High Force by LJ Ross

Today we continue LJ Ross month with Mandie’s review of High Force, book five in the DCI Ryan series. Always full of tension, this was one of those books that absolutely grips you as a reader and reminds you what a brilliant series this is. You can read my thoughts on the book here, but read on for more from Mandie and to see what the book is all about:

Source: Amazon

About the Book

Hell has unleashed a demon – and he’s coming for you…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend?

There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late?

The clock is ticking…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Mandie’s Thoughts

I have come to the conclusion, that whilst I frequently beat myself up over the fact that I get behind in reading books by my favourite authors there can be a benefit to it too. With the dramatic way that Angel ended there was no way that I wasn’t going to pick up this the 5th book in the Ryan series straight away and I was grateful that I hadn’t had to wait for it to be published before I could find out what was going to happen.

The hacker is back and out to get even with Ryan. Having escaped prison he is intent on playing mind games before he reveals his final plan, and by targeting someone that he is close to he believes he has the upper hand. There is no disguising this man is pure evil and has no problem dispensing of people in his particularly brutal way if it serves the purpose of getting under Ryan’s skin, after all what’s a little bit of collateral damage if you want to achieve your goal, people are just expendable pawns as far as he is concerned. The question you have to ask is, how far is Ryan willing to go and what will he risk to once and for all put a stop to the Hacker.

For me this is the book that I truly gel with the characters with the story showing them not just as a team but as a family or as close to one as they can get. They are all heavily invested in the outcome of this case and find themselves doing things that they wouldn’t if the stakes were not so high. It shows their inner strengths and you can’t help but will them to conclude this case quickly. With Frank acting out of character and stressed and Ryan in his own private hell as the past haunts him at every turn, the team are at breaking point but its Anna’s calming influence that often helps them focus.

Louise Ross certainly puts her readers through the ringer with this one, with the drama and tension continuing right to the very end but boy is it worth it. It’s clearly a dangerous thing to be associated with Ryan both personally and professionally, but I think I would rather have him on my side than on my case.

About the Author

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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.


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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