Review: Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen (4/5)

Wednesday 12 November 2014

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?


This is my first Tammy (Tamar) Cohen book but once I read the blurb on NetGalley I couldn't resist it. It just sounded so exciting that I couldn't wait to read it. I read it in September as part of #NetGalleyMonth and had no trouble reading a 'Christmas' book given that the book is about so much more than the festive period.

Given the somewhat ambiguous nature of the blurb and the fact that the enjoyment of books like these comes from discovering the book for yourself I will discuss the plot vaguely but skip this paragraph if you don't want to know! Our main character Louise is shopping on Oxford Street when she meets Dominic in a department store cafe. Despite not knowing the man and the fact that he admitted to following her round before shopping she finds herself going back to his flat. Upon arrival though Dominic turns sinister and Louise becomes a prisoner in his flat. It becomes clear this was planned, there is no way out and Dominic has plans for the festive period... Despite this all sounding very far fetched it actually became quite gripping after just a few chapters!

At first I didn't know what it was but I was unsure about Louise and despite the obviously traumatic experiences she was facing it took me a while to feel an emotional connection to her. We also follow her family as they and the police try and find her. One of the police officers is Kim who is having troubles of her own. To be honest I was more interested in the stuff happening in the flat and found myself almost wanting to skip the bits surrounding the family and Kim yet didn't for fear of missing something. The action in the flat had me gripped more than everything happening outside.

There's almost a horror story feel to the book at times. Dominic is a very scary character, and not just in the physical stuff but how he gets inside Louise's head mentally too. What I loved most about the book was the writing. It was just so descriptive and it's written in a way that keeps you hooked. It's a cliche but I really struggled to put this book down at times, especially when the twists and shocks start to come. All through the book a line from the blurb was at the forefront of my mind: 'But I have a secret, no one has guessed it, will you?'. I had a couple of theories and one of them did prove to be correct but even so I was thrown a little off course and left reeling when it was revealed. The book definitely got interesting then.

Given the nature of the book and the secret it's impossible to go on. It's times like this I wish I was part of a book club as there's so much to be said about this book! It is compulsive reading at its absolute best and I urge all psychological thriller fans to pick up this book. As its fiction I can overlook the somewhat far fetched nature of bits of the plot and take it for what it is, an absolutely addictive roller coaster ride of a read that gets your heart beating and your brain working as you attempt to piece together a massive jigsaw puzzle. The only thing I would say is the ending has left me a little bit confused! Still though an immensely enjoyable read that comes highly recommended by me. 

Thanks to the publisher for the NetGalley review copy. 

1 comment:

  1. Disappointing ending.....had not a clue what had happened or why . Thought he was dead......Wont waste my time on another book by this author....robbed of a descent ending. Cop out.....wasnt a twist it was a a heavy sighì


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