's next book in the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com DI James Walker was hoping for a quiet Christmas as last year was stressful hunting down a serial killer. Unfortunately, he’s not that lucky. Two days after Christmas he is called out to a possible murder/suicide at Oaktree Farm where the owners, the Batemans, have suffered gunshot wounds and their daughter has been stabbed, plus the daughter’s boyfriend has gone missing. The investigation is just getting underway when DI Walker is made aware of a similar Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com DI James Walker was hoping for a quiet Christmas as last year was stressful hunting down a serial killer. Unfortunately, he’s not that lucky. Two days after Christmas he is called out to a possible murder/suicide at Oaktree Farm where the owners, the Batemans, have suffered gunshot wounds and their daughter has been stabbed, plus the daughter’s boyfriend has gone missing. The investigation is just getting underway when DI Walker is made aware of a similar murder/suicide at the farm twenty years ago, one in which the couples baby daughter went missing, presumed dead. Could the cases be linked? I haven’t read the first book, The Christmas Killer, but as this book worked as a standalone and I was intrigued enough by the plot that I decided to give it a read, though I never felt like I got to know DI James Walker fully or appreciated his character in the way I would have had I read the first book. The book is set in Cumbria, a place where I’m not sure I want to visit anymore given by how many thriller/detective books are set there!! Joking aside, Cumbria with its vast open spaces, numerous forests and lakes, plus tiny villages make for a great place to set a thriller and I can see why so many authors do. The plot felt fast and edgy, plus, the investigation had many leads to it, including a few red herrings. Given that I read a lot of thrillers I tend to have a good idea early on what has happened and by 38% of the way through the book I made my prediction which turned out to be near as damn right. This, however, didn’t take away my enjoyment of the book as I then needed to see if I was right or what I had missed. The Killer in the Snow kept me interested the whole way through. It had plenty of suspense and twists to keep you on your toes. It is dark and foreboding at times and I loved the snippets of info from twenty years ago and the first murder case at the farm and how DI Walker worked on the two cases to close them both.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    DI James Walker Series #2 A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he's hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his basement - an no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. DI James Walker is investigating what looks like a murder/suicide of a farmer, his wife and daughter. But the DI James Walker Series #2 A year has passed since DI James Walker cracked his biggest case yet, and he's hoping for peace and quiet this festive season. But across the fells, a local farmer returns home on Christmas Eve to find footsteps in the fresh snow that lead down to his basement - an no footsteps leading away. Days later, his body is found, alongside those of his wife and daughter. DI James Walker is investigating what looks like a murder/suicide of a farmer, his wife and daughter. But the more James Walker and his team investigate into the family, the more intriguing the case becomes. Over twenty years ago, the previous owners met a similar fate. There's also a dangerous London gangster who's went missing that's vowed vengeance on James Walker. The pace is fast in this twist filled read. There's also plenty of suspects to choose from. This is quite a good series so far. The books can be read as a standalone. I would like to thank #NetGalley #AvonBooksUK and the author #AlePine for my ARC of #TheKillerInTheSnow in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Christmas Mystery, and this is the second book in the DI James Walker Series. I did read and review the first book in this series before picking up this book. I did not feel you have to read the first book in this series before reading this one, but there is a lot of things said about the first books case in this book. I have to say I liked this book a lot more then the first book not that I did not enjoyed reading the first book. I found the case that DI James is working on in this bo This is a Christmas Mystery, and this is the second book in the DI James Walker Series. I did read and review the first book in this series before picking up this book. I did not feel you have to read the first book in this series before reading this one, but there is a lot of things said about the first books case in this book. I have to say I liked this book a lot more then the first book not that I did not enjoyed reading the first book. I found the case that DI James is working on in this book more interesting. I was really pulled into the case, and I found myself wanting to how what happen to the family that was killed. I did find the flash backs in this book to be a little weird at first, and I think they could have been written in a little bit better. The characters in this book are the type of characters that grow on you. I found that I also really did not care about the side storyline that was going on in this book because I guessed what was going on the minute it came up in the story. I am glad it came to a end because I was getting sick of it coming up, and it runs in the first book and this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Avon) or author (Alex Pine) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dana-Adriana B.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author of this book. On a remote farm, the bodies of 3 family members are found and DI James Walker is going to try and find out who did it. It's not going to be easy because there are plenty of suspects. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author of this book. On a remote farm, the bodies of 3 family members are found and DI James Walker is going to try and find out who did it. It's not going to be easy because there are plenty of suspects.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The Killer in the snow by Alex Pine is the second in the D I James Walker series. It is a year since the Christmas killer case and James is thrown into another case during Christmas time. On Christmas eve a farmer comes home to see footsteps in the snow lead to his unused cellar. Days later the farmer and his wife and their grown-up daughter is found brutally murdered at Oaktree farm. Is this suicide or were the murdered? As the case is investigated James Walker finds out that the farmer was in a The Killer in the snow by Alex Pine is the second in the D I James Walker series. It is a year since the Christmas killer case and James is thrown into another case during Christmas time. On Christmas eve a farmer comes home to see footsteps in the snow lead to his unused cellar. Days later the farmer and his wife and their grown-up daughter is found brutally murdered at Oaktree farm. Is this suicide or were the murdered? As the case is investigated James Walker finds out that the farmer was in a lot of debt. Was this one of the reasons that he and his family are dead? We also learned that 24 years previous that the owners of the farm also ended up the same way and their daughter was missing. Are these deaths connected somehow? This is another great story from Alex pine that I really enjoyed. It had interesting plot with several points of view that kept you guessing and a few red herrings along the way. The story was also going back and forward in time to find out the similarities between the two murders which gave you the full picture of what and why these deaths occurred that kept me guessing until the end. James walker is such a likeable character I would like to see how this series develops. 5 stars from me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!"

