A lavish party. An isolated mansion. Two hosts who will do anything to protect their secrets.
When husband and wife Henry and Claudine organise their company’s Christmas party in a remote mansion, they expect it to be a night to remember. But the festive mood quickly turns sour when a sinister gift is unwrapped in the Secret Santa gift exchange. As heavy snow traps the guests inside the mountainside lodge, it quickly becomes clear that one of the party is out for revenge. It’s no longer just about enduring the evening. It’s about making sure you get out alive.
A lavish locked-room mystery with a seasonal edge, ‘The Secret Santa’ is packed with twists that will keep you guessing until the very last page.
This is a fantastic festive crime treat, it’s one I definitely recommend for reading over Christmas with a fire blazing, fairy lights twinkling, while gorging on holiday chocolate! Although it certainly won’t give you a warm fuzzy Christmas feeling, it will keep you entertained and gripped.
I adore locked-room, closed suspect pool thrillers. ‘The Secret Santa’ is set in the gorgeous, affluent Aspen and the main action takes place in a huge house right up in the mountains. Montague House is isolated and cut off due to heavy snow. The house is a character all by itself, a dream home designed and built by husband and wife team, Claudine and Henry. It has everything you could ever want in a mountain side home, including a pool, three hot tubs and a secret passage. It could not be a more perfect place for crime. And of course, there is an unsolved murderous history to the land where the house stands.
The story is told by four different narrators, Claudine and Henry, pop star Zara who is looking to buy Montague House, and a mysterious person who’s past is linked to previous events at the house. I didn’t feel an overwhelming connection to any of the characters apart from Zara. Claudine is cold and driven to make her business a success. Henry is a bit of a down trodden husband, who isn’t particularly happy in his marriage. Zara is getting over a very public relationship and has an obsession with true crime. I really liked the mentions of real-life crime in this book, it prompted a fascinating Googling session!
A few times I thought I had the solution sussed, but Trish Harnetiaux kept me on my toes! ‘The Secret Santa’ is a fun, twisty crime read very much in the vein of a classic whodunnit.
‘The Secret Santa’ is published in paperback on the 31st of October by Arrow Books. With thanks to Rachel Kennedy for my reading copy and for inviting me on the blog tour. Why not check out the other stops?