The Snow Killer, by Ross Greenwood

Eight stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Ross Greenwood, and Boldwood Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

I was eager to get my hands on this novel, having seen it being discussed all over Goodreads of late. New to the work of Ross Greenwood, I was also interested to see if this might be a new author to add to my ever-growing list of authors to follow. Fifty years ago, a family is gunned down in an apparent form of retribution. Left for dead in the snow, the one survivor plots revenge in an attempt to ensure the family did not die in vain. At present, DI John Barton is working in Peterborough, happy that the crime rate is much lower than in cities like London. As he plans to reconnect with his wife during a needed few days off, he is called to the scene of a crime. A local drug user is found stabbed multiple times in the back, his neck slit. Barton is a little shocked, as this community rarely sees a homicide, but he rushes into action. With few leads, Barton works with his colleagues to determine what must be going on. Meanwhile, the Snow Killer emerges with their own narrative, having exacted revenge for the deaths five decades ago. It would seem that the snow is a form of homicidal aphrodisiac, forcing new and needed victims to meet their end. As the Snow Killer continues to strike, DI Barton tries to piece the murders together, receiving a lead from a long ago ‘cold’ case of a family murdered in the snow. When the pieces fall into place, Barton cannot believe his luck, though there are still a few on the killer’s list and snow is expected in the forecast. A decent police procedural that keeps the reader flipping pages until the climactic ending. Recommended to those who love quick reads that are full of detail, as well as the reader who loves a British crime thriller with a twist.

Ross Greenwood does well with this series debut, pulling the reader into the middle of the story from the outset. The novel moves quickly and offers up a great deal of character development, hinting that the next few novels are in the works. DI John Barton proves to be a wonderful cop as well as a dedicated father. However, with these two jobs comes some needed sacrifices at times. With a wife he loves more than life itself, Barton has found a partner who is able to help him balance the rigours of work and three testy children. Barton reveals much in this debut, both personally and through his work, leaving his character development high and forcing the reader to pose many questions. Others within the book offer some slow development, hinting at the need to discover more in future books. Greenwood crafts his characters well and keeps the reader wanting more. The overall plot was well written and the theme proved useful as the narrative progressed. While it was not the most captivating or cliffhanging novel I have read this year, I found it highly entertaining. The mix of short and long chapters keep the reader pushing forward to learn just a little more before the final reveal and the race to the finish. I will return to follow the series, as I am eager to see what Ross Greenwood has in store for Barton and the rest of the Peterborough crew.

Kudos, Mr. Greenwood, on this series debut. The premise worked well and I hope to see more exciting adventures in the near future.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: