Cover Image: The Ice Killer

The Ice Killer

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Member Reviews

This is a gripping story filled with complex and compelling characters.

The third book in the DI Barton series. Barton is acting DCI and leading the series crime team in Peterborough following the discovering of a brutal murder.

Ellen is troubled. Her childhood, abusive relationships, drugs, loneliness and nebtal health issues. She never seems to quite fit in and her life is not turning out how she wanted it to.

Unlike some thrillers, the reader knows who has committed the crime – while the police team investigate and work out the how, the reader learns about the why.

Chapters from Ellen’s point of view reveal her past. Shocking, horrific and sympathetic, Ellen is a complex and interesting character. Her past slowly reveals itself and other crimes are linked to the investigation.
This was an intriguing book that shows the darkside of society and engages with some interesting debates about mental illness, personality and inheritance.
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The last book in the DI Barton trilogy but hopefully there will be more as it has refreshing originality. This story follows the dual person point of view of the previous books. There's a unique insight into the killer's past that leads to the current killing spree. The third-person perspective charts the police investigation that follows in the killer's wake.

It's difficult not to empathise with the antagonist who carries out some personally motivated vigilante killings. This is noir-crime that reveals the underbelly of society and its failings. DI Barton acts up to DCI after surviving a deadly attack in a previous case. The team dynamics are believable, and the personal aspects of the detectives' lives add authenticity and balance to the crimes they investigate.

The plot is realistically paced and keeps its secrets until the end. This is a poignant crime story with a relatable investigation team.

I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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This is Book 3 in the DI Barton series. I haven't read the previous 2 and although this book carries on from where the previous one finished it doesn't take anything away from this book.

I found the plot different to other serial killer stories because you know exactly who is doing it and why.

It's also unusual because I actually had some sympathy for Ellen.

I loved the relationship between the DI and his 2 sergeants.

I really enjoyed this and I will go and read the first 2 now.
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I have enjoyed the previous books in this series, this one not so much. I felt the story dragged just too much, although there were plenty twists, I disliked the character of Helen and it was a bit repetitive at times. The subject of mental health was handled with sensitivity but overall, I was left feeling disappointed. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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The Ice Killer is the third and final instalment in the Detective Inspector (DI) John Barton series, set in and around Peterborough, and I must admit I'm going to miss it. Barton is back from his injury recuperation and has been promoted to Acting DCI of Major Crimes, when the long-term DCI takes maternity leave, and is expected to step into more of an oversight role than previously. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Ellen who has more issues than a magazine. She has recently lost her mother to illness and not only does she have no one in her life now to care about her, but she is also beginning to lose the ability to provide essential self-care. Stuck in an unfulfilling job, used to being the butt of everyone's jokes and having moved from one abusive relationship to the next, her grip on sanity has loosened substantially. Elsewhere, Barton and his team are called to the scene of a brutal triple murder, and despite each victim having been slain in the same house, the MO used were completely different. The police are baffled as to the perpetrator. How is the guy witnessed leaving the crime scene related to the woman-owner of both the dress and DNA discovered in the house, if they indeed are at all?

This is a compulsive and interconnected story of abuse, mental health and human nature and is the first thriller in a while where I have felt sympathy for the murderer. I expect most of us can relate to the impact of school bullies on a person’s self-esteem as most aren't lucky enough to escape it. Ellen was in need to some serious psychological help, having suffered a lot in life, but the taboo and issue obtaining such help in the plot is very much reflective of modern society. It moves at a quick pace, is well written and I thoroughly enjoyed Greenwood’s choice to tell the story from both Barton and the killer’s perspective allowing you to gain a fully rounded look at happenings, which is unusual and works superbly. Barton and colleagues have their work cut out for them in an intense case but as always his quest for the truth eventually gets to the bottom of it all and the twisty and turn journey to get there was thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing and greatly entertaining. I am sad this series has reached its conclusion but it is stated in the Afterword that if there is sufficient interest there may be more. Here's hoping. Many thanks to Boldwood Books for an ARC.
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I am a big fan of this series. I love the way this author blends in the first person perspective of the killer with the third person point of view of the police team investigating these cases. And what gruesome cases they are! 

