ARC BOOK REVIEW: On Cold Ground (Detective Karen Hart #5) by DS Butler

Publication Date: March 25, 2021
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Police procedural/thriller

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK
Buy: Kindle | Audio


A merciless killer who will stop at nothing. And a detective with nothing left to lose.

When Detective Karen Hart hears a scream echoing out of beautiful Lincoln Cathedral one snowy evening, she is the first officer on the scene. In the chapel a man lies murdered, a bloody cross carved into his forehead.

The twisted killing sends this close-knit community into shock. And a note to the police from the murderer, signed by ‘The Cleanser’, confirms their worst fears: this sadistic slaying is the first of many. The ritual killings will never stop until Hart uncovers the murderer’s ungodly motive.

When early leads become dead ends, Karen starts to wonder if there’s a link to a rumoured conspiracy within police ranks—particularly when an abrasive new officer is assigned to the case. Could the key to catching ‘The Cleanser’ be dangerously close to home? Meanwhile, she is battling her own demons as she struggles to come to terms with the deaths of her husband and daughter.

In her toughest case yet, Karen will come closer than ever before to a dangerous truth. Can she put the pieces of the puzzle together before she’s stopped in her tracks?


I received a copy of this book from the publisher, amazon publishing through in exchange for an honest review. 

I haven't read any of the other books in this series and I don't think you really need to but it may be helpful.  Detective Karen Hart is being monitored, she knows there is corruption in the police but she isn't sure who but they know who she is and are keeping an eye on her.  As she struggles with the death of her daughter and husband Karen is being pressured to attend a support group from her new boyfriend and also stumbles upon a very strange case that appears to be a serial killer with but they can't find the connection between the victims.  Between pushing her boyfriend away and finding herself immersed in a very odd murder investigation that begins to hit too close to home Hart finds herself not knowing who to trust or where to turn.  

Not having read the other books I found that the author filled in the gaps for me fairly well and I didn't feel lost but I like seeing the evolution of a character so I wish I had picked up the others before this one.  However I don't really think you need to read them to enjoy this one.  This is a good solid police procedural with a mystery that keeps you guessing and on your toes.  I had a feeling I knew who the mystery person was but when it was revealed I was wrong and that doesn't happen often so I was pleasantly surprised.  

I now want to go back and start from the beginning of this series which given that I know the outcome of some of the books and it doesn't matter to me means I will probably keep following this author for a while. 

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