Author: L.J. Ross
Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review
Beware what lies beneath…
One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now.
Beginning with a darkly descriptive prologue, three friends’ on a camping trip in a demolition area results in the murder of one of them. Thinking they are safe because the valley is destined to be a new reservoir, the other two carry on with their lives as normal. Until, thirty-two years later, Oliver and Lisa are having a scuba diving lesson at Kielder Water and Lisa makes a gruesome discovery when she inadvertently dislodges a secret from the depths of the reservoir.
Anna and Ryan have just returned from their honeymoon and Anna is leading a weekend residential course with post graduate history students. As she and her party arrive at the rented holiday lodges on the banks of the reservoir they witness the dramatic rescue and resuscitation of a young woman who got into difficulties while diving.
Ryan has a new boss to contend with at Northumbria CID. DSC Jennifer Lucas and Ryan are old adversaries and Ryan is aware of her agenda and her grudge, although at the moment he’s not sure what he can do about it.
Ryan could stand no more. He pushed away from the wall and out of the room, uncaring of who might see. He would not stay and listen to a lot of crowd-pleasing nonsense which had, ever-so-subtly, shoved a knife in the back of his team of detectives. They were dedicated men and women who had committed themselves to seeking justice for victims of the most serious crimes one human being could inflict upon another.
And now, Lucas wanted to undermine everything they had done to bolster her own public persona?
It was sickening.
Lucas tries to keep Ryan chained to his desk, putting Phillips in charge of the cold case investigation, but it’s not long before Ryan is taking an active part, regardless of Lucas’ manipulations. The engaging characters go a long way to making the stories as good as they are. Ryan, Frank Phillips, Denise McKenzie, Jack Lowerson and Melanie Yates are great foils for each other and I just hope Lowerson realises his mistake before he’s in too deep. Not forgetting Anna, of course. She and Ryan make a perfect couple.
This is a series that just keeps getting better. The previous books have inspired me to visit the settings but this time I was familiar with the location. Kielder Water and the forest are amazingly atmospheric, tranquil and picturesque, not the kind of place that should be harbouring a horrific decades old secret. It’s beauty is brought to life with evocative and descriptive prose.
I love that although the cases are mostly resolved in each story, I say mostly because realistically not every villain is caught immediately, the characters’ storylines and personal lives are ongoing and continue to develop. There are also references and tie-ins to past storylines which, again, keeps up the realism. LJ Ross has the knack of scene setting and putting the reader right there, in the middle of the action, with great writing, a twisty plot and the engaging characters that I love.
LJ 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 reached number one in the Amazon Kindle UK best sellers chart. Its sequels, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel and High Force were all top five UK best sellers and she recently hit the top of the charts again with her sixth book, Cragside, which was number one in the UK on pre-orders alone. The novels are all available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store, as well as in selected independent bookshops. Holy Island is also available in German translation. 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.