Unlike most of the other offerings on the market today, with the DI Barton books, you know exactly who is behind the crimes - and to some extent, you even know the how and why of it as well. To me, this makes these books more interesting because you can focus on the policing aspect of them without having to distract yourself by trying to figure out who the culprit is. 

It also gives you the ability to be able to sympathize (to an extent anyway) with the killers which is definitely not an easy thing to accomplish.  In this third installment, we meet Ellen - a woman suffering with mental illness who has been dealt the absolute worst hand in life repeatedly. She is used by the men in her life, and when she finds them years later looking for closure (or trouble depending on how you view things), they use her again. Causing her to snap and extract her revenge. Deep down, she knows she is going to be caught sooner or later, but that knowledge still isn't enough to keep her from carrying on her crusade. And then when there is the small chance that she might actually get away with it? Well - I guess you'll just have to read it to find out what happens. 

As for DI Barton and crew - this book finds him as acting DCI - a job that while he is clearly capable of doing, he's mentally not ready for as evident by the fact that instead of sitting in his office dealing with that aspect of the job, he's still on the streets with Zander and Strange, investigating crime scenes, interviewing suspects and just generally being in the thick of the investigation as he's used to. I was glad to see that while his title may have changed for this book, his bond with his team and lust for the truth wasn't diminished. 

Sadly, as of right now, this third installment of the DI Baron series will also be the last (unless we can change the author's mind in which case he should consider this me begging him to continue - I would love to read more from this series).

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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I did not realize this was the third book in the trilogy and I just downloaded number one and number two.  I really loved this story.  I liked how we got to know a lot of personal details about the detectives, Ellen and Scarlett.  It explored mental illness and how it can be passed down through families.  I ended up loving and hating Ellen at the same time.  I would recommend this to anyone who loves a psychological thriller and can't wait to read his other books.
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This is the third book in the DI Barton trilogy, or actually in this one he has the role of Acting DCI and the timing of this is, well it will see if he is ready for the next step up. 

Barton is a family man and has been enjoying time at home with his family recovery from injuries inflicted on him in his last case. As he has been pushed a rung up the ladder then so have others. Barton takes his new role seriously and offers guidance and advice to those below him. I did mention a previous case and while it is mentioned it doesn't have to be read prior to this one. But, then again reading it and the first book will give you an insight into the dynamics of this team.

The Ice Killer is intriguing and is also one that leaves bodies strewn. The why is gradually revealed as is the reasoning behind the killing as the chapters alternate between Barton and the Ice Killer. Yes, you work out who the killer is but this is a story that is deeper than you first think it is going to be. The Ice Killer has a history that gives valid reasons behind the actions. 

This is the thing with this book because you get to see behind the killer you start to understand about their past, the family life and events that lead to the present-day setting. Instead of cheering for the apprehension of the killer, I found myself feeling for them. This is not the only character that this feeling happens for. 

There are several characters to get to know, and when I say that the "bad guys" are a real mixed bunch, I really do mean that. Not everyone is what they appear and some are just downright awful. The author does a really good job of giving connections so that links are formed and it helps move the story through logically.

I did think the pacing fluctuated and I think this is quite a real thing as not all investigations flow at the same level, there are peaks and troughs in activity as the dots are joined. But, overall it was a good steady pace and then the ending was a wonderful flurry of adrenalin and excitement as further revelations are revealed.

This is a book that does deal with some very challenging subjects, the author hasn't glamorised them but has dealt with them in keeping with the story. It is a brilliant read and one for readers who like a good crime, thriller book that has more to it than you first realise. One I would happily recommend.
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This is the third book in the DI Barton series and basically follows on from the previous novel so would advise reading in order to get the most enjoyment from these books.

The story alternates between Ellen and Barton. This actually adds to the suspense of the storyline. Ellen I felt a whole load of emotions for but mainly empathy and pity. Her life hasn’t been the easiest of ones and past events have left her extremely scarred. Without a doubt this is one killer who will have you question what’s right and wrong.