    My thanks to Harper 360/Avon, Alex Pine and Netgalley. This was a caricature. Everyone might have been cut out dolls. There was nothing here. The people were wooden. Stiff. Just the speaking back and forth was awkward. I knew from the 30% mark what had happened. Yet, I kept reading and waiting for something else. That "else" didn't happen. Discounting all that, I believe the worst of all is how this author wrote the women. The hysterical, puking and crying pregnant wife of "our hero." Also, "no My thanks to Harper 360/Avon, Alex Pine and Netgalley. This was a caricature. Everyone might have been cut out dolls. There was nothing here. The people were wooden. Stiff. Just the speaking back and forth was awkward. I knew from the 30% mark what had happened. Yet, I kept reading and waiting for something else. That "else" didn't happen. Discounting all that, I believe the worst of all is how this author wrote the women. The hysterical, puking and crying pregnant wife of "our hero." Also, "no spoilers" but the whole rest of the story. We women and our vapors and hysterics! Woe is me! This author needs to get real. I've no intention of reading anything from this author again.

  9. 4 out of 5

    AmyLeighReads_x

    I was kindly sent a copy of the next book in the DI James Walker series by @avonbooksuk to read and reveal the cover. This book follows on from The Christmas Killer. In this book, three dead bodies are discovered and with multiple possible suspects, DI Walker and his team race to find out the truth. I loved reading this book! If you want a book that keeps you hooked right through to the end and keeps you guessing then this is a book for you! I haven't read a thriller for a while and I loved everyth I was kindly sent a copy of the next book in the DI James Walker series by @avonbooksuk to read and reveal the cover. This book follows on from The Christmas Killer. In this book, three dead bodies are discovered and with multiple possible suspects, DI Walker and his team race to find out the truth. I loved reading this book! If you want a book that keeps you hooked right through to the end and keeps you guessing then this is a book for you! I haven't read a thriller for a while and I loved everything about it. The characters, the detailed descriptions and the setting of the story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    I don't think you could come up with a more intriguing crime scene if you tried. There are so many elements to it, it's hard to know where to start. Add in a very similar thing happened in the farm house over 20 years ago, and rumours the house could be haunted and it becomes more interesting still. So I was hooked rather early on as to how DI James Walker and his team would unravel this. I think I half guessed briefly about one small aspect but without the details, and everything else kept taking I don't think you could come up with a more intriguing crime scene if you tried. There are so many elements to it, it's hard to know where to start. Add in a very similar thing happened in the farm house over 20 years ago, and rumours the house could be haunted and it becomes more interesting still. So I was hooked rather early on as to how DI James Walker and his team would unravel this. I think I half guessed briefly about one small aspect but without the details, and everything else kept taking me ab the police by surprise. We get flashback scenes to key events in the past which helped give the reader more understanding to the situation. Meanwhile DI James Walker's own nemesis is at large and still threatening him and his family. So there is that element to contend with too. There is a lot to keep you on your toes, and I loved being drawn into this crime and seeing how it would turn out. Another fabulously wintery crime novel from Alex Pine and I'm certainly keen to see what complex case he will come up next. Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  11. 5 out of 5

