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I've read the other two DI Barton novels and enjoyed both of those. I think this is probably my favourite so faras I found it really hard to put down. It's written at a great pace, lots of plot twists and interesting characters. I hope there will be more stories with DI Barton as he's a really human character which makes him easy to relate to.
It’s a rare police procedural which finds me rooting for the killer to get away with their crimes, but The Ice Killer definitely got close. I think it’s partly because half the book is told in the first person perspective of Ellen, who by the end of the story has killed at least seven men… all of whom had it coming. Three gang rapists, two drug dealers, one child molester and a police officer with a penchant for domestic violence against his girlfriends? None of them were much of a loss to society.
Acting DCI John Barton is the (third-person) protagonist of the other side of the story, as he tries to figure out just who is on a murderous rampage through Peterborough, and why. Surely, a woman couldn’t have done all this. DNA shows there was definitely one present… but was she alone?
Ellen is a sociopath, and there are some interesting questions asked here about whether certain mental conditions are more likely to be inherited, as he father was also a killer who could become dangerous when off his psychoactive medication. Ellen has had a difficult life; child of a single-parent family, her mother was agoraphobic and Ellen displayed mental instabilities from an early age. There’s a subtle indictment of the failure of the UK authorities to provide any meaningful help or regulation to those with serious mental illnesses, particularly to a child who should have been diagnosed much earlier than she was. Instead, Ellen falls through the cracks and in with a bad crowd, ending up being sexually abused, hooked on drugs and pimped out by her dealer before she spends some time in a psychiatric hospital getting the help she needs.
Now years later, Ellen is trying to live a relatively normal life, working in a call centre and wistfully trying to date, looking for love in all the wrong places. Her mother passes away suddenly, and it’s not until later in the story that I realised that was actually the catalyst for disaster, because it was Ellen’s mother who reminded her daily to take her medications, the meds which kept Bad Ellen under wraps.
As I noted before, it’s an unusual tactic for a police procedural to give us a first-person perspective of a sympathetic protagonist. Honestly, I was way more invested in Ellen’s story than in Barton’s; he was just… a bit of a dull plod in comparison. I found myself rushing through his parts of the story because I wanted to get back into Ellen’s head and figure out what the heck she was going to do next. Which is not, I think, ideal when Barton is supposedly the title character of the entire series.
Overall a strong and rather unique story; I’ll give it four stars.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.
What on earth has happened here? The plot is a mishmash of daftness and the carefully created police characters of the previous books have turned into wooden replicas. Not good at all. There’s a killer on the loose, with mental problems. She’s identified very early on, so no spoiler alert. ‘Something’ in her genes or in her past have escalated her violent behaviour. Although there’s no concrete evidence of wrongdoing, she’s connected to the killings of a number of men. Step in Wooden Replica Police. John Barton is now Acting Detective Chief Inspector and his role is more desk job than investigation. However, he can’t leave the investigating to his Detective Sergeants, Zander and Strange. He has to test abilities for future promotions, like he’s coaching them for an exam and that doesn’t happen in the real world. Barton does this with a frequent smile on his face. The standard of police work is rubbish and unrealistic. The plot is narrated alternately by Barton and the Killer. The storyline drags on and on with more unbelievable ideas as it progresses. All in all this book is a huge disappointment. Whilst the author should be commended for highlighting mental health issues, overall that is outweighed by the naffness of the police. I’ve enjoyed the other books in the series but this is awful- sorry.
‘The Ice Killer’ is the third book in the series featuring Detective Inspector Barton. I read and loved reading the first two books in the series, so I had huge hopes for ‘The Ice Killer’. I wasn’t to be disappointed either because I flipping well loved reading ‘The Ice Killer’ but more about that in a bit. What can I say about Detective Inspector Andrew Barton? Well for a start, ‘The Ice Killer’ sees him being promoted to the rank of Detective Chief Inspector, as his current DCI goes on maternity leave as the story begins. I really liked Barton and I took to him from the start. In fact it didn’t take me long to feel as though I had reunited with old friends in Barton and his team. Barton leads from the front and he doesn’t ask anybody to do anything that he wouldn’t be willing to do himself. Barton certainly takes on his share of the workload. Barton seems to have a settled personal life, which I find rare with fictional lead male detectives. Barton was injured in the line of duty, whilst he was investigating another case and ‘The Ice Killer’ sees his return to work. I love the relationship that Barton seems to have with his team. For the most part they are like family with Barton being the ‘father’ of the group. Oh my flipping word, I was drawn to this book from the striking cover alone. The synopsis grabbed my attention and the story between the covers of the book sealed the deal as it were. I found reading ‘The Ice Killer’ to be hugely addictive and I was extremely reluctant to put this book down at all. I became so wrapped up in the story that I lost all track of time and just how quickly I was getting through the story. The first time I looked up to check of my progress I was staggered to realise that I had read over a third of the book in one go. From then on I seemed to fly through the rest of the book. I reached the end of ‘The Ice Killer’ far quicker than I had anticipated and I had to bid farewell to Barton and his team. I soon cheered up when I realised that it won’t be long until the next book in the series is released. ‘The Ice Killer’ is superbly written but then I have thought that to be true of the series in general. Ross has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. He certainly knows how to start a story in a memorable way that instantly grabs your attention and then he draws you in. Once Ross has your attention, he will not let you have it back until the moment you read the last word on the last page. The story is told from two perspectives- that of The Ice Killer and that of DI Barton. This way of telling the tale works really well and the story flows seamlessly as a result. Reading ‘The Ice Killer’ was much like being on one hell of a fast paced, scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with several twists and turns along the way. I found ‘The Ice Killer’ to be a gripping read, which had me on the edge of my seat throughout. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Ice Killer’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I will certainly be reading more from this author in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Double Jeopardy prevents a person from being tried again for the same crime.
