Review: The Cold Killer (DI Barton #4) by Ross Greenwood


Print Length: 365 pages
Publisher: Boldwood Books (November 25, 2021)

From  It's hard to live when you deserve to die…

When a tired old inmate is found dead in his cell, the prison is obligated to investigate and so DI Barton attends. The men he interviews have been convicted of some of the worst things a human being can do, but it appears likely that the death was due to natural causes.

When the house of the dead man is burgled and that crime is followed by a suspicious fire, Barton desperately needs to speak to his widow, but she’s nowhere to be found.

In the space of twenty-four hours, everyone he wants to talk to has vanished. Then he receives some post which makes him believe he could be the next to disappear.

In just a few days, Barton’s investigation goes full circle, through a series of brutal murders, back to the prison. There’s a shocking development which even he could never have imagined, and all signs are pointing to the fact that he’s made a terrible mistake.

There’s a violent killer on the loose, who wants everyone to learn that it’s hard to live when you deserve to die.


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Once again, Ross Greenwood has managed to deliver a solid novel that gets you inside the heads of both the killer and the police team whilst still managing to throw in a few surprises that I did not see coming. As with the other novels (which can all be read as stand-alone novels, but I recommend reading them in order for a deeper understanding of DI Barton and his team), this one pulls you in from the start, immersing you into this world with these characters that he has created. 

There are a few things I really enjoy about these novels - the first being the way the author manages to seamlessly weave the points of view together into one cohesive story, and the second is the way that despite the horrific nature of the crimes that take place, the reader is able to understand killer's motivations and even sympathize with them. Case in point, this novel centers on the murders of three sex offenders, specifically those that target a certain age group. While the murders themselves are quite different (one, in particular, is much more gruesome than the others), and because we are seeing things from the killer's point of view (especially when their identity is revealed) as a reader, I can completely understand why they did it. 

Another thing I enjoy is that DI Barton and his co-workers seem like REAL people. These aren't cookie-cutter police officers the way you see in other novels. DI Barton isn't struggling with alcoholism, nor is he divorced or heading for divorce. What he is is a police officer with a loving wife and family who struggles to balance his personal and professional lives. His co-workers, in turn, have their own issues and problems that they are dealing with as well. It adds a deeper level to the stories, making you actually care about them and what happens. 

I will admit that this one seemed a bit slower than the others due to the fact that a lot of it takes place inside of a prison, but even with that, his descriptions of life "on the inside" were so vivid (likely due to his time working as an actual officer inside of a prison), that I didn't mind. I would definitely recommend this novel to those who enjoy engaging and well-written novels, and I can't wait to read more of 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.

                                            The Cold Killer is available from
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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