All of the books I have read so far in January for my 12 in 12 Challenge have been by authors I have previously read. In fact, some of the books have been rereads. Book 8 is different because it is by an author new to me. The book is The Advent Killer by Alistair Gunn and I picked it up in a charity shop because it looked interesting. It is the first book in a series featuring DCI Antonia Hawkins and set in London.
This is a police procedural novel and follows the team of detectives as they search for the killer before he strikes again. They are trying to prevent panic in the Christmas period and also to make progress on the case before they are removed from it. This is Antonia’s first case in charge and she is continually fighting against the pressure from above and lack of support from her fellow officers. There are few clues and the team has to pursue every avenue to try and get to the truth.
It has to be said that this is not the most original of books. There are lots of tropes and themes which are common in this type of book and a lot of them appear here – broken marriages, the rookie who is new to the team, the detective who is not pulling their weight, mistrust from superiors, intrusive press coverage, etc.
It is well written though and engaged me with a few red herrings. The pacing is good and the tension rises as the book progresses. I was pretty sure what was going on and I wasn’t mistaken but I do read a lot of this type of book. The author gives us glimpses into the mind of the killer showing that he is a broken man and enabling us to understand his reasoning for the murders.
I enjoyed this book enough to purchase a copy of its sequel.