Five on Friday with Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross

Today I’m delighted to feature author Ross Greenwood. Ross is an award winning mystery and thriller writer. His latest action packed crime thriller Lifer was published yesterday.

Over to Ross:

I was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until I was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. I then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

I found myself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually when things had gone wrong. It was on one of these occasions that I met my partner about 100 metres from my back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. I’m still a little stunned by the pace of it now.

Fifty Years of Fear book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then after working in sales management all my life, i randomly spent four years as a prison officer. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave me the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep I completed it in the early morning hours.

It’s surprising for me to realise I’ve written ten books now. There are two strands, one where the books concern lives affected by prison, and then my detective series starring DI John Barton. The first Barton book, The Snow Killer hit the coveted number one spot on KOBO, with the second and third in the series not far behind.

The Cold Killer was out in November 2021 and The Fire Killer is out in May.

My book about a prison officer, with a little bit of me in it, is also out now. Prisoner will help you understand a world that hopefully you never have to experience first-hand.

I hope you enjoy reading them.

Please feel free to get in touch.

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Bell Bottomed Tear – The Beautiful South

When I first left home in 1992, and was tipsy, I used to sing this song to my girlfriend of two years with the lyrics, “This is the woman Elaine”. After we split up, I found out the lyrics were, “This is the woman you laid”. I deserved to be dumped.

Barbie Girl – Aqua

I split up with another girlfriend whom I really liked who looked similar to the girl in Aqua. Then this song went crazy and for an entire summer I was reminded of her every time I put the radio on.

Billy Joel – She’s Always a Woman

This was the song we danced to at your wedding. My wife likes it because she thinks it means she’s in charge.

Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga

I just think this is a brilliantly constructed song. If songs were books, this would be a fabulous one. My favourite if I had to name one.

Pulp – Disco 2000

Wow, 22 years ago. I went to a great house party and remember this playing not long before midnight. The world didn’t end after all as the bell tolled. Reminds me of a time when my worries were different.

What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

I’d miss my dog walks out in the countryside, but not too much else apart from family. As you get older, the things that I loved doing don’t appeal as much, like watching football, nightclubs etc. I prefer peace and tranquility with a good book, preferably on an empty beach. I’ll be needing the ice cream van to come around though, hourly.

Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

Don’t smoke.

Don’t drink.

Don’t smoke and drink.

Don’t smoke, drink, and eat an entire dominos at midnight.

Don’t worry about doing the above, things will work out.

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I passed Grade 4 on the trombone.

I’ve been to the Galapagos Islands

I passed Spanish GCSE at grade A when I was 35.

I’m an advanced scuba diver.

I found bungee jumping scarier than skydiving. Think it’s the splat factor.

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

I’d like to be 13 stone again.

I’d love to be number one on Amazon UK Kindle.

A million books sales seems a good amount

I’d love to take my family on safari

I’d also love to take them on a whale watching cruise, both of which I’ll pay for with my lottery winnings, when it happens 😊.

Thanks for joining me today Ross, it’s been lovely finding out more about you – though less so the Barbie Girl earworm! Peace and tranquility with a good book sounds good though. I envy you you your Spanish GCSE, well less the actual qualification than the ability to converse in Spanish. Something that continues to allude me. Coincidentally I started to learn to play the trombone at school, though I never got as far as exams. Good luck with being 13 stone again – I’d like to achieve that too! Hope that lottery win comes through too, it sounds like it will fund some great family holidays.

Ross’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

DI John Barton Series

The Fire Killer (Book 5 – due May but on pre-order)

When DI Barton is asked to investigate a seemingly innocuous fire that kills, he believes it’s either children fooling around or a worrying racially motivated crime.

As he delves deeper into the case, he soon realises that there is a history of similar blazes spread out over many years, all within a close area. And after an idea is suggested by pathologist Mortis, Barton suspects he has the arsonist’s motives wrong.

When a night worker comes forward with a tip, Barton narrows down the suspects. Yet all of them act suspiciously and he knows for sure that one or more of them are lying. And when a huge house blaze shocks everyone, Barton fears the killer has lost all control.

Who is The Fire Killer? What will be next to burn?

The Cold Killer (Book 4)

It’s hard to live when you think you deserve to die…

When a tired old inmate is found dead in his cell, the prison is obligated to investigate and so DI Barton attends. The men he interviews have been convicted of some of the worst things a human being can do, but it appears likely that the death was due to natural causes.

When the house of the dead man is burgled and that crime is followed by a suspicious fire, Barton desperately needs to speak to his widow, but she’s nowhere to be found.

In the space of twenty-four hours, everyone he wants to talk to has vanished. Then he receives some post which makes him believe he could be the next to disappear.

Barton’s investigation goes full circle, through a series of brutal murders, back to the prison, and all signs are pointing to the fact that he’s made a terrible mistake.

There’s a violent killer on the loose, who wants everyone to learn that some people deserve to die.

The Ice Killer (Book 3)

Winter is coming, and Detective Inspector Barton is facing the toughest case of his career…

Ellen Toole’s therapist told her to forget the past, but with her family story shrouded in secrecy, that’s easier said than done. The approaching long nights of winter loom threateningly in front of her, and with her mother on her death bed, Ellen has never felt more alone. When it becomes clear that her mother has kept secrets about a history darker than Ellen ever imagined, Ellen must find answers about the past if she has any hope for a future.

