- Author: LJ Ross
- Independently Published July 2017
- Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review, Books, Reading
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.
Detective Chief Inspector Maxwell Ryan and his fiancée, Doctor Anna Taylor are spending some downtime after the traumatic events of the previous case. Both their homes were lost in different ways during the course of the investigation and, although that was bad enough, it could have been a lot worse. They’ve been enjoying a quiet temporary stay at a holiday cottage in the grounds of the beautiful Cragside estate. Invited to the staff summer party, Ryan was less than happy about dressing up for a Victorian murder mystery themed evening.
The evening turns into a real whodunit with a definite period feel when the house is plunged into darkness, and the body of Victor, the owner’s valet and one of the attendees is found at the bottom of a staircase. Initially the death looks accidental, but as more is revealed about the victim’s life questions are raised. The intrigue and suspense intensifies when a second body is discovered and with several potential suspects and not much to go on, the team have their work cut out.
“That’s it – the wedding’s off!’
Detective Chief Inspector Maxwell Finlay-Ryan stood with his feet planted and his arms folded mutinously across his chest as he surveyed himself in the bedroom mirror. The reflection staring back at him was of a tall man decked out in a navy three-piece Victorian-era suit bearing the label of a local fancy dress outfitter, complete with burgundy silk cravat and matching pocket square. His black hair had been slicked back with a generous dollop of gel and a top hat was balanced precariously on his head.
LJ Ross delivers another wonderfully written book with the engaging characters I’ve come to love and who continue to develop and endear themselves. The entertaining banter and strong sense of trust and friendship is still very much in evidence. After the harrowing events of the previous book, Denise’s road to recovery is portrayed realistically and the evolving relationship between her and Phillips is heart warming, as they both try and find the right balance in order to work through the aftermath and get back to a normal life.
Ryan and Anna are two weeks away from their wedding and looking for somewhere to live. A couple of new characters are introduced, one of whom is teamed up with Lowerson. In a clever and unexpected twist, the second is someone who could potentially pose a threat, just as Ryan’s personal life is coming together.
Cragside House is almost a character in itself, as with all the locations in the series. I love how the settings are real places and the facts woven into the stories relating to each one are true. The descriptions in Cragside bring the house and grounds to life, planting pictures in the mind. These books have more than earned a place as one of my favourite ever series.
About LJ Ross
L.J. Ross is the author of the international #1 bestselling series of DCI Ryan mystery novels. Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and went on to become a Kindle UK #1 bestseller. Its sequels, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel and High Force have all been top five bestsellers. The novels are all available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store (the audiobook version of High Force will be released in early 2017). Holy Island is also available in German translation.
Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King’s College, University of London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory 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 Bath. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.