The Present – D S Devlin

This book can also be read with The Present by Charlotte Phillips. Two books, one unforgettable Christmas…

12 deadly gifts, one killer on a Christmas countdown…

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this is one deadly Christmas that you can’t forget.

The police are baffled by the ‘Santa’ killer, who sends his intended victims gruesome presents based on the twelve days of Christmas. When a young journalist receives a mutilated bird in the post, it’s a race against time to find the killer…




It’s not all romance and happy couples at this time of year, sometimes we need a bit of extra thriller bite to add to our Christmas reading list and what better way than with a thriller based around the popular twelve days of Christmas song.

I was really looking forward to this novel as from the blurb I liked the idea of the killer using the song and the ‘santa killer’ persona to frighten his victims. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to receive one of this santa’s gifts in the run up to the holiday season!

From the first chapter or so of the novel I was a little unsure of this one, but once I got into the story the flow of the novel picked up well and it definitely kept up the pace throughout. I found some of the details of the santa killers crimes really had me gritting my teeth, very well written and they had me on the edge of my seat at stages. If you’re a sensitive soul, brace yourself for a little bit of gruesome detail, but t’s fully within the context of the story.

I was a bit worried when halfway through the novel I thought the author might have slipped me too much of a clue to the killer’s identity and spent  the next few chapters trying to figure out if I was right. Thankfully for my enjoyment of the story I was wrong, and I like the cleverly veiled trick of the writing that made me almost think I had it figured out. I have to say the twist in the story that provides us with the identity of the true Santa Killer was one I didn’t see coming, and I think it’s reveal was interesting.

Whilst it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this novel, I didn’t enjoy the ending. It somehow felt a little rushed, and there was also something about the killer that didn’t quite hit the nail on the head for the crime thriller fan in me. All the same, I don’t think I will hear the twelve days of Christmas song in quite the same way again, and if you are looking for a book to add some creepy to your Christmas then take a chance and open The Present.

Thank you to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book for an honest review.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *