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Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen
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Dying for Christmas

by Tammy Cohen

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This story goes back and forth between Jessica and Kim.

Jessica Gold has disappeared on Christmas Eve. She's being held captive by a very sick and twisted man who gives her a horrible gift each day to mark the twelve days of Christmas.

Kim is the police officer assigned to Jessica's case. She's torn between her job and the promotion she so badly wants, and a life with her husband and two children.

The first part of this book was excellent! Five stars! It was very well-written. Jessica's fear and desperation were palpable. While I appreciate how things played out in the second part, it just didn't captivate me the way the first part did. The more I read about Kim the more I didn't like her. Things seemed a little too convenient when it came to her. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Jessica Gold goes home with a stranger on Christmas Eve, just for a drink. But it does not take long for her to find out that her mother was right "Never go home with strangers. What follows is a monstrous talk of kidnapping and torture. Parallel to this we see to story of the police detective assigned to the case who is struggling with work and family commitments.

This book is something else. No, really. I don't want to say too much for fear of giving away the twists and turns. I was just fascinated by this book but when I was finished I was like "Man, that could never happen". But that really did not dampen my enthusiasm. I only mention it because you do have to stretch you imagination a bit. I enjoyed it so much I did not realize I had stretched so far until I was done reading it. ( )
  TheLibraryhag | Jan 4, 2017 |
This was an extremely twisty-turny psychological thriller. The first 60% were brilliant, then I felt a bit cheated but can't explain why without giving too much of the plot away. However, once I got over that, I did enjoy the remainder of the story again, although not as much as the first part, and I appreciated the ending which played out differently to what I had anticipated (and probably hoped for) but which was actually quite clever. The entire plot is full of twists and turns that made my head spin. It's certainly a bit on the far-fetched spectrum at times, but it was so entertaining that I managed to overlook that aspect this time. You may not want to read this on a full stomach though, I found some of the scenes rather nauseating. But then there were also bits that were actually truly funny if you like dark humor I guess.
There are two perspectives. Firstly, there is Jessica who decides to go to Dominic's place on Christmas Eve after he pledges he is "not some crazed axe-murderer", yeah right. That may or may not be true but the very charming Dominic has some seriously outlandish ideas of how he is going spend the Twelve Days of Christmas in the company of Jessica.
Then secondly, there is Kim, an ambitious detective as well as a wife and mother, who is forced to choose between her career and her family due to her unsupportive husband Sean, who really annoyed me. Kim is part of the investigating team called in when Jessica's boyfriend, Travis, with whom Jessica has been in a rather passionless but long-term relationship, and her family, who describe Jessica as "quirky" and "weird", report her missing.
Overall, an exciting and surprising read, my first book by Tammy Cohen, and I look forward to more.
I chose to read this ARC provided by NetGalley and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. ( )
  Pet12 | Nov 22, 2016 |
Jessica Gold goes to a stranger's flat on Christmas Eve after being chatted up by him in the café of an Oxford Street department store. Dominic then ends up keeping her prisoner over the twelve days of Christmas, giving her a different, beautifully wrapped, present every day.

This story is in two parts. The first is Jessica telling her story of what happened over those twelve days. I did find the narration quite strange and far-fetched and not as scary as I thought it was meant to be. However, there is a twist to the tale and part two made it all make sense and redeemed the story for me. The twist is quite something, actually. Throughout the book we also follow some of the police investigation into Jessica's disappearance and we learn quite a lot about the investigating officer, Kim, although her story just seems to be there to offer a different perspective.

The book doesn't quite have the elements that I want in a truly great psychological thriller but it was a page turner. The ending left me with questions though. It made a change from the usual Christmas story.

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for providing a copy for review. ( )
  nicx27 | Nov 27, 2014 |
Jessica Gold is taking a small break from Christmas shopping when she is approached by a handsome stranger at a small cafe. He introduces himself as Dominic and admits he has been following her. Despite this rather large red flag, Jessica agrees to go back to his flat with him. Things quickly go bad for her. Dominic holds her prisoner to help him celebrate the season in his own unconventional way. Each day, he gives her a present and tells her a story about the gift, stories that seem to add up to murder. Dominic is one scary psychotic man!

It is harder to get a grip on Jessica. She talks about her family, her life, and her live-in boyfriend as well as her experiences with Dominic but there’s a sense that she may not be the most reliable narrator. Even her psychiatrist suggests that Jessica is unpredictable and Jessica, herself, points out to the reader that she has a secret. Still author Tammy Cohen really ratchets up the tension and we have no doubt that, even if everything Jessica is saying may not be exactly the truth, she is terrified.

The book is divided into two parts and in the second, Jessica’s secret is revealed. I found this second half a bit less believable but just as engrossing. With a less talented writer, I could have felt cheated. Instead, I was willing to suspend my disbelief just that little bit more because I needed to know how it would all work out.

Dying for Christmas is a real page-turner guaranteed to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. With a villain easy to hate and a narrator easy to mistrust, this is the perfect anti-Christmas tale, the antidote to all the fake Christmas cheer, the inescapable peppy Xmas tunes, the commercialism, and the sense that maybe the day after Halloween is just way too early to start the season so that by December it’s just ‘please end it now’. A definite recommendation for fans of Gillian Flynn or Christmas curmudgeons everywhere. ( )
  lostinalibrary | Nov 22, 2014 |
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I am missing. Held captive by a blue-eyed stranger. To mark the twelve days of Christmas, he gives me a gift every day, each more horrible than the last. The twelfth day is getting closer. After that, there'll be no more Christmas cheer for me. No mince pies, no carols. No way out ...But I have a secret. No - one has guessed it. Will you?… (more)

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