The Advent Killer – reviewed by Crimesquad

Posted By on Dec 1, 2013 | 0 comments

Crimesquad logo

‘A strong, spell-binding crime novel that shows much promise of dark treasures to come from this author.’

…a quote from’s 5 star review of The Advent Killer. Click the link to read more, plus another interview with the author. Not a bad start to December!

Click here to read the review on the Crimesquad website.

Fresh Blood

Name: Alastair Gunn

Title of Book: The Advent Killer

‘This is a strong, spell-binding crime novel that shows much promise of dark treasures to come from this author.’

There are only a few weeks to Christmas and not everyone is full of festive cheer. One person is definitely not handing out good will to all man. In fact, for the past two Sundays at 1am this killer has handed down his own idea of judgment. The first was subtle as thought to be a suicide. The second had every bone in her body broken. At a time when people should be looking forward to the festive season, many are now too frightened to leave their homes. And the frustrating thing is that nothing ties the victims to one common denominator.

In to the mix arrives Mike an old flame who Antonia had an affair with six months previously. Not only does she have to deal with her superior adding pressure on her to get the case solved, she now has to deal with the feelings she has for the newest member of her team. It isn’t until the third victim, a woman who was very much in the media limelight, that the case explodes and Antonia feels the urgency of the whole nation to bring this random and vicious killer to justice. And then matters take a very personal turn for the worse…

I have been looking forward to reading ‘The Advent Killer’ since first meeting the author back in April. The premise sounded so exciting and there is always something about a set of murders set at Christmastime. Even Christie was not averse to killing off someone at the festive season! Here, Gunn releases a killer who is not satisfied with one victim, but needs several to fulfil his objective. And the results are horrifying and electrifying.

Gunn perfectly sets the scene and the Prologue weaves in nicely with the ending. Antonia Hawkins is described perfectly and the author is not afraid to make his character feel vulnerable when she needs to be strong when leading her team in to the dark recesses of a killer’s mind. Gunn’s is wonderful at characterisation and sketches Hawkins’ team wonderfully. By the end of the novel I felt I had known several for ages, which is always a good sign. I hope that different characters will be allowed in subsequent novels to come to the fore so we can learn more about them. My particular favourites were Amala Yasir and Frank Todd.

‘The Advent Killer’ isn’t a supersonic thriller that substitutes character for plot. Both are evident in equal measure. This is an investigation and Gunn shows that meticulous scrutiny to detail is needed in such a case and that paperwork overflows in a police department. He shows that the vital clue could well lay in the small details of a witness statement. Gunn gives his reader a breather now and again so we can catch our breath, but this allowed him to expand on Antonia and make her more three-dimensional, a woman with a past who questions her own authority and lacks confidence. I was also intrigued by the office politics which were subtly done.

This is a strong, spell-binding crime novel that shows much promise of dark treasures to come from this author. I would highly recommend ‘The Advent Killer’, not only because it is a thumping good read, but because Antonia Hawkins herself shines through as someone you can relate to. The perfect stocking filler for those who like a dash of darkness with their Christmas!

Reviewed by: C.S.

CrimeSquad Rating

Submit a Comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.