The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday
Genres: Crime, Mystery
Published: 26th November, 2017
It looks like a regular advent calendar.
Until DC Becky Greene starts opening doors…and discovers a crime scene behind almost every one.
The police hope it’s a prank. Because if it isn’t, a murderer has just surfaced – someone who’s been killing for twenty years.
But why now? And why has he sent it to this police station?
As the country relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine must race against time to catch the killer. Because there are four doors left, and four murders will fill them…
It’s shaping up to be a deadly little Christmas.
Some people go a bit nuts around Christmas time, and act like the world is ending. Our killer in Deaths of December took all this one step further. One murder in December, for the past two decades, and still counting.
When the police receives an advent calendar, addressed to “a detective who knows what to do”, they all think it’s some sort of a prank. All, apart from Eddie Carmine, who recognizes a photo of his latest unsolved case behind one of the doors. He and Becky Greene (yes, Carmine & Greene, ha!) set out to track down a prolific seasonal murderer before he can ruin anyone else’s Christmas.
The story is mainly told by Becky and Eddie, interspersed by a few quips by the killer himself, and Carly, a woman who sells pottery at Christmas markets. When she can actually be bothered.
Eddie is an eager, but somewhat disillusioned cop, who even flirted with the idea of leaving the force. Well, nothing like a serial killer on the loose to keep you motivated! Becky is in her late twenties, still living with her dad, and she’s the sort of person who drinks large lattes “extra hot” (with emphasis), tells her boyfriend who is in the middle of cooking her dinner that she’d rather eat something else from somewhere else (pretty please, with cherry on top, eyelashes batting), and consumes a shitload of Indian take away food, while not considering it “real food”. #eyeroll Yes, I didn’t like Becky.
“He sighs theatrically. ‘I go to all this effort …’ He lets the sentence hang. She can tell by his voice that he’s just as happy as her to have a curry, even though they’ve been eating more takeaways than real food lately.”
They mystery itself was twisty enough, but what a whiny serial killer we got here, my word! He doesn’t enjoy it, you see, and he just wants to rest, but oh he can’t. Bitch, please.
There were a few interesting snippets of different folklore elements I found interesting, but overall this was just an average crime mystery with a main character who may have had a reason to be they way she is, but she kept it so well to herself, that I couldn’t help but think she’s just an ungrateful, annoying woman who lacks self awareness.
“In Germany and Austria, they have Frau Perchta, a witch who likes to rip out the internal organs of the sinful and replace them with rubbish. In France, there is Père Fouettard, who along with his wife, likes to kill, chop and salt children before eating them.”
I did like Eddie a lot though. Wouldn’t mind if he had a spin off!