Author: LJ Ross
Category: Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Book Review
Viking treasure is discovered beneath the icy waters of the North Sea and local historian Doctor Anna Taylor is called in to help catalogue the most exciting hoard in living memory. But when a shipwreck diver washes up dead, she’s soon out of her depth. Luckily, she knows just the person to call…
Set in Seahouses on the Northumbrian coast, this latest mystery sees DCI Ryan involved with marine archaeology and the ruthless world of deep-sea diving for wrecks.
Iain Tucker is an expert marine archaeologist based at Durham University. He’s been diving around the Farne Islands for a long time, convinced the wreck of a Viking longboat is down on the sea bed somewhere. When Doctor Anna Taylor-Ryan, a colleague, receives a call from Iain she arranges to meet him at The Cockle Inn, but Iain hasn’t turned up for the meeting and is nowhere to be found.
At the Northumbria Criminal Investigation Department, Ryan and his team are sent the details of an unidentified male who has washed up on the rocks at Longstone lighthouse in the outer group of the Farne Islands, made famous through the story of Grace Darling. This investigation uncovers much more than expected, the team having to contend with locals with secrets and other people wanting to claim the glory for an important historical find.
Anna paused, choosing her next words with care.
“The discovery of a Viking longboat in these waters isn’t just remarkable from an archaeological perspective,” she said. “Depending on the date of Iain’s find, it has the potential to rewrite the whole timeframe of the Viking era, as we know it.”
Ryan was a quick study.
“That’s the kind of fame somebody could kill for,” he said, and turned to Phillips with renewed energy. “C’mon Doctor Dolittle, Let’s find out whether any of the locals wanted a taste of immortality.”
Longstone incorporates an intriguing mystery as well as interesting historical snippets in the well written, multi layered plot. The setting of the Farne Islands and the roiling North sea have their part to play and I felt for Phillips having to brave the frightening power of the ocean. This is another exciting and well paced story line fraught with danger and intrigue.
The sympathetic secondary characters—in particular, Hutch and Gemma who run The Cockle Inn—play a pivotal role in a story that kept me guessing right up to the surprising reveal.
I love the main characters and how their stories have evolved. Ryan and Phillips are the perfect team, probably because they are complete opposites but play off each other extremely well, with Phillips often and unintentionally lightening the mood. It’s especially good to see Jack Lowerson back, even if he is a little subdued after his recent experiences, and of course, the gorgeous setting which is described in crisp and evocative detail.
It was a beautiful spot; a golden sandy beach swept out for miles beneath a mighty castle fortress perched on a craggy hilltop where, once, early kings of England had reigned.
Images of Longstone & Seahouses by Naomi Booth from Pixabay
About the Author
LJ Ross is the author of the #1 international bestselling series of DCI Ryan mystery novels and her books have sold more than three million copies since 2015. She has released ten full-length novels, seven of which have reached number one in the Amazon UK Kindle best-sellers chart. They are available to purchase in e-book, print and audiobook narration on the Amazon store.
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