Review: The Santa Killer (DI Barton #6) by Ross Greenwood


Print Length: 437 pages
Publisher:  Boldwood Books (September 12, 2022)

From The Santa Killer is coming to town…
One night less than two weeks before Christmas, a single mother is violently assaulted. It’s a brutal crime at the time of year when there should be goodwill to all. When DI Barton begins his investigation, he’s surprised to find the victim is a woman with nothing to hide and no reason for anyone to hurt her.

A few days later, the mother of the woman attacked rings the police station. Her granddaughter has drawn a shocking picture. It seems she was looking out of the window when her mother was attacked. And when her grandmother asks the young girl who the person with the weapon is, she whispers two words.

Bad Santa.

The rumours start spreading, and none of the city’s women feel safe - which one of them will be next?

He’s got a list. It’s quite precise. It won’t matter even if you’re nice.


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

First, let me begin by saying that technically this can be read as a stand-alone. Yes, there are mentions of relationships between the members of the department. Yes, there were one or two mentions of the book prior to this one (which incidentally was the only one in this series that I hadn't read). However, I believe it would be easy enough to enjoy this one without the benefit of the others (although I do highly recommend reading them if you enjoyed this one). 

Second, I would call this story (and the others in this series) police procedurals, not thriller novels. Yes, there are moments of thrill/suspense when we are witnessing things from the killers' perspectives and moments of the same when we are seeing things from the point-of-view of the victims. Still, on the whole, this story is mostly told from DI Barton's perspective so we get a lot of the day-to-day work that goes into actually solving crimes as well. 

What I enjoy most about this author, and this series, is the way that he manages to add just enough realism that you begin to believe in the story. Not only with DI Barton and his family (And the enjoyable way his wife teases him and his children argue with one another), but when it comes to one of the families where a suspect may be hiding. It made me, as a reader, not only think about the plight of these characters but also empathize (to an extent) with them. Whether they were guilty or not, you could understand why they may have done what they were accused of. 

I also enjoyed the red herrings that cropped up, although at times, I will admit that I found certain chapters a bit tedious. Sometimes it was because there was a lot of detailed information to read through, other times it was because it seemed like nothing was happening other than the characters doing things they had already done (for example, walking the dog). 

However, on the whole, I think this novel will be enjoyed by fans of the series (as sad as it is to find out this will be the last when I think there is still more to be discovered).  I will read more from this author, and am, in fact, looking forward to the new series that is mentioned at the end of this book.

                                         The Santa Killer is available on
                                         (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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