Next up in our month long celebration of the books by LJ Ross, Mandie has her review of book nine, The Hermitage. We were lucky to visit the site last year whilst on holiday and it’s fair to say that we were more than a little inspired by reading this book, and if you’d like to see what I thought about it, you can read my thoughts here. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
He thought he was invincible, but he was wrong…
When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective…
DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until he has his man in custody. Nathan Armstrong is a dangerous psychopath but there’s just one problem – he’s also an international celebrity; a world-famous thriller writer with money and connections.
Ryan is a stranger in a foreign land, but he knows one thing – he’ll never give up.
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular landscapes of Northumberland and Tuscany.
When the body of the boatman at Warkworth Castle is found in the Hermitage, DI Mackenzie and DS Phillips are called in to investigate. Its quite nice to see them taking the lead for a change without Ryan over their shoulders although they are having a hard time working out who would want to kill someone who appears to have lead a quiet life with no known enemies. Whilst they are working hard on the case Ryan and Anna are in Italy following a lead on some clearly unfinished business.
We get to see a little bit more about Ryan’s family circumstances and just how different a life he leads as a DCI in the Northumbria police force compared to how he could have lived and even though she knows his background I think even Anna is a little bit surprised by her present surroundings. She also has to deal with Ryan and his frustrations about not being able to actually investigate the person he wants to as he is in Italy as a visitor and is only allowed to observe the local police. But we all know that one way or another he will find a way to get involved and once again put himself at risk. As the investigations continue, previous undiscovered links and motives come to light which means things suddenly start to make sense.
When Mackenzie and Phillips are sent to Italy to help him and maybe just try to keep him a little bit under control its great to see the team back together again. You can’t help but love Frank’s reaction to where they will be staying and the fact of who it belongs to. His ability to poke fun at others but in a nice way often diffuses tense moments. Fans of the series will just love the ending that for me has been a while in coming and will put a smile on your face.
Reading the DCI Ryan books I have often planned to visit all the wonderful locations featured in the books, but I think the Hermitage will be the first one I would struggle with. I have managed to visit the lovely Hermitage at Warkworth Castle so that’s a big tick in the box, however I am not sure I will ever get to Italy, That being said LJ Ross has as always set the scene so well with her descriptive writing that I can imagine quite easily what the area is like and that is good enough for me (for now at least).
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.