The chapters of this gripping police procedural alternated between the perspectives of Ellen and DI Barton who had found himself promoted to DCI whilst his boss DCI Cox was on maternity leave.I know that I am not supposed to feel sympathy for the killer in a book but I couldn't help feeling a lot of sympathy for Ellen as the story unfolded. She obviously had some mental health issues and had been used and abused throughout most of her life. I think that most of us would love to get revenge on people who had wronged us at sometime in our lives but are prevented from doing so by our moral compasses. People who suffer from mental health issues can lose their moral compasses if they stop taking their medication properly or suffer a psychotic breakdown. So was it so wrong of me to not find her dislikable because she had no control over her actions? or was I bring cleverly manipulated into believing she had no control when in fact, she knew exactly what she was doing? Was it her mental health issues that pushed her over the edge? grief over the death of her mother? a combination of them both or is it possible that the urge to kill is hereditary? Many of the characters scattered throughout this story had various issues and quite a number of them were not very likeable for various reasons. DI Barton is one of my favourite fictional detectives, I love the banter and camaraderie between him, Zander and Strange, his team were like a little family although there was a bit of friction between two officers in his team during the investigation. I liked how they all treated each other with respect, there was no interdepartmental backstabbing and how Barton wasn't the usual stereotypical fictional alcoholic,chain smoking cop with a bad attitude and a broken marriage. And I loved that the pathologist was called Mortis,I thought that was very funny and ingenious.
Noooooooo, this can't be the end, I love this extremely well written, brilliant series, I want more Barton, Zander and Strange thrillers. The author has created a fantastic bunch of realistic, likeable individuals, people that I love spending my time with. As with the previous books in the series The Ice Killer story hooks you in from the first page and keeps you glued to your kindle throughout the twists and turns of the investigation. Although events from the previous books are mentioned, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. I loved this very enjoyable, thought provoking, gripping thriller. Please Mr Greenwood, please,please,wrote more DI Barton investigations.
I've read all 3 books in the DI Barton series this year and think this third outing for the Peterborough based detective might just be the best.
I love the characterisation in these books, Barton and his team are all interesting and I love the banter between them. the gritty nature of the plot is lightened by glimpis of Bartons private life which I really liked.
as with the other books in this series, we get chapters from the killer's point of view and I thought this worked particularly well in this book, despite her terrible crimes, it was hard not to feel some sympathy with the Ice Killer.
I know this series was set to be a trilogy but I very much hope Ross Greenwood will write more DI Barton books in the future so we can spend more time with Barton, Strange and Zander.
thank you to the publisher and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my goodness this storyline ties you in knots, victim or perpetrator that's the question I found impossible to answer until I reached the end, even then I questioned my beliefs. Written in two perspectives the police on one hand and the victims / perpetrators on the other. Worryingly it's believable when you consider that those suffering from mental illnesses no longer get the help and support they desperately need. The author has obviously done his homework regarding this very emotive issue, a victim of circumstance and lies from an early ages doesn't bode well for Ellen and adulthood! Acting DCI Barton and his team are chasing whispers or so it seems, nothing adds up the slimmest clues seem to contradict each other but each snippet chips away at what seems to be an impenetrable wall. The author really puts the pressure on Barton and his team with clever twists and blind alleys.
The story builds at a steady pace interspersed with shocking situations which make you question your own beliefs, I have to admit I felt my heartache on more than one occasion at the hopelessness of situations certain people find themselves in. I enjoyed this book very much, it's well written with excellent believable characters and a storyline which tests your own personal beliefs, emotional in parts due to the very sensitive subject matter which I felt was written with feeling and understanding on the authors part!
If you're a fan of psychological thrillers this book is a must read !
I love the Epigram, 'Only the dead know the truth.' and how true this is for this book. One of my favourite detectives, John Barton, is having to cover his DCI's position while she is on maternity leave, giving him two jobs to handle. He doesn’t usually like to be restricted to the office so much, but I think he could be persuaded to like it. He has more freedom, although this doesn't help with his latest case.
I couldn't figure it out either.
The Ice Killer is a most unusual case, not really a crime thriller in the normal sense of the word. At least, not what I would expect from Ross Greenwood. Proving guilt would seem difficult in this story, if not impossible.
Personally, I cannot label the main suspect as a killer, far more a victim of life and circumstance, in my opinion. The Ice Killer is two stories running side by side, a fascinating and beautifully written mix, but one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It certainly challenged all my perceptions.
Ross Greenwood has the unique ability to allow us to live inside all the characters heads and hearts. A unique talent...
Another gripping read from the pen of Mr Greenwood. His development of strong, colourful characters and interwoven story lines is truly expert. I always look forward to anything new from Ross. “The Ice Killer” did not disappoint! On a sad note, this is the third book of the Barton trilogy so this is the end? Perhaps Ross could promote Barton or transfer him to another department for a second trilogy? Anyway, a good entertaining and twisting read - as I have come to expect from Ross. Highly recommended.