    LianaReads blog

    The best clues always come out easy in the fresh snow. But what actually happened in the basement? This is a must read story! From the first chapter, I was hooked and couldn’t read fast enough to see where the story takes me. Everything seemed so easy to solve but so twisted and so many turns at the same time. Those 24 years old cold case were scary and brought up quite a fes theories along the the new investigation. Suspenseful and interesting read overall. Very grateful to the publisher for my The best clues always come out easy in the fresh snow. But what actually happened in the basement? This is a must read story! From the first chapter, I was hooked and couldn’t read fast enough to see where the story takes me. Everything seemed so easy to solve but so twisted and so many turns at the same time. Those 24 years old cold case were scary and brought up quite a fes theories along the the new investigation. Suspenseful and interesting read overall. Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy through NetGalley.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Leone

    This is the second book in the DI James Walker series. I was looking forward to this one as I really liked the first book in the series. In this installment, DI Walker is hoping for a quiet holiday season after last years Christmas murder. Unfortunately he doesn't get his wish. Two days after Christmas he is called to a crime scene of a triple murder scene involving an entire family. As they work the crime, they get more questions and more suspects instead of answers. I enjoy a book that has more This is the second book in the DI James Walker series. I was looking forward to this one as I really liked the first book in the series. In this installment, DI Walker is hoping for a quiet holiday season after last years Christmas murder. Unfortunately he doesn't get his wish. Two days after Christmas he is called to a crime scene of a triple murder scene involving an entire family. As they work the crime, they get more questions and more suspects instead of answers. I enjoy a book that has more than one suspect. I like to be kept guessing instead of knowing who the murderer is right from the start. This one has several suspects and lots of mystery surrounding the farm it takes place on. It is a slow burner for sure. It takes a long time to get the answers but is worth the wait. I was already familiar with most of the characters from reading the last book so it took no time to get into this one. Many thanks to netgalley and Avon Books UK for the arc

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This was an entertaining and fun thriller! I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was pretty excited to read the next installment in the series. And fortunately it did not disappoint. I really like the characters in this series and the setting. I love the Lake District, so it's nice to read about some familiar places. The plot of this book was really interesting and intriguing. I was enagged from the start and throughly enjoyed the reading experience. The pacing was really good. At This was an entertaining and fun thriller! I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was pretty excited to read the next installment in the series. And fortunately it did not disappoint. I really like the characters in this series and the setting. I love the Lake District, so it's nice to read about some familiar places. The plot of this book was really interesting and intriguing. I was enagged from the start and throughly enjoyed the reading experience. The pacing was really good. At no point was I bored or disinterested in the story. I didn't guess the ending however, I was on the right track. So the end wasn't a complete shock but it was still pretty intense and I didn't see it coming. This was a fun thriller to read. I love the Christmas/winter theme too. This would make the perfect thriller to read over the Christmas season. Overall, I highly recommend this thriller and look forward to reading more from this author in the future. TW: violence, suicide, murder and death

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Morris

    I read The Christmas Killer last Christmas and am always on the lookout for a thriller set during the festive season, so I was excited to pick up the second book in the series, The Killer in the Snow. While I enjoyed the first book, I did find it a little slow at the beginning, although I was still excited to see more from the characters. And this second instalment definitely picks up the pace. There’s a lot of action throughout, the pace is quick, and it’s an exciting case to follow. Pine starts I read The Christmas Killer last Christmas and am always on the lookout for a thriller set during the festive season, so I was excited to pick up the second book in the series, The Killer in the Snow. While I enjoyed the first book, I did find it a little slow at the beginning, although I was still excited to see more from the characters. And this second instalment definitely picks up the pace. There’s a lot of action throughout, the pace is quick, and it’s an exciting case to follow. Pine starts off by summarising the events of the first book without giving any spoilers, so this can easily be read as a standalone. I also love that he provides a set of character profiles at the start for any new readers, making sure that everybody starts off in a knowledgeable place. The case is a really interesting one to follow and will feel similar to certain true-crime documentaries that have been popular this year, with a desolate farm being the setting for a crime in both the present and past. Although the case is complex with two stories coming together, it’s easy to follow and constantly intriguing. I did guess the twist early on after making a wild prediction, but I was still excited to see if I was right and how the answers would be revealed. A definite improvement on the first book, I look forward to seeing what DI James Walker is faced with next and whether he can get through a Christmas without a murder happening on his doorstep.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sanda

