Ross Greenwood: successful Orton author releases festive Peterborough-based thriller The Santa Killer

Orton crime writer’s new novel, The Santa Killer, available in time for Christmas
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If you fancy spicing up your Christmas gift-giving this year then the latest offering from prison officer-turned-author Ross Greenwood may be the stocking thriller you're after.

The sixth in the ever-popular DI Barton literary series, The Santa Killer, is an enthralling cat-and-mouse thriller that sees grisly crimes taking place in various locations across Peterborough.

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Ross Greenwood, author of the hugely successful DI Barton series, has sold nearly 250,000 books.Ross Greenwood, author of the hugely successful DI Barton series, has sold nearly 250,000 books.
Ross Greenwood, author of the hugely successful DI Barton series, has sold nearly 250,000 books.
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Taking time out from a family break in Norfolk, Ross, 49, shared the plot of his new release with the Peterborough Telegraph:

“It’s two weeks running up to Christmas,” he explained. “A woman goes to the gym and when she comes home she gets assaulted. Her daughter, who is quite young but slightly non-verbal, looks out of the window and draws a picture of what happened, and when the detective points to the picture she’s drawn and says ‘who’s that?’, she [the girl] says ‘bad Santa’.”

“Someone contacts the Peterborough Telegraph and says ‘the Santa killer is coming to town’.”

The engrossing tale, which is set during Covid when the police force is diminished, is told from both Barton and the killer's point-of-view.

Festive crime thriller The Santa Killer is set in Peterborough during the run up to Christmas.Festive crime thriller The Santa Killer is set in Peterborough during the run up to Christmas.
Festive crime thriller The Santa Killer is set in Peterborough during the run up to Christmas.

Netherton, Werrington and Oundle Road feature heavily.

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Ross, who lives in Orton Longueville with his wife, son and daughter, has sold close to 250,000 books.

Indeed, his tales have become so popular that fans now visit Peterborough to explore the locales he features.

The author believes much of the popularity of this particular series lies in the characterisation of Detective Inspector Barton.

Unlike many detectives within the crime thriller genre, Barton isn’t a bitter, divorced alcoholic. Quite the opposite, in fact:

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“He’s quite caring,” Ross explained, “and he also understands the reasons why people commit crimes. [He is] a very solid, nice guy.”

Former Kings School pupil Ross said that working as a prison officer at HMP Peterborough greatly influenced his writing.

As the country’s only prison to hold both male and female inmates, Ross encountered criminals of all grades on a daily basis.

“Working with psychopaths, murderers and rapists made it the worst job I ever had.”

“But in some respects,” he added, “it was also the best job I ever had.”

“After four years, I had quite a lot of material.”

The Santa Killer, published by Boldwood, is out now.