The Killer in the Snow is the second book in the DI James Walker series written by Alex Pine. As I wanted to get the complete experience of getting to know the characters in a book, I got hold of the first book, The Christmas Killer, in which DI James Walker gets himself transferred to a small village in Cumbria, to escape from a mafia boss, who has vowed revenge against him.
Soon after the Detective moves there with his wife, he comes across a weird murder, which turns into a murder spree and stumps the police department, before they finally catch the murderer. I enjoyed that story tremendously and the suspense was great as I couldn’t at all guess who the culprit was.
The story in this book begins about one year after the events of the previous book. It is the Christmas season again and just when the whole village breathes a sigh of relief that this Christmas was uneventful, a whole family is found dead in their kitchen, in what appears to be a murder-suicide. But detective James finds himself unable to see it as such. And when the investigation of the case progresses, strange facts come to light, making the case one of the most difficult the Detective ever had to solve. On top of that, he also gets to know that his nemesis has gone underground and he suspects the Mafia boss might target him. We get to follow him as he finally solves the case amidst many other troubles.
I absolutely loved both the books in the series and the way the author sets the mood is terrific. It has a slightly dark tone throughout but it’s not too heavy that we feel burdened when we complete the book. For all the bad things throughout the book, there is still a note of positivity and lightness that flows through it. I particularly liked the characters of DI James and his wife — they are realistic people with weaknesses and vulnerabilities. They get frustrated, feel fear and get irritated at times too. The author gives credibility to the characters and the events of the story through their realistic style.
Though I must say, I wonder how the author intends to proceed with the story further. Come to think of it, there is only so many murders that can take place in the same small village. Nevertheless, I cannot wait for the next book in the series and to meet DI James Walker again. Do check this series out if you are in the mood for a good murder-mystery.