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Sunday 20 December 2015

'Blood Axe' by Leigh Russell

Published by No Exit Press,
November 2015. 
ISBN 978-1-84344-543-2

Detective Inspector Ian Peterson works in York.  He is faced by the murder of a young woman which was very bloody.  She was killed with an axe.  Certain insights into the thinking and actions of the murderer indicate that he sees himself as a Viking warrior on a killing spree as he searches for valuables amongst the people of modern York.  A modern festival which celebrates York's Viking past is happening as the deaths begin.

The police have little to go on in their search for the perpetrator of the killing and, when further deaths and thefts follow there is nothing to indicate the killer's identity.  Ian and his team try hard to get some evidence to link the victims and to find any possible enemies in their pasts.  Ian's task is complicated by his home situation -  since he has moved to York from London his wife has no friends or outside activities and resents his preoccupation with his job.

Gradually information is aggregated from the murder scenes, the Jorvik museum of the Vikings, the post mortems and the work of a profiler and the team gain enough insight to pinpoint a potential killer in a nail biting finale.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Leigh Russell has written a 7 book series about the detective, Geraldine Steel, and this spin off series about Ian Peterson has 2 previous books.

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent gaining a Masters degree in English and American literature. Formerly a secondary school English teacher, with the success of her Geraldine Steel series, Leigh now writes full-time. Her debut novel, Cut Short, was published in 2009 by No Exit Press in the UK, followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act and Killer Plan, all featuring detective Geraldine Steel, and Murder Ring will be published in 2016. Leigh also writes a spinoff series for Geraldine's sergeant, Ian Peterson. Cold Sacrifice and Race to Death are already published, to be followed by Blood Axe in late 2015. Leigh recently signed a three book deal with Thomas and Mercer for a new series featuring Lucy Hall. The first two titles in this series will be published in 2016. Leigh Russell is married with two daughters and lives in Middlesex.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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