Friday 15 December 2023

Unholy Saints - Alex Smith - DCI Kett Crime Thrillers Book 14.0

Unholy Saints
DCI Kett Crime Thrillers Book 14.0
ISBN 9781913877149

As always I look forward to new offerings from the pen of Alex Smith, It has been so since reading his YA Furnace Series over a decade ago. I picked up this title on release day but And devoured it in 3 days over 5 sittings. It is another excellent volume in a great series. I could hardly put it down. I got up very early to start it on release day, and stayed up way too late the next night reading.

The description of this volume is:

“Evil waits in the dead of winter...

Christmas is just days away, and DCI Kett and the Extreme Crime Task Force are preparing to celebrate the festive season with some well-earned peace and quiet.

But all hopes of a restful holiday are crushed when a man dressed as Santa Claus is found dead in the chimney of an old cabin.

And he’s just the first.

The hunt for a monster begins, but standing in the way is a cutthroat family of thieves, a bloody vendetta and a sinister cult led by a man known only as Saint Nick.

In a town full of secrets, somebody knows the truth. But they’re willing to kill to keep it buried.

And in this bleakest of midwinters, nobody is guaranteed to wake up on Christmas morning…”

The story starts with youth camping, a cabin in the woods, and a chimney that just keeps giving. First a body dressed at Saint Nick drops from the chimney, and from the state of the corpse it has been there a while. While investigating that corpse, they discover the chimney has other gifts to drop on Kett’s team, or at least in front of them. And this leads them on a chase to find out the who, what, and why. They know the how, and the where. There is a family reminiscent of the Black Donnelly’s of Lucan\Chatham fame. A cult lead by a guy calling him self Saint Nic. And nothing is as it appears. Can Kett unravel the case before it becomes the death of him? To find out you will need to read this newest instalment in the DCI Kett series.

This story did not go where I was expecting. It became much darker that I thought it was. And it leaves a new threat out there against Kett and his team. A highlight of the story was a phone call between Kett and Certain DCI from further up north. For fan of J.D. Kirk it is worth reading just for that exchange.

If you have read the other DCI Kett books this one is a must read. If you happen to be a fan of rough and tough action you will almost certainly enjoy this novel. And the other books in the series. This is the fifteenth of the DCI Kett stories that I have read, the sixteenth novel where Kett makes an appearance. Kett made a brief appearance in The Harder They Fall, the first of the Softley Series of books.

About the author we are informed that:

“Alex Smith wrote his first book when he was six. It wasn’t particularly good, but it did have some supernatural monsters in it. His latest books, the DCI Robert Kett thrillers, have monsters in it too, although these monsters are very human, and all the more terrifying for it. In between these two books he has published thirteen other novels for children and teenagers under his full name, Alexander Gordon Smith—including the number one bestselling series Escape From Furnace, which is loved by millions of readers worldwide and which is soon to become a motion picture. He lives in Norwich with his wife and three young daughters.”

My original introduction to Smith’s works were The Furnace novels many years ago. I have not read everything he has published but much of it. They are almost always edge of your seat thrillers. I still hope that someday he will finally release book 2 is the Softley Softley Series, but until then I am thankful for another read in this dark and gritty series. For some the Kett stories will be the things of nightmares, for others a look at the underside of society. But no matter how you read them they are crime thrillers with a lot of action, great characters and often a significant violence! This one has several surprises for Kett, the team and for us the readers! It is well worth the read. 

Mystery Books as Alex Smith:

Softley Softley Series:
2.0 Hard Luck House

DCI Kett Series:
2.0 Bad Dog
3.0 Three Little Pigs

Books By Alexander Gordon Smith:
Escape from Furnace:

Death Sentence
Execution Epilogue - Short Story
The Night Children - Short Story

Fury Series:
The Fury
The Storm

The Inventors:
The Inventors
The Inventors And The City of Stolen Souls

1001 Questions and Answers
Inspired Creative Writing: 52 Brilliant Ideas from the Master Wordsmiths
The Solar System
Family Quiz
Writing Bestselling Children's Books: 52 Brilliant Ideas for Inspiring Young Readers

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