    A cozy winter British village murder mystery. A subgenre I am definitely partial to. And both books in Alex Pine's DI James Walker series were the kind of reads you want to grab and read wearing your fuzzy reading socks, under the blanket with some yummy hot chocolate by your side. Or maybe that's just what worked really well for me. Even though the books could be read independently, I'd highly recommend reading The Christmas Killer first. The first book had DI Walker and his wife moving from th A cozy winter British village murder mystery. A subgenre I am definitely partial to. And both books in Alex Pine's DI James Walker series were the kind of reads you want to grab and read wearing your fuzzy reading socks, under the blanket with some yummy hot chocolate by your side. Or maybe that's just what worked really well for me. Even though the books could be read independently, I'd highly recommend reading The Christmas Killer first. The first book had DI Walker and his wife moving from the hustle and bustle of London to a small, sleepy village his wife grew up in. Though it seems like a place where nothing much besides crazy winter snow storms happens, it seems Kirkby Abbey is starting to develop a new kind of Christmas tradition - that of murder. In The Killer in the Snow a family is found killed at a local farm. 21 years ago that same farm was a place of another murder and an unsolved mystery of missing baby. Coincidence? Or are the two crimes somehow linked? Once again DI Walker and his (not so new) team are on a mission to uncover the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed both books in this series and honestly hope there will be a next one. It's the same reason I love the Midsomer Murders TV series. Murders in an unlikely setting with an interesting group of characters. Very grateful to Avon Books UK & Netgalley for gifting me the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lacey

    I expected a lot more from this book and was severely let down. I haven't read the first in the series and honestly don't plan on it. First off, the plot was predictable as there are several movies with the same, and I was able to figure out everything after getting about a third of the way through. Very unimaginative on the authors part. The writing style is was got me the most, it's very detached. There was a constant use of names, for example he always referred to his wife by her name instead I expected a lot more from this book and was severely let down. I haven't read the first in the series and honestly don't plan on it. First off, the plot was predictable as there are several movies with the same, and I was able to figure out everything after getting about a third of the way through. Very unimaginative on the authors part. The writing style is was got me the most, it's very detached. There was a constant use of names, for example he always referred to his wife by her name instead of saying "my wife". It was in the main character, James, point of view yet it always stated his name instead of referring to him as "he/him/his". The way the characters spoke to one another was almost robotic. It was written more like a newspaper article than a book. Which makes sense considering the author was a journalist. I prefer to emerse myself in the book, become a part of the story, not feel as though I'm looking at it through a snowglobe. There was also evidence in the story that was never mentioned, like did the shotgun shells come from that particular gun? Why weren't the footprints measured for stride to determine how tall the suspect could be? The main character also referred to himself and his fellow officers as "coppers" and I have never heard a law enforcement officer call themselves such. I was not a huge fan of this book at all and it took me a lot longer to read because of it. I most likely wouldn't recommend it to others.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jami

