When Santa Claus is a cop, you better watch out.
It’s not looking like a very merry Christmas for San Diego cop Nick Pappas. Suspended from his job, alienated from his family, and persecuted by the press, he’s sorely tempted to turn his gun on himself. Except for his first name, he couldn’t possibly have less in common with jolly old St. Nicholas. But when a local mall decides it needs a secret Santa to help collar some vicious muggers preying on its holiday shoppers, Nick’s persuaded to red-suit up so as to take the naughty punks down and avert a ho-ho homicide. For a chance to bust bad guys, Nick’s willing to deal with crying kids, pushy parents, and a chronically cheerful “elf” sidekick. But the biggest challenge for this cop-turned-Claus is one that would confound even the real Kris Kringle: Making a pair of next-to-impossible Christmas wishes come true for two children in need…before it’s too late.
©2013 Alan Russell (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Nick Pappas is a cop who is trying to hold his life together as he waits to see if he will be able to keep his job. As he sits alone on Thanksgiving morning he gets a call from his old partner. His parter runs security at a local shopping mall and they have a problem with muggers. He offers Nick a job to help tracking down the muggers. It isn’t until Nick gets to work that he discovers that he is actually going to be working undercover. As Santa Claus. Now he has to deal with crying children, tired parents, and a way to overenthusiastic elf while keeping an eye out for the predators who are targeting the mall’s shoppers. While on the job Nick meets others who are performing as Santa. One of the other Santas, a college drama major, ropes Nick into a gig at a children’s hospital where Nick befriends a young boy with a terminal illness. At the same time he comes across a letter to Santa from a young girl who has not been able to celebrate Christmas. Now Nick finds himself trying to locate the young girl, bring comfort to a dying boy, and find a group of muggers. All of this while coming to grips with the incident that may still cost him his job. Along the way Nick begins to remember what Christmas is about. Now with the help of a reporter, a very odd elf, and many others Nick will juggle all of these cases and in the process try to regain his own life. Will the magic of Christmas prevail?
St. Nick is a well written, clever, fun book. It is a cop story and not a traditional mystery. The story does touch on a lot of heavy subjects such as childhood homelessness and childhood diseases. Even though the book seems to have something to say about several issues it never does so in an overbearing or heavy handed manner. I tend to be drawn to more hardcore mystery and tough cop novels so I was unsure about this book as I started. The writing and the characters won me over. The characters are very enjoyable and cleverly written. Alan Russell has a real knack for story telling and it comes through in this book. This is a wonderful, lighthearted, and uplifting novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Nick Pappas and the supporting cast. I look forward to reading about these characters again in future novels.
While I was somewhat skeptical that this would be overly sentimental, I was pleasantly surprised. It's about time we had another good Christmas story!
really enjoyed it, particularly the supernatural twist and the end which was totally unexpected. Has everything I look for in a cozy mystery
Didn't think this would be a tear jerker. I stand to be corrected. Not too violent. Just enough performance to make you question what was around the next bend. If you've heard the other novels...you won't be disappointed.
First let me state that there is nothing wrong with the writing or plot of this story if you are the type of person who loves Hallmark Xmas movies. It was a mistake picking this audio book for a road trip because the narrator ruined it for me. I was willing to look past the cheesy story and stick it out but the narrator doing voices for the female and children characters is cringe worthy and excruciating to listen to. A subtle change of pitch or tone is plenty for the listener to follow a change of character, there is no need to do silly voices like your are narrating a children's cartoon.
This is only the third time I've given a book five staes. is it great literature, no but it is a beautifully written feel food story. I was drawn in from the very beginning. the characters were people you'd love to know in real life. I was kept listening hoping they,d find the little girl, that the sick boy would get better , that Nick would fins himseld. the narrator was perfwct. he brought the characters to life
I'd you want a book to listen to when life gets a little stressful, try this one.
Yes. It is well-written, good pace of dialogue, heart-warming interactions between the characters and some romance. This author is new to me and this book makes me want to read his other books. There is some drama/danger almost completely without gore, which is refreshing!
The main character Nick was my favorite. He was struggling with his life. When put into the Santa Claus role, however, he rediscovered himself and his life purpose.
Patrick Lawlor is one of my favorite narrators and he did a great job with this book.
Yes, I laughed and I cried. The ending of the book is beautiful and...well you'll have to read or listen to it!
Thank you to author Alan Russell for a really good story. And to Patrick Lawlor for a great job with narration.
Yes. The story has substance, good writing, and perfect narration. It will bring you hope as you watch the protagonist despair, then heal, then transform.
Not particularly, although I wondered at first just how damaged he was and would he eat his gun? However, the plot was sufficient to be enjoyable--especially since it was so adroitly performed by Patrick Lawlor. I think there was more tension in The Burning Man, also written by Alan Russell, but this wasn't iintrinsically such a tense story.
Planning for a San Diego snowfall? Santa with a wet lap? Old man dragging shopping bags out through the parking lot? His constant and continuing visits to the pediatric hospital?
Too many to choose.
Can't say without spoilers.
My own system:
Overall = 4 [Glad I read it, enjoyed the story, but no problem "returning" the book to Amazon for check out another Unlimited story.]
Storyline = 4.5 [Unusual. Believable. Even aspects that were extraordinary were done acceptably.]
Characters = 5 [Excellent personalities, developed deeply enough to recognize how they would act/react in a given situation.]
Sex = 4 [Reasonable for the circumstances.]
Writing = 4.5 [Nicely done. Enjoyable, with a nice flow.]
Narration = 5 [Easy to follow, even at the 3x speed I prefer. Patrick Lawlor has a natural flow and easy rhythm.
I enjoyed the story and wonder if it will stay with me as The Burning Man has.
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