130. Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

Kindle | 304 pages

Publisher: Arrow (October 31st 2019)

A lavish party.
An isolated mansion.
Two hosts who will do anything to protect their secrets.

When husband and wife Henry and Claudine organise their company’s Christmas party in a remote mansion, they expect it to be a night to remember.

But the festive mood quickly turns sour when a sinister gift is unwrapped in the Secret Santa gift exchange.

As heavy snow traps the guests inside the mountainside lodge, it quickly becomes clear that one of the party is out for revenge.

It’s no longer just about enduring the evening. It’s about making sure you get out alive.

I cracked! I was supposed to wait till December to read this, because of its theme but I couldn’t wait any longer. Plus I organise the Secret Santa at my work every year and couldn’t wait to read this titled book. First impression – didn’t disappoint but I certainly won’t be able to look at a simple game of Secret Santa the same way again!!!

This was really easy to read and a more lighthearted break from other things I’ve been reading/doing. There was a charm and a flow to the book that gripped me and hooked me into reading without breaks. The characters teased me just enough to keep reading.

This was another one of those books that made me think ‘bloody hell, people are never what they seem’. Claudine, Henry & Zara presented to me the main players of the storyline and I felt they were characters that never stopped moving or gave me a chance to get bored or forget the plot. Even though the three characters were very different from each other, they all twisted my opinion of the plot as it played out and took me down many false avenues searching for the truth of this book.

There were times when I wondered how far the characters were going to be pushed or how far they were going to push themselves and as certain aspects came to light, I couldn’t help by take on a more morbid look of my own Secret Santa, which is soon to commence.

It was easy to visualise this because the scenes were limited and the characters were a small group that were easy to identify and follow.

I was so dead set in my thoughts that the theory I had would be the right one, that when the reveal came and I was wrong, I was momentarily disappointed and unsure of where to turn. Nevertheless, I was still surprised at the ending, having guessed so incorrectly, and thought that the ending did justice to the rest of the book and the climbing climax. Still, I’m jolly glad that I found this book and decided to get it because I’m sick of all the romantic Christmas books that pop up this time of year and this was a refreshing break from that and a well planned book.

I loved this. I thought it was cracking! I read it in 2.5 hours and it really made a gloomy day feel a lot better. I felt that the plot was something I’d never read before and I enjoyed the mixture of Christmas and Crime/Thriller. The book did hook me in from the first moment and did keep me gripped throughout. It is a shorter book than I’m used to reading but no less enjoyable. Oddly, it did get me more excited for the Christmas period – not that I need to be anymore Chirstmassy. I’d take this over a Romantic Christmas Book any day of the year!

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