Happy 5th Birthday to DCI Ryan and happy anniversary to author LJ Ross as it is five years ago today that Ryan and co were first released into the world. And what a five years it has been. 15 books, umpteen number one best sellers and without a doubt a series that has to set LJ Ross as one of the most successful self published authors of all time. With a legion of dedicated fans, an absolutely cracking team and a setting as wild as it is beautiful, it is no wonder this series, and this author, keeps going from strength to strength.
Mandie was the first of us to read any of the DCI Ryan books, before her guest blogging days I might add, so it seems only fitting that she finally shares her thoughts on the book that has become a firm favourite for both of us. Not only do we have her review, we have a giveaway too. A chance to win the book that started it all – Holy Island.
About the Book
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.Available from Amazon
When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.
Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.
After recently reading the first two books in the new series by LJ Ross I decided to go back to the beginning of the DCI Ryan series and remind myself what it was that made me fall in love with the books 3 ½ years ago. I came across the series by accident in so much as every time I turned my Kindle on there was an advert for them. As I was looking for something to read on my holidays, I took a quick look at the blurb and with the first one being set in a place that I had visited on holiday with my son when he was small (he is now nearly 22) I thought it would be fun to download the 3 books that were available at the time and I haven’t looked back since.
The setting for this book is absolutely brilliant and if you haven’t been to Holy Island yet then you really should. Both the Priory and the Castle are stunning and the sense of being shut off from the rest of the world is great when the causeway is closed. It’s history really does lend itself well to the underlying sense of the occult that threads its way through the book. Holy Island isn’t a big place so there is a real sense of community there and I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I could quite easily picture a lot of the places that feature throughout the book.
DCI Ryan is actually hiding out on the island on an enforced break when the body of a local girl is found in the priory, but it gives him the excuse and the motivation to get his life back on track. To some he seems a bit stand offish and he certainly has little time in the beginning for Anna, a former Islander, who has been tasked with giving her perspective on the possible links to paganism. As you delve further into the story however you get to see behind the understandably brooding mask is a man who has the full support of his team and at times a flash of a real sense of humour. He is very loyal to those close to him and will often feel responsible for them, even when their actions are their undoing. This responsibility often manifests itself in his nightmares, which until now have kept him distant from any lasting relationships. He has certainly met his match in Anna as even when she is possibly in danger, she refuses to be bullied by him. It is fun watching their closeness develop as she manages to get under his defences.
Holy Island is a brilliant start to the series and as the author has just released book 15, if you are about to start on the journey of Ryan and co you certainly have plenty to look forward to…. As for me, I am going to continue my journey of rediscovery and head off to book 2.
Win A Copy of Holy Island
Because we are nice and all about the fives this year, we are giving away a copy of Holy Island by LJ Ross, as well as a very lovely Lindisfarne Castle bookmark. And if the winner is over 18 we may throw in a little something extra to really get you in the Holy Island Spirit.
To win, it’s really very simple. Head over to my profile on Twitter (@JenMedBkReviews) and like and RT my pinned tweet to win. Be quick. The competition is only open until midnight on 3rd January, after which we will pick a winner. Open to entrants from UK and Europe only.
Competition winners details will be required but will be used only to send out the prize. This competition is being run exclusively by Jen Med’s Book Reviews. We will not retain or share your information with any third parties.
Good luck all.