    This one was a struggle to get through. Luckily, I was still able to keep up with the characters and storyline without having read book 1 in the series. This can serve as a standalone. I appreciate when author’s write in a more “simple” way, meaning I can follow along easily without having to pause and look-up difficult or unfamiliar words. This book, however, felt so simple that it was almost unrefined in a way. I skimmed a lot of it because it didn’t keep my attention. I felt like a lot of the This one was a struggle to get through. Luckily, I was still able to keep up with the characters and storyline without having read book 1 in the series. This can serve as a standalone. I appreciate when author’s write in a more “simple” way, meaning I can follow along easily without having to pause and look-up difficult or unfamiliar words. This book, however, felt so simple that it was almost unrefined in a way. I skimmed a lot of it because it didn’t keep my attention. I felt like a lot of the meat between the beginning and end of a chapter could be skipped and you didn’t miss out on much. it just didn’t keep moving the way I would have liked. This one was really just not for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read. 2.5 ⭐️ rounded to 3.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    A family is found murdered in their old farmhouse at Christmas time. As if that's not sinister enough, the crime undeniably echoes that of a similar scene that took place 20 years earlier in the exact same spot. DI James Walker doesn't see how the two can be connected...or can they? I enjoyed this a lot and found it easy to get into, a solid police procedural that kept me guessing with some unexpected twists - exactly what I wanted. So many people seemed to have a motive, I found it impossible to A family is found murdered in their old farmhouse at Christmas time. As if that's not sinister enough, the crime undeniably echoes that of a similar scene that took place 20 years earlier in the exact same spot. DI James Walker doesn't see how the two can be connected...or can they? I enjoyed this a lot and found it easy to get into, a solid police procedural that kept me guessing with some unexpected twists - exactly what I wanted. So many people seemed to have a motive, I found it impossible to guess the killer and I don't want to give anything away, but there are things about the old farmhouse that genuinely gave me the creeps. The Killer in the Snow is the second book in a series...didn't realise this until I started listening, thankfully it didn't matter that I hadn't read the previous book and there's actually a whole section at the end explaining a bit of the back story and some background on the detectives. Sid Sager narrated this brilliantly, he made it so easy to tell the characters apart.

  19. 5 out of 5

    OutlawPoet

    Yeah, so this is three stars. You see, one truth of everything was pretty obvious way too quickly. I mean, I got to the point where I was literally just reading to see if I was right – I was. I did start out curious about the relation between a couple of different crimes, but I just got a little bored too quickly. There was a wee bit of a surprise in the end, but it was more of an out-of-left-field surprise, that did not satisfy. Honestly, not sure I’d revisit the author in the future. This one ju Yeah, so this is three stars. You see, one truth of everything was pretty obvious way too quickly. I mean, I got to the point where I was literally just reading to see if I was right – I was. I did start out curious about the relation between a couple of different crimes, but I just got a little bored too quickly. There was a wee bit of a surprise in the end, but it was more of an out-of-left-field surprise, that did not satisfy. Honestly, not sure I’d revisit the author in the future. This one just got an okay from me. *ARC via Publisher

  20. 4 out of 5

    Becki Sims

    A gripping story, likeable characters and well paced. I loved the ending and will definitely aim to read others by this author and the previous book in the series. This book was right up my street! Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for gifting me this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    Reading Stuff 'n' Things Although the second in the series, you don't have to have read the first to enjoy this - I haven't and although some back-story has been missed, I didn't think it detracted from the overall story at all. A triple murder has occurred in an isolated farm on the outskirts of the fictional village of Kirkby Abbey in Cumbria. Initially, it looks like a clear case of murder-suicide however, on further inspection, things just don't add up. In addition, there are similarities to a Reading Stuff 'n' Things Although the second in the series, you don't have to have read the first to enjoy this - I haven't and although some back-story has been missed, I didn't think it detracted from the overall story at all. A triple murder has occurred in an isolated farm on the outskirts of the fictional village of Kirkby Abbey in Cumbria. Initially, it looks like a clear case of murder-suicide however, on further inspection, things just don't add up. In addition, there are similarities to a murder-suicide at the same house some 20 years earlier. Are the two connected? This is a well written murder mystery with a great plot and excellent characters. Alex Pine really captures the location and puts you in the heart of the Cumbrian countryside - I should know, it's in my neck of the woods! I love reading books that are set in and around my home/work area; it really adds a sense of realism and authenticity as I can actually vividly put myself in the scenery, on the roads and in the houses. The pace is steady and whilst I anticipated the twist, it didn't take away from the journey to get there. Once again, another series to look out for in the future and thank you must go to Avon Books UK and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest, unbiased and unedited review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trina Dixon

    Robert Bateman has a quick drink in the pub on Christmas Eve, buys a couple of bottles of wine and heads home to celebrate the last Christmas at the farm where he lives with his wife. His daughter and her partner will be joining them. However on his return home he sees footprints leading to the cellar and hears glass smashing in the kitchen. A couple of days later after spending a peaceful Christmas DI Walker is contacted with news of three deaths at the farm. His detective work links this case Robert Bateman has a quick drink in the pub on Christmas Eve, buys a couple of bottles of wine and heads home to celebrate the last Christmas at the farm where he lives with his wife. His daughter and her partner will be joining them. However on his return home he sees footprints leading to the cellar and hears glass smashing in the kitchen. A couple of days later after spending a peaceful Christmas DI Walker is contacted with news of three deaths at the farm. His detective work links this case with a previous case of a suspected murder/suicide at the farm 24 years previous. He and his team have to pick through all the evidence to come to a shocking conclusion. And at the same time he's faced with the discovery that the mob killer Sullivan is still on his tail. A refreshing detective series in that the main protagonist is a happily married man with good work/play ethics which seem to be lacking in a lot of detective series. This book is a standalone from the first novel The Christmas Killer but just as enjoyable Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen Barber

    Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this prior to publication. Poor DI Walker. Last Christmas saw a spate of killings and all he wants - like most of his fellow villagers - is a quiet holiday period. Unfortunately, when three bodies are discovered in a remote farmhouse and he learns it is similar to a case that took place in the same house over twenty years earlier, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. The story is a fairly standard police procedural as Walker and his team Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this prior to publication. Poor DI Walker. Last Christmas saw a spate of killings and all he wants - like most of his fellow villagers - is a quiet holiday period. Unfortunately, when three bodies are discovered in a remote farmhouse and he learns it is similar to a case that took place in the same house over twenty years earlier, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. The story is a fairly standard police procedural as Walker and his team try to uncover the truth of what happened. There’s a number of suspects, the local nosy journalist is pushing for answers and Walker is also aware that the gangland boss who has threatened to kill him is on the run and knows where he lives. From start to finish, there’s always something going on. While it might be rather exaggerated, the events are interesting and it was good to see Walker trying to work things out. Things get quite incredible towards the end, but everything’s tied up nicely…though I do think Walker should look at moving somewhere quieter!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I know some people have loved this book but sadly it wasn’t for me. I was expecting a fast paced , gripping thriller but unfortunately I found it too slow paced and predictable for me to really enjoy it. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books and the author for the chance to review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Thank you for netgalley for this book. Unfortunately although I enjoyed it mostly (It was sitting around a 3 star read for most of it) but I REALLY hate how mental health was represented in this one so I won't be recommending it. Thank you for netgalley for this book. Unfortunately although I enjoyed it mostly (It was sitting around a 3 star read for most of it) but I REALLY hate how mental health was represented in this one so I won't be recommending it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nat Eveleigh

    Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book. This is the second instalment in the James Walker series. James Walker is a detective, and lives with his wife, Annie, in Kirkby Abbey after moving from The Met in London when his life was threatened from a previous case he had worked on. The first book focused on their arrivals to Cumbria and a serial killer that was on the loose. In this book, Walker is sent to investigate the deaths of a husband, wife, and daughter on thei Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book. This is the second instalment in the James Walker series. James Walker is a detective, and lives with his wife, Annie, in Kirkby Abbey after moving from The Met in London when his life was threatened from a previous case he had worked on. The first book focused on their arrivals to Cumbria and a serial killer that was on the loose. In this book, Walker is sent to investigate the deaths of a husband, wife, and daughter on their farm over Christmas. We go through the highs and lows with the team to catch the perpetrators. And to top it off, the threat from London on Walker’s life has caught up with him in Cumbria. Although this is only the second one it is definitely shaping up to be a series I will look forward to and enjoy. The characters are all down to earth and relatable. The stories and emotions all feel authentic. The author uses lots of descriptives to really set the scene to give the book a real feel. It’s extremely well written, and every chapter offers a new element to the story, and I genuinely didn’t guess until the final few chapters. Another excellent read from this author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    I found this murder mystery to be uninspiring. I was drawn to the book because the synopsis seemed to indicate a twist on the Hinterkaifeck murders and I like a good reference to true crime in my crime fiction. The actual plot however is a nearly direct retelling of another famous true crime story, and the discussion of said story solves the mystery almost immediately. Some attempt is made to add a twist, though this is also an obvious resolution from the get-go. The writing didn't do much to s I found this murder mystery to be uninspiring. I was drawn to the book because the synopsis seemed to indicate a twist on the Hinterkaifeck murders and I like a good reference to true crime in my crime fiction. The actual plot however is a nearly direct retelling of another famous true crime story, and the discussion of said story solves the mystery almost immediately. Some attempt is made to add a twist, though this is also an obvious resolution from the get-go. The writing didn't do much to save the narrative and the characters are very much “written by a man” as the internet trend goes. I didn't hate reading it, but had it not been for review, this probably would have been one that went into the library return bin unfinished.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Kerdouci

