Detective Frank Schultt has a hard time dealing with the holidays and a recent spate of killings isn’t making anything easier. A macabre killer is leaving body parts around the city and Frank is scrabbling to keep up. Complicating the issue is Special Agent Aaron Massey, on loan from the FBI. Frank is trying to resist his attraction to the flirty and smooth Aaron and failing at every turn. Five years ago, Frank’s husband was murdered and since then he hasn’t been interested in anything even resembling a healthy relationship.
Aaron knows Frank has had a rough few years and he tries to move slowly, but with a murderer creeping ever closer, it seems like time is running out for both of them. Frank will have to decide if he’s ready to embrace love again and even if he is, a killer might end up stopping Frank and Aaron permanently.
Twelve Days of Murder is an average, though uneven, story that ultimately failed to satisfy me as either as a mystery or a romance. The story starts off strong and I will give the author credit for doing a good job of drawing readers into the narrative. Unfortunately, this doesn’t last. It’s pretty evident that Frank is dealing with a serial killer and yet, as the body count rises, it seems Frank and his crew are somewhat sluggish in their response. It isn’t until the end that any sort of urgency takes over and the stakes start to feel more intense. The pacing stumbled more than once and I think that had something to do with the wobbly storyline. The serial killer isn’t a particularly believable one, all things considered, but the premise works for the purposes of the book. The author, however, uses the phrase “unsub.” I loathe this word; I mean, it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me and I hate hearing it. It yanked me from the overall story every time I came across it.
Frank and Aaron are perfectly fine as characters, but that’s all they are: fine. I was never particularly invested in their relationship. It read as a bit flat and neither character jumped off the page as particularly relatable. They could have been; both Frank and Aaron had interesting enough backgrounds and yet they just don’t work terribly well here. They aren’t bad by any stretch, but I wasn’t riveted.
Twelve Days of Murder is probably going to work for some readers, but the story wasn’t particularly strong and I couldn’t connect to either of the main characters. It wasn’t a terrible book and if you’re a fan of Christmas-themed mysteries, you might enjoy this one. It just didn’t work for me.