Today we are moving on to day six of LJ Ross month and Mandie is sharing her thoughts on the wonderful Cragside. Now this book has special meaning for me, as readers will be aware, as I won an auction to be a named character in the book. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for, but I was in capable hands with LJ Ross and she more than did me proud. I think … If you want to know what I thought of the book you can find out right here. Read on to see what Mandie thought about my Ryan debut 🤨
About the Book
Are you afraid of the dark..?
After his climactic battle with notorious serial killer The Hacker, DCI Ryan is spending the summer with his fiancée within the grounds of Cragside, a spectacular Bavarian-style mansion surrounded by acres of woodland. When they are invited to attend the staff summer party – a Victorian murder mystery evening – it’s all a joke until the lights go out and an elderly man is found dead. It looks like an unfortunate accident but, as the dead man’s life begins to unfold, Ryan and his team of detectives realise that all is not as it appears.
When a second body is found, terror grips the close-knit community and Ryan must uncover the killer who walks among them, before they strike again…
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
Am well and truly into my DCI Ryan catch up marathon now and Cragside is the 6th outing for the team. Having managed to visit Cragside a couple of times on our annual holidays in Northumberland I have been looking forward to reading this book as I knew the setting would be just perfect and being able to picture the places mentioned helped me to connect more and bring the book to life.
You would think that with all that they have gone through recently Ryan and Anna would be entitled to a little down time and relaxation when they booked a holiday cottage in the lovely setting of the grounds of Cragside, but you just know its not going to happen. Whilst attending a Victorian Murder Mystery event up at the main house the body of one of the staff is found after what initially appears to have been a tragic accident. With Ryan having one of his niggling feelings about it he decides to dig a little deeper into their life and the findings soon change from accident to murder. When another body turns up the hunt is well and truly on to find the perpetrator and their motive. The suspect pool may be small but more than one of them is hiding a secret that they don’t want to come to light.
As always Ryan and his team work relentlessly until the finally catch the killer and this time there is a new addition to the team in the form of PC Melanie Yates. As he had with Jack Lowerson , Ryan sees something special in her and decides to take her under his wing to see what she is made of. We also get to see just how human these characters are and that just like real people they don’t just bounce back from traumatic events and I am really loving seeing the warm and squishy side to one Frank Phillips.
With twists and misdirections a plenty this is definitely one that will keep you guessing on the who and why for quite some time. The start of the book did make me smile despite the dead body, purely due to the banter between Anna, Ryan and Frank about the costume that Ryan was wearing to the event and it truly does show the closeness between them all despite status and rank. There is another thing that had me chuckling but that was on a personal level as a name came up that is oh so familiar to me but was still fun to actually see in print. How/if this person has an impact on Ryan’s future only time will tell but it certainly has me reaching for the next book.
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.
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 tonight so don’t delay. 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.