The Infirmary is the prequel to the DCI Ryan series filling in Ryan’s backstory pre Holy Island, and how he came to be taking a sabbatical at the start of the series. It’s also available in paperback and kindle.
Although anyone who is familiar with the books will have a fair idea of how this ends, it doesn’t detract from the impact of the drama in any way. If you’re new to the DCI Ryan series this would be a good place to start to get to know the characters and the origins of the team.
DCI Ryan and his good friend DS Frank Phillips of the Northumbria police force are fishing on their day off when they’re called in by Chief Superintendent Arthur Gregson. He’s just had word that John Dobbs, the prime suspect in a murder case, has jumped off the Tyne Bridge while being approached by two police officers. The SIO in charge of the case, Sharon Cooper, is unable to be contacted. Her tracker is showing she’s at home and her car is parked outside. Ryan has a bad feeling as he and Phillips race to Cooper’s house. What they find there signals the beginning of a manhunt for a chilling serial killer, who manages to stay one step ahead of the police.
Ryan, Phillips, DS MacKenzie and the team pick up the investigation in a darkly action packed and haunting chase.
The Infirmary is a brilliant production. Tom Bateman as Ryan and Kevin Whately as Frank Phillips are perfectly cast and capture the nuances of the characters superbly. Mark Bazeley—the killer and Bertie Carvel—the killer’s inner dialogue, both of whom are enough to make the blood run cold. Hermione Norris as the narrator, and the rest of the cast are all excellent and bring the story to life. The suspense is palpable and the pace is just right throughout. And, although the story is harrowing with the most terrifying and brutal villain, much of the violence is left to the imagination.
LJ Ross has done a great job giving an insight into, and greater understanding of, Ryan’s personality before the nightmare events that sent him to Holy Island, showing how those events influenced the person he became. He’s totally focused on his job and is determined to catch the killer.
I enjoy audiobooks and this dramatised version works very effectively, with appropriate background sounds and multiple voices giving a great sense of imagery. I could picture the story unfolding easily. At six and half hours listening time it’s a more concise story than the books but compelling nevertheless with realistic dialogue, a very well crafted plot.
Introducing a new multicast drama by LJ Ross, the author of the international number one best-selling series the DCI Ryan mysteries.
There’s a serial killer targeting the streets of Newcastle, seemingly picking his victims at random but subjecting them all to the same torturous end. When the Chief Inspector on the case goes missing, it falls on DCI Ryan to track down the man who is brutally murdering women and goading the police to ‘catch me if you can’.
As everyone becomes a suspect, Ryan and his team get drawn further and further into the case, but for Ryan the nightmare gets closer to home than he could ever have imagined.