Happy 5th Anniversary: Sycamore Gap by LJ Ross

Today Mandie and I would like to wish a very happy 5th anniversary to DCI Ryan and the team … Okay, so really it is happy anniversary to LJ Ross as it is five years ago today that Sycamore Gap was released on Kindle. Book two in the fabulous DCI Ryan series, this book had Mandie and I drawn further and further into Ryan’s world and managed to well and truly cement our addiction to the books. To celebrate this wonderful day, we are not only sharing Mandie’s thoughts on the book but we have a bit of a giveaway going on too. Before we get into that though, here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book


The past never stays buried for long…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan’s job to piece together her past.

Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian’s Wall country in Northumberland.

Available from: Amazon | Hive | Waterstones

Mandie’s Thoughts

I first read Sycamore Gap nearly 4 years ago so after re reading Holy Island at the start of the year and having to admit that I may have got a little bit behind with the Ryan series I thought why not refresh my mind with the ones I have read and catch up with the ones I haven’t. So, armed with both kindle and audible versions of the books and a lot of time working from home I am looking forward to what lies ahead and delving back into the world of Ryan and co. Once again we are treated to the wealth of Northumberland that really does lend itself to the starkness of the murders. Louise’s description of the locations has you wanting to up sticks and visit them immediately.

After the events on Holy Island, life seems to be slowly getting back on an even keel for Ryan, with his relationship with Anna going from strength to strength. When a body of a girl is found buried in Hadrian’s Wall after being there for about 10 years, a part of his past is dragged back to the forefront and the person who had been responsible for blowing his world apart is now taunting him once again. For Ryan this is his worst nightmare and at times and quite understandably influences his actions.

When another body is found in exactly the same spot the team have to wonder if they are linked in anyway and if so, how has the killer got away undetected for so long. With so many twists and turns I really enjoyed trying to work out who the killer was, and the ending was as brilliant as it was unexpected. Trust me you will be reaching for book 3 as soon as you have finished this one.

You can’t help but love the dynamic of the team. Ryan is a little bit aloof but you kind of expect that with his position, but he has the perfect foil in Frank Phillips. You can tell they have a genuine affection for each other and if anyone can pull Ryan out of his funk it’s definitely Frank. Along with watching the relationship between Ryan and Anna, it was great getting to see more of the one between Frank and Denise Mackenzie. Louise has a way of making her characters seem so real that you can’t help but get invested in their personal lives just as much as you do in the investigations making them a really compelling series of must reads and who knows like me you may just want to revisit them.

About the Author

LJ Ross is an international bestselling author, best known for creating atmospheric mystery and thriller novels, including the DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries which have sold over four million copies worldwide.

Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon UK and Australian charts. Since then, she has released a further sixteen novels, all of which have been top three global bestsellers and fourteen of which have been UK #1 bestsellers. Louise has garnered an army of loyal readers through her storytelling and, thanks to them, several of her books reached the coveted #1 spot whilst only available to pre-order ahead of release. Her eleventh novel, The Infirmary, is a prequel story and is also available as a major Audible Originals audio-drama starring Tom Bateman, Kevin Whately, Bertie Carvel, Hermione Norris and Alun Armstrong.

Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King’s College, University of London and then abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a lawyer for a number of years until taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write. Now, she writes full-time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland, where she enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Louise is a keen philanthropist, and is pleased to have supported numerous non-profit programmes in addition to founding several of her own, including the Lindisfarne Reading Challenge and the Lindisfarne Prize for Debut Crime Fiction.

Author Links: Twitter | Website | Facebook


We are offering you to the chance to win copies of the 5th Anniversary edition paperback of the first six books in the DCI Ryan series. That’s Holy Island, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel, High Force and Cragside. For your chance to win, all you need to do is head to Jen Med’s Book Reviews on Twitter, follow our account and reshare the pinned tweet.

The competition is open to entrants from the UK only and closes at 23:59 on 13th September. This competition is being run by Jen Med’s Book Reviews and is not affiliated to, or sponsored by, the author. Winners details will be collected for the sole purpose of sending the prize, and will not be retained by Jen Med’s Book Reviews or shared with any third parties.

Good luck.

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