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The Midnight Before Christmas by William…
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The Midnight Before Christmas

by William Bernhardt

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771156,384 (3.13)1

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BOTTOM-LINE:
Surprisingly light story given the dark nature of the case
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PLOT OR PREMISE:
Megan McGee is a 30-something lawyer facing a quiet Christmas with her dog when a new crying client Bonnie Cantrell comes asking for a restraining order.
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WHAT I LIKED:
The restraining order is against an abusive ex, Carl, who's also an ex-cop, and Bonnie is worried for the safety of not only herself but also her son and her new lover. The story starts as a simple textbook case, but starts to morph as it becomes evident that while Carl is unhinged, perhaps Bonnie isn't telling the whole truth.
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WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
A thread of Christmas presents runs through the story showing that sometimes little miracles do happen, but it's rather cliché.
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DISCLOSURE:
I received no compensation, not even a free copy, in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with the author, nor do I follow him on social media. ( )
  polywogg | Apr 10, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345428110, Mass Market Paperback)

Like homemade eggnog with a bite of something stronger, this Christmas-themed thriller by William Bernhardt (best known for his legal thrillers set in Oklahoma City) introduces several thoroughly miserable characters destined to run afoul on Christmas Eve. Carl, an alcoholic ex-cop and ex-husband, rages against his former wife Bonnie and threatens to kill his 7-year-old son Tommy. The police still regard Carl as one of their own, and they won't listen to Bonnie's complaints of violence. Meanwhile, Megan McGee, a lawyer and ex-Episcopalian priest, is delivering Christmas cookies to the elderly, accompanied only by her unwanted roommate, a smelly and drooling bulldog named Jasper. By the time Bonnie catches up with Megan to get a restraining order on Carl, he has abducted Tommy and disappeared. Now, it's up to Megan to track Tommy down before Carl's bloody rantings become reality. The characters reveal more depth than anticipated from a holiday novel, and the chase is especially disturbing set against the backdrop of a quiet city celebrating peace on earth. For those who enjoy seasonal fiction, this fast-paced dose of Christmas thrills will provide a delicious escape after a busy shopping frenzy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Thirtysomething lawyer Megan McGee is facing a quiet Christmas with her bulldog when Bonnie Cantrell comes looking for legal protection from her violent ex-cop husband, Carl. In a recent bout of rage, Carl vowed to kill their seven-year-old son, Tommy, rather than be separated from the boy. It's no idle threat, either - as Bonnie assures Megan: "He's tried before." And when Tommy's school unwittingly allows him to leave with his father, Carl gets his chance to try again. Now, with the town all but shut down for the holiday, Megan races against time - and terror - to keep Carl's Christmas Eve jaunt from turning into a slay ride.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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