Ten people. Twelve days. One killer.
Ten people meet for a reunion at a remote castle, organised by a preacher who once held them in a Christian cult. One by one, the old friends are brutally murdered, and yet their killer remains hidden in their very midst.
Rafe attends the reunion at the castle for one reason only: to settle once and for all how he really feels about his childhood obsession, Suzanne. Rivalry reignites at the outset as the men who all loved and fought over Suzanne are brought together once more.
Is Suzanne the reason for these serial killings?
Is the murderer a jealous unrequited lover?
Or is she the femme fatale with a bloody agenda?
To save his life, Rafe becomes the unwitting sleuth when A winter storm traps the ten guests in the castle that contains a museum of medieval torture devices. As the members of the group fall victim to bizarre deaths involving the torture instruments, the murderer leaves messages for the remaining survivors. As tension mounts Rafe must play this deadly game in order to identify and neutralise the hidden serial killer before he himself becomes the next victim…My Review:
Ah, this mimics a famous book with a renowned plot. Rafe was once in a cult. This cult was based on Christianity, but of course, as cults do, it was very twisted. The Twelve was their group, led by a man who decided he is a Reverend. As a child this group was so bad that Rafe grew up to hate God and everything to do with any church what-so-ever. He's bitter and it shows. I felt for him, not seeing the Truth through the lies.
Now, there is an invitation by Rev. James to come to a castle and have a "family" reunion. All ten of them who are left alive at this time. While we all scream no, don't go, it's not going to be worth it; Rafe has to. He wants closure for the lose ends with the girl he left behind. So there it is, a familiar set up. A castle, a cult, a murderer and this new take on the twelve days of Christmas isn't going well either! So they are stuck there, dying, trapped, and who is the killer? Can I have some twists, please? (Yeah!)
The murders were a bit overdone in the gross category, but they were a bit more unique. I still like the sinister castle backdrop, even as well used as it is. It could almost be one of the old films or books it was modeled after. It's well written, a must for a book of this nature with this theme.
I still really enjoy a good Clue/Who-Done-It and this book fits that category very well. I do still wish more healing for Rafe, because having all this happen didn't help him in that respect.
About the Author:
Paul Williams was born in the UK but grew up in Africa where he spent two years in a civil war as a frontline medic. Surviving that, he has been a radio DJ in Zimbabwe, a surfer in Durban, South Africa, and a lead guitarist in a rock band in the Middle East. He has a PhD from the USA and is currently the Programme Leader of Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
His memoir about the war, Soldier Blue (New Africa Books 2007), won Book of the Year in South Africa in 2008, and since then he has published internationally across several genres.
He lives near the beach with his family.