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.

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The Dark Angel (Ruth Galloway #10) by Elly Griffiths ~ Archaeology & Italy #CrimeFiction #Mystery @ellygriffiths

Author: Elly Griffiths

Published: February 2018 by Quercus

Category: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Book Review

Dr Ruth Galloway is flattered when she receives a letter from Italian archaeologist Dr Angelo Morelli, asking for her help. He’s discovered a group of bones in a tiny hilltop village but doesn’t know what to make of them. It’s years since Ruth has had a holiday, and even a working holiday to Italy is very welcome!

Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway leaves Norfolk behind for the hilltop town of Castello degli Angeli in sunny Italy when she receives a phone call from an old colleague and one time lover, Angelo Morelli. Bones have been discovered at a dig in the Liri Valley. They could possibly be Roman, but there are some inconsistencies and Ruth’s expertise is called for. Ruth is feeling an unusual need for a holiday after events lately, and the realisation that DCI Harry Nelson’s wife’s surprise pregnancy has spelled the end of her newly burgeoning hopes, despite the fact there are doubts about the paternity of Michelle’s baby. So, together with her daughter Kate, best friend Shona and Shona’s son Louis, Ruth travels to Italy.

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The Lost Centurion ~ The Immortals #1

  • CenturionAuthor: Monica La Porta
  • Published: June 2014 by Monica La Porta
  • Category: Paranormal, Romance
  • four-half-stars

Marcus has sworn to avenge his wife’s death—even if it takes an eternity to hunt down the vampire who murdered her. Once a Roman Centurion, Marcus is now immortal and, for the past two thousand years, impervious to human emotions. 

Marcus was saved by Apollo, with the gift of immortality, after suffering a deadly battle wound and has been searching for the man who killed his wife for over two thousand years. Marcus’ search has brought him back to Rome and now, finally, he has a lead on the vampire, Claudius, who was seen leaving his house the night his wife, Aurelia, died. 

Everything changes for Marcus the night he rescues Diana Valente. As Marcus arrives to meet Virgil, the informant, he’s drawn into a brawl between Virgil and several other vampires. Virgil has turned a human girl into a vampling to save her life but without her consent. After Virgil is fatally wounded Marcus finds himself cast in the role of Diana’s protector. She is totally reliant on Marcus and knowing nothing of the world of vampires and immortals she struggles with the changes taking place.

The girl didn’t resist; she barely seemed aware of what was happening around her, but cried when he lifted her. She weighed nothing in his arms, and from what he could see, her body was covered in bruises. The most prominent ones were around her neck, where the vampire had tried to strangle her, but her skin was marred all the way under her blouse.

Claudius’ vampire nest is now hunting Diana, and as Marcus has forfeited the protection of the pact made between Vampires and Immortals by becoming a renegade, his life is also in danger. Claudius, who demands the return of his vampling, has no intention of giving up the chase. Marcus must choose between saving Diana or avenging his wife’s death.

The descriptions of Rome, past and present, and the places in Italy are beautifully written and paint a vivid picture; Marcus’ house, the Forum, Alexander’s villa to name a few, giving a real sense of Rome as it is and how it was. The plot winds its way along with some surprises and unexpected twists with plenty of action and romance. The relationship between Marcus and Diana evolves unpretentiously and the characters are written convincingly. And I like the different take on the vampire angle. This is a series I’ll follow.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US 

About the author

MonicaMonica La Porta is an Italian who landed in Seattle several years ago. Despite popular feelings about the Northwest weather, she finds the mist and the rain the perfect conditions to write. Being a strong advocate of universal acceptance and against violence in any form and shape, she is also glad to have landed precisely in Washington State. She is the author of The Ginecean Chronicles, a dystopian/science fiction series set on the planet Ginecea where women rule over a race of enslaved men and heterosexual love is considered a sin. She also published two other series: the futuristic love story across the universe, Elios & Gaia, narrated in two books; and the paranormal romance/urban fantasy series The Immortals set in Rome. Stop by her blog to read about her miniatures, sculptures, paintings, and her beloved beagle, Nero. Sometimes, she also posts about her writing.
Author links:, Twitter, The Ginecean Chronicles and The Prince’s Day Out