This book by Mark Parker caught my eye. Being the beginning of the Christmas holiday season, I thought I would give it a go. Following on from Parker's contribution towards his own previous Halloween collection; Dark Hallows, I enjoyed his style of writing and almost knew straight away that this book would be as good.
After being included in another Christmas collection myself this year; The Dichotomy of Christmas, this story may have been a great addition. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing.
It is the night before Christmas eve. Doug Connolly is headed home for the holidays with his family. His brother, sister and recovering alcholic father. His mother had left many years ago due to his fathers absuve behaviour towards her.
On his way to the family home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Doug stops off at a rest stop to use the bathroom, where he has a run in with a man in a Santa costume who asks if he may borrow his movile phone as his van has broken down. Begrudgingly, Doug accepts and leaves the man alone for a few moments to make a phonecall for a recovery service.
When Doug discovers a young man, brutally murdered a few moments later, and the man dressed as Santa has fled the scene, he panics and heads into town to his family house.
It soon becomes apprent that the murder wasn't an isolated incident, and that certain members of the community within his hometown are more than they appear to be.
In summary; another absolutely brilliant story by Parker. From the offset, he really manages to start laying the foundations for building the suspense within the story. It is quite dark and eerie in the right places. He writes with a style that is so easy to read, his poise is effortless. His characters are always strong and the dialogue well written.
If youre looking for a short, enjoyable, and at times, tongue in cheek read this Christmas, please check this one out.
My rating 5/5