Madeline Martin, the young owner of a thriving bookstore, has built herself a life despite her tragic past. Everything seems fine until Harley Granger, a failed novelist turned true crime podcaster, enters her shop and starts digging up her painful past. Madeline is the only surviving victim of Evan Handy, who was convicted for the murder of her best friend. Granger, meanwhile, is interested in the case since three other young women have gone missing since Handy went to jail, including Lolly. Madeline and her childhood friend Badger team up to trace Lolly’s whereabouts and uncover the truth that was closer to home than they thought.
Lisa Unger has executed an intriguing plot that keeps the readers hooked from start to finish. Her contrasting tones between the cozy and picturesque setting of the story and the dark, unsettling murder mystery provides an excellent balance. Unger does an excellent job of building tension, leaving shocking revelations throughout the story to keep the readers engaged.
The book’s characters are realistically crafted, with their sketches etched with strong emotions and backstories that provide depth. Madeline’s character is meticulously detailed, with her tragic and painful past. Her personality is mild and gentle, but her perseverance and determination to uncover the truth are commendable. Unger does an excellent job of creating rich and genuine characters that captivate the reader.
However, the book falls a tad bit short when it comes to the ending. The book ends too conveniently, and the lack of a more profound conclusion makes it seem incomplete, especially after a well-crafted plot and beautifully etched characters.
Christmas Presents is a great holiday mystery read that captures the essence of the season while providing a tense thriller to keep readers engaged. The book’s picturesque setting and its well-crafted characters make it enjoyable, and the book’s genre provides the perfect atmosphere for the season. Although the book has its flaws, it is perfect for those who want to enjoy a light read during the holidays.