The Snow Killer by Ross Greenwood

welcome to my blog today where I am happy to be part of the #blogtour for ross greenwood’s CHILLING new release – the snow killer

‘Fear the north wind. Because no one will hear you scream…’

A family is gunned down in the snow but one of the children survives. Three years on, that child takes revenge and the Snow Killer is born. But then, nothing – no further crimes are committed, and the case goes cold.

Fifty years later, has the urge to kill been reawakened? As murder follows murder, the detective team tasked with solving the crimes struggle with the lack of leads. It’s a race against time and the weather – each time it snows another person dies.

As an exhausted and grizzled DI Barton and his team scrabble to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the killer is hiding in plain sight. Meanwhile, the murders continue…

Extract:

WINTER – 50 YEARS AGO – Chapter 1

I must have been ten years old when I first tidied up his drug paraphernalia. I didn’t want my sister crawling over it. We called her Special – a take on Michelle – because she was an enigma. Special was a term of endearment for us, funny how nowadays it could be considered an insult. She never spoke a single word and seemed more of a peaceful spirit than a physical entity. Give her a crayon or pencil and a piece of paper, though, and her smile filled the room.

I monitored my father’s habit through his mood swings or by how much time he spent in bed. The foil and needles increased rapidly just before we escaped London a few years back. I cried because both my parents left evidence of their addiction.

In many ways, my mother was as simple as Special. Swayed by my dominant father, she did everything he said, even though she had more common sense. Joining him in his heroin habit was inevitable.

Until the night we left, we took holidays and ate out in restaurants. I didn’t know where the money came from because I had no idea what my father did.

The evening we fled London, we packed our suitcases at ten at night and caught the last train to Peterborough, arriving at two in the morning. I recall beaming at my parents, especially when we checked into a huge hotel on the first night. My mum’s brother, Ronnie, lived nearby. When we eventually found him, he helped us move into a cottage in rural Lincolnshire, which was cheap for obvious reasons. The single storey building had five rooms and no internal doors. You could hear everything from any room – even the toilet.

Six months after we settled in our new home, I lay in the damp bed with my sister’s warm breath on my neck and heard my father casually say he’d shot the wrong man. The fact my mother wasn’t surprised shocked me more.

Life carried on. My parents continued to avoid reality. We ate a lot of sandwiches. Lincolnshire is only two hours north of London but it felt like the edge of the world after the hustle and bustle of the capital city. I walked the three miles to school. Special stayed at home where she painted and coloured. My mum sold Special’s pictures. She drew people and animals in a childish way, but they captivated people as the eyes in the pictures haunted the viewer.

One freezing night, my sister and I cuddled in bed and listened to another argument raging in the lounge. We had our own beds but only ever slept apart in the hot summer months. At six years old, she didn’t take up much room.

‘You did what?’ my mother shouted.

‘I saw an opportunity,’ my father replied.

‘What were you thinking?’

‘We’re broke. We needed the money.’

‘What you’ve done is put our family in danger. They’ll find us.’

‘They won’t think I took it.’

I might have been only fifteen years old, but I had eyes and ears. My parents constantly talked about money and drugs. By then, that was all they were interested in. That said, I don’t recall being unhappy, despite their problems. Normal life just wasn’t for them.

My mother’s voice became a loud, worried whisper. ‘What if they come for the money? The children are here.’

‘They won’t hurt them,’ my father said.

A hand slammed on the kitchen table. ‘We need to leave.’

‘It’s three in the morning and snowing. No one will look now. Besides, where would we go?’

‘We’re rich! We can stay where we like.’

Crazily, they laughed. I suppose that’s why they loved each other. They were both the same kind of mad.

That was the sixties and a different time. Not everyone spent their lives within earshot of a busy road. In fact, few people owned their own car. If you’ve ever lived deep in the countryside, you’ll know how quiet the long nights are. So it makes sense that I could hear the approaching vehicle for miles before it arrived. The put-put-put we gradually heard in unison that night sounded too regular for it to be my uncle’s ancient van. And anyway, good news doesn’t arrive in the middle of the night.

MoMo’s Review:

I was excited to receive a copy of Ross Greenwood’s latest thriller, the first in his new DI Barton series. I really do enjoy Ross’s writing style and I knew this would be a page-turner of a story – I was right to be so excited! As the title suggests, it is a chilling read and one you will not forget in a hurry – especially when it starts snowing!

I was immediately drawn into the story and quite torn with the empathy I had for the killer. But wait, the killer is the bad one in crime novels, right? We are not supposed to be on the killers side – especially when DI Barton and his team are on the trail.

DI Barton has a great team and we are introduced to them in this opening story. DI Barton himself has managed to get to where he is whilst leading a normally happy family life at home. This is a nice refreshing change to the normal detective story where have experienced trauma, divorce or addiction of some sort. He really is a good bloke.

The author cleverly switches between the past to present, only giving away details as we really need them. There are some shocking twists that will keep you turning page after page (and had me drinking mug after mug!). 

Ross Greenwood is firmly on my top author list and I cannot wait to read more of DI Barton and his team.

My sincere thanks to Ross Greenwood, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of this book.
All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Book Details:

  • AUTHOR: Ross Greenwood (@GreenwoodRoss)
  • PUBLISHER: Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks)
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 12 November 2019
  • ASIN: B07XLFWZ7D
  • ISBN: 1838894470 and 978-1838894474
  • LENGTH: 316 pages
  • Amazon link to The Snow Killer: https://amzn.to/2AxaSOM

Review Published:

About The Author:

Ross Greenwood is the author of six crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked everyday with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough and his first title for Boldwood – the beginning of a series – is The Snow Killer to be published in November 2019.

Social Media links:

About The Publisher:

Boldwood Books is a fiction publishing company seeking out the best stories from around the world.  Find out more at www.boldwoodbooks.com
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