DI Barton and his team are still recovering from a particularly tough and grisly case, so a report of a kidnapping, followed by the discovery of two dead bodies, is the last thing they need. There’s a murderer on the loose, and the killer needs to be stopped before they strike again. This winter, there will be vengeance on Ellen’s mind, and DI Barton will struggle with his hardest case to date.

How can Barton find the truth, when all the victims and witnesses are dead?

The Soul Killer (Book 2)

A murder made to look like suicide. Another that appears an accident.

DI Barton investigates the tragedies that have shattered a family’s lives, but without obvious leads the case goes nowhere. Then, when the remains of a body are found, everything points to one suspect.

Barton and his team move quickly, and once the killer is behind bars, they can all breathe a sigh of relief. But death still lurks in the shadows, and no one’s soul is safe. Not even those of the detectives…

How do you stop a killer that believes life is a rehearsal for eternity, and their future is worth more than your own…?

The Snow Killer (Book 1)

‘Fear the north wind. Because no one will hear you scream…’

A family is gunned down in the snow but one of the children survives. Three years on, that child takes revenge and the Snow Killer is born. But then, nothing – no further crimes are committed, and the case goes cold.

Fifty years later, has the urge to kill been reawakened? As murder follows murder, the detective team tasked with solving the crimes struggle with the lack of leads. It’s a race against time and the weather – each time it snows another person dies.

As an exhausted and grizzled DI Barton and his team scrabble to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the killer is hiding in plain sight. Meanwhile, the murders continue…

Prisoner Series


Ben wasn’t brought up, he was dragged up.

With absent parents and broken friends, a young Ben makes choices that are ruining his life. Before he’s even twenty, Ben’s spells in prison begin, and soon he finds himself involved in serious crime. When people begin to die, Ben must choose a side.

But is this really the life Ben wants or is there a way out of this vicious cycle? Is he destined to fulfil his fate of being once a prisoner, always a prisoner? Or can Ben swap a life on the inside, for one with hope on the outside?

Ross Greenwood is back with this shocking, page-turning glimpse into the criminal underworld.

This book was previously published as THE BOY INSIDE.


Vinnie has always been different. But Vinnie is a survivor…

A childhood accident robbed Vinnie of his memories, making him sensitive and anxious, and his difference soon attracted bullies. If it wasn’t for his family and his brother Frank, Vinnie wouldn’t have survived.

But as the boys grow up, and after the devastating loss of their parents, Vinnie finds himself increasingly involved in violent situations whenever he’s with Frank.  Is this the type of man he’s become, or can the love of a remarkable woman teach him to embrace life?

When Vinnie is accused of a terrible crime, and looks set for a long stretch behind bars, fragments of his memory start to return and he begins to unravel his past.

Who was his mother? What kind of a man is his brother, Frank? And why does death surround them?

Things are not as they seem, but Vinnie can survive anything…

This book was previously published as FIFTY YEARS OF FEAR.

Jail Break

Today is the first day of the rest of Katie’s life – because today is the day she is released from prison.

Katie committed a terrible crime but now she’s done her time, and is determined never to go back behind bars. But starting again isn’t easy, especially after what she ​did, and what was done to her.

A stay in a probation hostel helps Katie make new friends on the outside, and slowly she finds her feet, but the world is full of temptations and memories, drawing Katie back to her past. Before she can truly start to live again, Katie must finally confront her demons and face the nightmare she’s been turning away from. But she needs to be careful.

Katie might be free for now, but soon her break from jail could be over…

Ross Greenwood is back with this shocking, page-turning glimpse into the criminal underworld. 

Please note that JAIL BREAK was previously published as SHADOWS OF REGRET.


A shocking thriller inspired by the true stories of a male prison officer in a women’s prison…

Prison Officer Jim Dalton works on the male side of HMP Peterborough. It’s a dangerous place, fuelled by testosterone-driven violence, but he has the prisoners’ respect. When Dalton is transferred to the female side of the prison, his next shift is so easy he can’t believe that the officers over there get paid the same wages. He sleeps well for the first time in years.

Billie hasn’t had it easy in life, and she has earned the nickname Damage because she has been known to cause some! Ending up in prison might have been inevitable, but Billie hasn’t given up on her dreams yet. If there’s a way to get out of prison faster, she’s going to find it.

When Dalton is assigned to the young offenders’ wing, dealing with female prisoners no longer seems so simple, and in Billie he fears he may have met his match. As Billie starts to turn the screw, Dalton faces losing everything…

Abel’s Revenge

This is a story about a city. As with all others, it’s a place of violence. There are murderers, and they live among us.

This is also a tale about a couple — sometimes friends, occasionally lovers, but always partners. Dan and Olivia are fighting modern battles; the ones parents have over a lack of money, time or peace.

An escalating serial killer terrifies the streets and homes. The body count rises as their relationship crumbles. Society reveals its dark side, and no one is safe. Dan and Olivia experience this first-hand as danger closes in.

Will Abel’s reign of terror ever end?

Who will live, and who will die?


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