By Leigh Russell
Published by No Exit Press
Available in paperback and ebook
If you like your books filled with blood, bodies and an axe murderer running through the streets then this thriller is for you, and you won't be disappointed.
The streets of York are no longer safe. No, I'm not talking about Christmas shoppers or people stumbling back from football matches. There's a Viking obsessed axe murderer on the loose, leaving the police puzzled because the only thing left at the crime scene is the dead victim - no finger prints, no DNA, zilch evidence.
DCI Ian Peterson needs to pull out his finger and find the killer as the bodies are starting to mount up in the morgue but of his leads are dead ends. His career is in the balance if the killer isn't found soon. But working all hours means that he has to put his marriage on the back burner, leaving his wife alone, at home, in a city where they've moved for his promotion.
The chapters alternate between the killer, who wants to be known as 'The Warrior' and DCI Ian Peterson, which I found interesting as it added depth to the plot, and kept the tension building. This change of viewpoint gives the reader an insight from both sides of the story - both characters have an obsession and will do anything to find an answer. Peterson wants and needs to find the killer. The Warrior wants and needs to be the best fighter for the Viking gods.
Blood Axe is the third in the DI Ian Peterson series but you don't need to have read the previous two novels as this one can be read as a separate entity - trust me - I haven't read the other novels and I found it easy to know the characters without the background from the previous stories.
Some endings are obvious - maybe I'm cynical or I've read too many books - but Russell's ending was definitely a surprise. I'm not going to give anything away as I don't want to spoil it for you.
Russell builds the tension as well as the murder count, and gripped me from beginning to end. I should definitely read more crime thrillers in the future!
Blood Axe is brutal, bloody and gripping. You can buy Blood Axe from your favourite bookshop.
I was sent a copy from the publisher.