Title: Murder on the Christmas Express
Author: Alexandra Benedict
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Eighteen passengers. Seven stops. One killer.
In the early hours of Christmas Eve, the sleeper train to the Highlands is derailed, along with the festive plans of its travellers. With the train stuck in snow in the middle of nowhere, a killer stalks its carriages, picking off passengers one by one. Those who sleep on the sleeper train may never wake again.
Can former Met detective Roz Parker find the killer before they kill again?
Murder on the Christmas Express is an easy read that is entertaining and gripping, but felt a little confused at times.
There are some really serious themes at play here which mean this book is definitely not the cosy mystery it may at first seems to be – but that’s not a problem for me as I love a gritty, dark mystery. I think those more upsetting themes were dealt with well – there was just a lot of them in here, so sometimes it felt overly packed in! The darker parts are interspersed with lighter, comedic moments as the cast of characters show how ridiculous they are. The conclusion of the book left me a little confused as there was a lot of twists, but I think I got to grips with it all (there are a lot of characters to keep track of too, and two of them have very similar names!) but ultimately I liked the way it ended. I also really liked Roz as a character – I’d happily read more of her, whereas a lot of the rest of the characters were unlikeable, horrible or, at best, irritating!
I also felt at times like Murder on the Christmas Express was trying a bit hard with the characters, but the book has some great ‘clues’ you’re asked to look out for at the start of the book and I loved how interactive this made reading it. Overall it was a fun reading experience, just be aware (as many people don’t seem to be) that it is not, and is not trying to be, a cosy murder mystery!
My rating: 3/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.