    Actual rating 3.5 ⭐️ It’s been a year since the residents of the quiet sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey, nestled in the Cumbrian fells were exposed to a serial killer rampaging through their midst. Peace has been restored but everyone is still recovering from the trauma, hoping this Christmas season will be one to remember for all the right reasons. None more so than DI James Walker and his pregnant wife Annie who have left behind the crime infested streets of London in the knowledge that a certain Actual rating 3.5 ⭐️ It’s been a year since the residents of the quiet sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey, nestled in the Cumbrian fells were exposed to a serial killer rampaging through their midst. Peace has been restored but everyone is still recovering from the trauma, hoping this Christmas season will be one to remember for all the right reasons. None more so than DI James Walker and his pregnant wife Annie who have left behind the crime infested streets of London in the knowledge that a certain gangland boss is baying for James’s blood. If you prefer a police procedural that leans towards the lighter side of crime fiction and might ease you into the season of goodwill ( even though there’s little on show here!) then this could be a great series for you to curl up with as you endeavour to figure out whodunnit. This is the second outing for the detective who first made his appearance in The Christmas Killer. Whilst I prefer to read a series from the very beginning (otherwise I’m inclined not to bother!) you don’t necessarily need to. Oaktree farm is the setting for this Yuletide crime, currently home to the Bateman family. The stage is all set for potential tragedy to strike with the portrayal of the farm’s owner Robert Bateman drowning his sorrows in the local pub. Here’s a man who has reached the end of his tether, a man for whom luck has finally run out, his livelihood and home under imminent threat of loss. Even though the outlook in terms of Oaktree farm is bleak Robert’s planning to enjoy one last Christmas with his family before the harsh reality of what the future holds sinks in. Thus Christmas Eve sees Robert returning home to his loved ones but what awaits him isn’t your usual traditional festive family scene. Just two days later DI Walker is the SIO presiding over the deaths of Robert, his wife Mary and daughter Charlotte. All three have been found dead in the kitchen at Oaktree farm, the scene of much bloodshed. Initial evidence points to a murder/suicide but what if the bodies have been staged purposely to give that impression? Could this be the work of a killer in the snow?? With constant snowfall ( it’s obligatory!) obliterating vital evidence and the remoteness of the farm ensuring a lack of potential witnesses, DI Walker has a mountain to climb if he is ever to solve this crime. When it comes to his attention that this isn’t the first time these walls have borne witness to murder, the case becomes stranger, more complicated and more confusing with the configuration of the dwelling playing a significant role in how and why murders both past and present have taken place. At times an element of creepiness pervades the narrative with Mary believing the place to be haunted but why is she the only one to sense a ghostly presence? Could it be she has further reason to feel so rattled which we have yet to ascertain? As details slowly emerge regarding the family dynamics, the secrets and lies that up until now have been so carefully concealed confirm your suspicions that the past has an enormous bearing on current day events. Figuring out the common denominator between both sets of murders is the key to unlocking the truth. The pace of the plot is not fast and furious but plods along at an acceptable rate as a handful of suspects, all with reasonable motive for wishing the Bateman family ill will are introduced to the reader. There are plenty of reasonable twists and turns to keep you engaged but will you see through the red herrings ahead of DI Walker and his team? Some are clearly intended to throw you off the scent whereas others deserve much closer scrutiny. Unlike in the first book where very early on I guessed the identity of the culprit this time I managed to join up the majority of the dots but failed to link the final few guaranteed to reveal the whole picture. Whether the investigation follows correct police procedure at all times is highly questionable but I’m happy to make allowances for the sake of artistic licence! As for the subplot concerning James and his nemesis Andrew Sullivan I didn’t feel this added anything meaningful to the storyline other than to tie up a loose end from the previous novel. However I didn’t expect Annie to behave so rationally in light of such potential danger! The fact these parents to be think bringing up a child is safer in Kirkby Abbey as opposed to London is mind boggling! I think what lets this series down (so far) is the poor characterisation, a fact I commented on in my previous review. Everyone appears to be one dimensional, showing little or no emotion whatever they’re faced with. I was hoping on this occasion to discover hidden depths to DI Walker and the rest of his team as I found them too beige for my liking with none of the usual banter between colleagues that can offer insight into individual personalities. I like to be able to visualise the characters in my mind’s eye especially the main ones and it’s far easier to do that if you’re given glimpses of their backstories/private lives beyond the bare bones. I accept DI Walker is a welcome departure from the usual flawed detectives whose personal lives are often in tatters, seeking solace in the demon drink but he’s TOO ordinary!! I think when you’ve decided to follow a series these fictional characters need to feel like familiar acquaintances whom you’re excited to catch up with and I’ve yet to feel that way about any of them. Disappointingly the author fails to deliver in terms of any character development, the whole cast still resembling cardboard cut outs which does mean the focus of the narrative, once again, remains solely on the crime. Overall this is an entertaining Christmas crime novel with a reasonably well executed plot. Easy to read and digest, with a minimal amount of violence and bloodshed, this is a series that I intend to keep following despite my obvious criticisms. Plus I’m looking forward to meeting baby Walker! My thanks as always to the publisher Avon and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    rina dunn