Barton I just love. He is a great character and I love how him and his team operate. I think my mindset was very much like his towards the end and it’s great to see someone in his role still have some sort of compassion. I mean it can’t be easy seeing so many murders and crimes over the years, someone in that role must get hardened to it somewhat.

For me this was so much more than the run of the mill detective thriller. I think Ellen’s plight touched me and as things from her past come to light and the changing of relationships with the people she is closest to, it felt more personal and went deeper. More than anything it made for a wholly engrossing read.

The Ice Killer will chill you for many reasons. It’s a story about justice that messed with my head as, as much as I knew what Ellen was doing was wrong, I couldn’t help but be routing for her also. There are some wonderfully unexpected turns that made this even more enthralling and had me racing through towards the end. I am seriously hoping this isn’t the last in the series as its just to good not to carry on with. A page turning thriller that will have you desperate for more.
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I have long been a fan of Ross's work and the DI Barton series has been a recent favourite of mine. 
Wow .... what a brilliant book! Apart from the excellently characterized Barton team, we have a killer who is so fascinatingly disturbed and yet so vulnerable and in need of protection that I was completely bowled over. To say I couldn't put The Ice Killer down would be a massive understatement.

I don't think I've read a book so quickly and feverishly this year. 

With themes of mental health, abuse, drug abuse, bullying and revenge, this is not a book for those who like cosy. As usual Greenwood doesn't shy away from the stark reality of some people's lives and yet avoids being judgemental. Many of the issues raised in the book need exploring and Greenwood does it with a poised and confident hand. 

With regular humour interspersed to lighten the mood, I feel this is perhaps the best in the series so far ... I am a Barton fan and hope there will be more in this delightfully dark series.
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The final book in the series and perhaps the one that leaves you with the most conflicted of emotions. Like all of the books, the killer in this tale has their own reasons for acting in the way that they do, a way of justifying the carnage that they leave in their wake. However, this is a far from simple case and whilst I can have sympathy for them in terms of their situation, maybe a touch of sadness in they way they have been let down, it is questionable that there is ever really just cause for what ultimately comes to pass. This book really does force us to look at whether or not a person is truly born bad or whether their decline is driven by circumstance. And believe me, what our killer goes through in this book would push anyone to their limit. The tension is high, so is the body count and with Barton temporarily stepping into the DCI's shoes, this could turn out to be his toughest case yet.

I have really loved the way in which Ross Greenwood blends the action in these stories between following the police investigation and spending quality time with the perpetrator of the crime. We don't always know the who of the situation, their identity being a very closely guarded secret  that readers are challenged to try and uncover ahead of our dedicated team of Detectives. This time around, we know the who, we even know some of the why, but what we don't know are the full ins and outs of the Killer's story, and the more we uncover, the more sympathy I felt towards them. It really was an unusual experience. I could never condone their actions, but I understand why at least some of them occurred, driven by fear and instinctual reaction rather than design. Mostly ....

The Police team, headed by Barton are a great bunch, and with Barton temporarily promoted it falls to his Sergeants, Zander and Strange, to pick up some of the slack in terms of the investigation and the DI role. Both embrace and yet are overwhelmed by, the responsibility, and it is nice watching Barton mentor the two, allowing them to lead their own way to the right answers, particularly as Strange tries to help a junior member of the team who appears to be struggling. You can feel the camaraderie and the sense of team and it makes you want to keep on reading.

On the other side of the investigation we are faced with a rich array of characters, from the nice, to the creepy to the just down right nasty, some of whom appear to get their just desserts. Ellen and her best friend Scarlett are two very fleshed out and contrasting characters, but you would be forgiven for wondering just what they get from each others friendship. The way this is built into and explored in the story is very skillfull, adding a kind of strange tension and a definite twist to the tale.

