My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Publisher - No Exit Press
Pages - 317 (proof copy)
Blurb from Goodreads
Blood Axe is the latest crime novel by bestselling author, Leigh Russell. 'Silently dipping his oars in the water he made his escape. It was a weary journey, with few spoils to show for it. Next time he would do better. He looked back over his shoulder. The bridge had disappeared, swallowed up by the darkness. From its walkway he too had become invisible. Only the bloody body of a woman showed he had been roaming the streets that night.' DI Ian Peterson investigates a series of gruesome and brutal murders in York. As the body count mounts, the case demands all Ian's ingenuity, because these are murders seemingly committed at random, and this is a killer who leaves no clues. If you love Jeffery Deaver or Lee Child, you’ll love Leigh Russell!
Firsty, on the page across from the opening of the story is a glossary of acronyms, I love this. There are so many books that have them and even if it tells you early on, sometimes you forget what they stand for, this aids the reader and enjoyment of the story, well it did for me.
The tale opens with the warrior, on the look for his target, any target that meets the requirements - with his axe. He finds a target and launches a brutal attack before carefully and silently slipping into the darkness, leaving blood and horror in his wake. DI Ian Peterson is on the case, soon another body is found and it becomes clear someone needs to stop this maniac and soon. Whilst dealing with a killer and trying to discover a motive, Peterson is having some marital troubles to contend with also. Can he find and stop this killer whilst simultaneously managing his personal life or will it all prove too much for DI Peterson?
I have read a few books from Russell although they have been the Steel series, whilst this is the third in the DI Peterson series I don't think I am at a loss starting here. The chapters alternate between the killer and his hunt to the police and their investigation. It works well and the story runs smoothly, the murder weapon is an axe so if you have a weak stomach this may be a tad much for you, it is not overly gory however I feel an fyi is warranted.
The pace is well set, you not only have the investigation, the murder and any related characters linked to both you also have the personal side of DI Peterson. Moving to a new town has strained his relationship and from the off you pick up on that. It gives insight into what goes on out with a serious police investigation and what officers have to contend with and still remain focused. It doesn't detract from the story, in fact I think it helps to give more connection to your characters. There are some twists and shocks along the way which just gave some more oomph to the story I feel. 4/5 for me this time, I must say I have enjoyed this book the most of all the ones I have read & may even seek out the earlier ones in the series. Thanks to RealReaders for offering me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review, this book is available to buy now from all good retailers.