    I'm super picky with thrillers and I didn't realise this was technically the second book in a series, however you don't need to read The first one at all to be able to enjoy this and what a ride Alex Pine took me on! The perfect Winter thriller! Christmas Eve, and local farmer Robert has just had a disastrous meeting with his bank manager. Oaktree Farm will have to be put up for sale. When he returns home to try and put on a brave face for the Christmas celebrations, he notices footsteps leading I'm super picky with thrillers and I didn't realise this was technically the second book in a series, however you don't need to read The first one at all to be able to enjoy this and what a ride Alex Pine took me on! The perfect Winter thriller! Christmas Eve, and local farmer Robert has just had a disastrous meeting with his bank manager. Oaktree Farm will have to be put up for sale. When he returns home to try and put on a brave face for the Christmas celebrations, he notices footsteps leading to the cellar. As far as he knows it's just the family at home for Christmas so who could they belong to? DI James walker is hoping for a peaceful Christmas this year, his wife is expecting a baby and hopefully their time in Cumbria will be less eventful than their time in London. It's not likely though as when James is called to Oaktree Farm to find a whole family brutally murdered with little evidence and no witnesses it's almost reminiscent of when the previous owners of the farm were found massacred twenty years earlier. To solve the case James must reach into the past and look at the unsolved case from all those years ago, who is the killer and have they struck again? Edgy and atmospheric, I couldn't put this book down! It's disturbing and gruesome which is exactly how I like a thriller. The wintry setting and sense of place had me feeling so claustrophobic and I gasped out loud in several places when those plot twists hit. I literally guessed nothing accurately which is basically how I determine if a thriller is good so full marks for that! Overall this is a perfect read for those who prefer a seasonal read with a little bit of an edge. I didn't see the ending coming and Alex Keeps you guessing right till the very end!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Powell

    Oh my stars! Brilliantly done! Although this is book #2 of the series, I haven’t read the first one and don’t feel like I was missing anything as the author gave a brief introduction to the main characters at the beginning of the book. I got completely sucked in and found myself engrossed in the story. The plot was easy to follow yet there were lots of complications that added depth. Although this is heavily laden with police procedures (which I like!),there is still lots to the story that will Oh my stars! Brilliantly done! Although this is book #2 of the series, I haven’t read the first one and don’t feel like I was missing anything as the author gave a brief introduction to the main characters at the beginning of the book. I got completely sucked in and found myself engrossed in the story. The plot was easy to follow yet there were lots of complications that added depth. Although this is heavily laden with police procedures (which I like!),there is still lots to the story that will keep those that might not like it as much engaged. Will highly recommend this! A cozy Christmas season is here, unlike last Christmas when a serial killer was on the loose. Then a call comes in that a family of 3 has been found murdered in their home and DI Walker is the lead investigator, despite his desire to have a quiet Christmas at home with his pregnant wife and try to forget about the events of last year. In starting to put the clues together, he finds a hidden wall where someone has clearly been watching the family without them knowing. Could they have seen what happened? Who is it that’s been watching? On top of that, it turns out that this is the house where a 24 year old cold case took place. They have to be connected somehow, right? DI Walker believes so, but he has to figure out how all while dealing with the threat of someone he arrested previously coming back for retaliation. If you like a complex scene but is at he same time easy to follow and well developed characters, this is a book for you. Thanks to Avon Books UK and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.

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