Publication date: 8th March 2016 (Kindle)
This third book in the DCI Ryan series sees our long suffering Detective trying to weed out root of evil that is growing deep within our society, only this time the tables are turning.
Following the last run in with the wrong ‘uns in Black Cloaks and their clandestine gatherings, his relationship with Archeologist / Historian Anna grounds him during his suspension from the force while he’s sitting at home twiddling his thumbs.
That is until he receives a mysterious phone call requesting his presence at Heavenfield, a little church which is on a pilgrim’s trail for the Saint called Oswald. In typical Ryan fashion, intrigue all peaked, he trundles along to the remote location alone, aaaand all hell breaks loose. He now finds himself on the wrong side of the law, having been accused of a crime he didn’t commit. There’s just his word for the version of events, his and several witnesses who saw him looming over the body, of course.
Ever gleeful at the thorn-in-their-side’s downfall, the new appointed master to ‘The Circle’ is hatching plans like there’s no tomorrow, like all good egotistic maniacs should really. Ryan is well aware he has a target on his back after evading their previous planned attempts at revenge. To clear his name, he must discover their identity and flush The Master and their cronies out. That’s easier said than done.
His colleagues are forever ‘team Ryan’ and do not waiver. As their mounting suspicions extend to their own police force, higher authorities, and beyond, they adopt a ‘trust no one’ motto, so they can secretly clear Ryan’s name and catch the culprits in the process. Alas, not all is well on the domestic front following the discovery of a copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, which has strong ties to the Circle. This evidence, and more, confounds Anna and she has a hard time forgiving Ryan for keeping her at a distance, given the identity of the owner.
While team Ryan investigates, suspected members of The Circle themselves are experiencing a series of unfortunate events, including a prominent, cowardly man in a position of trust. His selfish snivelling really is quite something. Looking after number one is his priority as he fears for his safety and may need to call on the poor folks he’s tried to throw to the wolves in the past.
The forerunning suspects are cast aside as the story progresses, in fact, you’ll need the Hubble telescope to guess who’s behind the plotting on this occasion, it’s quite the conundrum to solve. Although I didn’t guess correctly, when all was revealed I must admit that a similar portrayal in a well known TV mystery series did strike a chord with me. Despite this, it’s incredibly well played and absolutely worthy of a read. However, I would suggest you start right at the beginning to get yourself up to speed with reasons why ritually-inclined oddballs have it in for our loveable grump of a detective chap. Otherwise I think you’d struggle to make sense of everything if you jump in at this point.
If you haven’t experienced this series yet, it’s certainly worth giving it a try.
(I must thank the author for kindly providing an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book for review. Thank you for getting in touch once again, it’s very much appreciated.)
FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND AND SYCAMORE GAP
The hunter becomes the hunted…
When a man is found dead at the remote church of Heavenfield, DCI Ryan is the only other person for miles around. The police have no weapon, no motive and no other suspects.
Already suspended from Northumbria CID, Ryan must fight to clear his name. But soon, more than his career is at stake when prominent members of the mysterious ‘Circle’ begin to die. Somebody wants Ryan’s name to be next on the coroner’s list and to survive he must unmask the devil who walks among them – before it is too late.
Unfortunately for Ryan, the devil looks just like everybody else…
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit from LJ Ross, set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, LJ Ross moved to London where she graduated from King’s College London with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law. After working in the City as a regulatory lawyer for a number of years, she realised it was high time for a change. The catalyst was the birth of her son, which forced her to take a break from the legal world and find time for some of the detective stories which had been percolating for a while and finally demanded to be written.
She lives with her husband and young son in the south of England, but will always be a northern girl at heart.
Her first book, “Holy Island”, has consistently been listed as an Amazon bestseller since its release in January 2015 and hit the Amazon UK Kindle #1 position in May 2015. Its sequel, “Sycamore Gap” was released on 11th September 2015.
If you would like to connect with LJ Ross, she would be very happy to hear from you: