The Hermitage (DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9) by @LJRoss_author Suspenseful #crimefiction #FridayReads

Author: LJ Ross

Published: Kindle Edition

Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Book Review

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… 

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan and his wife Anna, have left Northumberland for Italy in pursuit of Nathan Armstrong, the psychopathic killer who first made his appearance in Dark Skies.

Ryan is determined to bring him to justice once and for all but is hampered by the slower pace of the Italian policing system and Armstrong’s celebrity status as the author of an international best seller. Armstrong has an inflated sense of self-worth, money and connections which give him a feeling of invincibility, a conviction that he will always be able to stay one step ahead.

Ryan and Anna are staying at the luxurious Ryan family villa in Florence, mainly because it’s surrounded by high walls and has the best security system money could buy. Safety was important, especially since Anna was with him. 

Back in Northumberland Phillips and MacKenzie are investigating the mysterious death of Edward Charon. His body was discovered in the hermitage, an old priest’s dwelling carved into the cliff on the northern bank of the River Coquet in Warkworth. The only way to reach the hermitage was by boat and Charon was one of the boatmen who ferried people across the river.

The sun had risen higher in the sky, burning away the misty fret that had rolled in from the North Sea to shroud the village, leaving a clear, crisp morning in its wake. Stone-built cottages and shops lined the main village square and the castle towered proudly above it all in the wintry landscape,  its pale gold walls sprinkled with a layer of frost that shimmered like diamonds as it melted in the gathering heat.

“Pretty place,” Phillips said. “What did you say the old feller’s name was?”

“Charon,” MacKenzie told him “Edward Charon.” 

“Why would anybody hurt some old codger who manned a rowing boat?”       

MacKenzie frowned as she pulled into the castle car park. “That’s what we’ll have to find out, Frank.”

As MacKenzie and Phillips dig deeper into Chalon’s background they unearth some surprising facts. 

Warkworth, in fact Northumberland as a whole, is a favourite place of mine and last time we were there, we took the rowboat across the river to the Hermitage. A very atmospheric place and incredible how it was carved out of the rocky cliff all those years ago. I love when I can picture the setting so clearly. 

This is another compelling addition to the series and taking Ryan away from his normal environment enhances and gives an extra layer to the story. I could picture the Italian settings, so well were they described, and I enjoyed finding out more about Ryan and his family background, how it contrasts with his and Anna’s life in Northumberland. 

Ryan isn’t used to standing back and waiting while another detective takes the lead, especially one who isn’t convinced he, Ryan, is on the right track. How can a famous and feted author be the dangerous psychopathic killer Ryan is convinced his is? Surely he has made a mistake. Although quite pleasant and appearing willing to further Ryan’s investigation, albeit at his own pace, it leaves the reader wondering if Inspector Ricci is actually being as helpful as it seems.

The Hermitage is a fast paced and exciting tale with, danger, intrigue and connections with the mafia. LJ Ross weaves the storylines together seamlessly and the settings are brought to life wonderfully, as always. Everything is tied up nicely, the ending is delightful and I love that Philips always manages unwittingly to lighten the mood.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law at King’s College 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 before 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. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

5 thoughts on “The Hermitage (DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9) by @LJRoss_author Suspenseful #crimefiction #FridayReads

  1. Well, you already got me to add Holy Island to my TBR last time you reviewed one of this series so I’m safe today – phew! How great that you’ve actually got a picture of the Hermitage – looks like a fab setting for crime…

    Liked by 1 person

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