Much like the first book in the series, I struggled to feel much sympathy for victims and yet Ross Greenwood has succeeded in making me need to see if justice will be done. DId I think I'd be disappointed if the answer was no? Well ... yes and no to be fair. I think it is one of those books where, like Barton, I'd have been satisfied to see a kind of justice done, even if it wasn't quite what you would ordinarily expect as a resolution. Compared to some of the action that come before it, the ending was almost serene, but definitely s=tinged with emotion and I was left wondering what could have been if things had been just a little different in our antagonist's past. I'm just sad this is the last book. A fitting way to say goodbye, but I am going to miss this team.
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I really enjoyed this book all the way through.  It had a really good plot, great main characters and really keeps you hooked on the plot.  I would highly recommend this book.
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A slow starter but OMG WHAT A READ!!!!!
The best in the series so far, a real page turner and a fascinating, complex and original plot. I devoured this book in one sitting. The Ice Killer was so different and the first killer I was actually rooting for. The author says that this is last book to feature DI Barton and his team. No please Ross this series still has so much more to give. Obviously I can't say as I don't want to spoil it for readers.
As for storyline this author has dealt with a difficult subject and how society deals with it. Mental illness is no longer a taboo subject but thanks to several governments we no longer have the finances, places and specialised treatment these individuals need. A brave author who has written a gritty, heartbraking and a MUST READ. The Ice Killer is all of the above and so much more. 
Thanks to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
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An interesting take on the theme of a ice cold killer. Definitely recommended to those readers who enjoy reading elective stories with a different slant.
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A slow build mystery in this third and final book of the DI Barton series. Ross Greenwood offers a unique twist on the serial killer trope while pulling fans of the series through a nice wrap up of Barton’s character. The narrative is decisive while attempting to garner perspective from both protagonist/antagonist sides. 4 stars.  

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC of #TheIceKiller which was read and reviewed voluntarily.
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Absolutely brilliant, a real page turner.  Cleverly woven story and characters I simply couldn’t go to sleep until I had finished it. I am sad to learn this is the last in a trilogy, I think DI Barton and his colleagues could go further.
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This is the final book of a trilogy, however it is the first book by Ross Greenwood that I have read. Maybe if I had read the other books first that would have improved my experience however i did not feel too lost at getting into the story.

Everyone has their own preferences and opinions but I would describe this as a psychological thriller, serial killer and police procedural. Personally I found that the book ran very hot and cold. Some parts I found really interesting and was looking forward to seeing how things panned out whilst in other parts I found it a little dull and difficult to concentrate on, hence the 3 star rating. 

I did find it interesting with a male author having a female serial killer and thought it gave some elements a nice perspective, as I read a lot of books written by female authors.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Ross Greenwood and Boldwood Books for giving me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. The Kindle version of this book goes on general release on the 5th November
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This series gets better and better. The team who investigate the cases have grown in stature. This was a five star read for me.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC.  

I thought this book got off to a slow start and it did pick up nearly a quarter in.   Barton is now acting DCI and he and his team investigate a number of murders and try to find the link between them.   The story is told through Barton and the killers perspective, which I really liked.      I was soon invested in the book and did enjoy it, although for me it didn’t have the suspense or the wow factor that the previous book had.  Overall, a good solid police procedural that I would recommend.  

4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Boldwood Books for an advance copy of The Ice Killer, the third novel to feature DI John Barton of the Peterborough Police.

Barton has been promoted to Acting DCI but can’t keep away when a series of gruesome deaths rocks Peterborough. Ellen has recently lost her mother and starts reassessing her life. When she looks back at how her past has impacted her lonely present she gets angry.

I found The Ice Killer to be a very mixed bag. As befits a psychological thriller it has plenty of twists and turns, including a high body count and a strong portrayal of the killer. The novel alternates its narrative between Barton and his investigation and Ellen and her trail of destruction. The investigation has no spark and plods along like a dot to dot puzzle, so the study of Ellen is the more energising narrative. Initially it is novel and very absorbing, later it becomes more of the same in the way she thinks and slightly unbelievable in the support she receives.

Ellen is unstable, that much is apparent from the start in her lack of friends, self confidence and reactions to events, so the reader is unsure of taking what she says at face value, especially her victimhood. I found the conundrum fascinating, to what extent did her mental issues shape her previous life choices and her current re-evaluation. The author does a sterling job of posing these questions and mixing everything together. 

Having said all that the novel simply did not hold my attention. It is overly long, becomes repetitive and lacks tension.
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