Wednesday 10 April 2019

Guest Review: Sycamore Gap: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L J Ross


The past never stays buried for long...

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan's job to piece together her past.

Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian's Wall country in Northumberland.

This is the second book in the DCI Ryan Mysteries, following on from Holy Island, the first in the series. As soon as I finished reading the first book, I wanted to carry on following DCI Ryan and find out what happened next after the events on Holy Island. Once again, I found myself completely immersed in this story from the very first page. I’m not sure that I could recommend this book as a stand-alone; enough reference is made to events that happened on Holy Island to make the reader want to go back and read that book first. 

This story begins at the summer solstice, when, at Sycamore Gap, a location on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, the skeleton of a young girl is discovered by a walker. It appears to have been buried within the wall. DCI Ryan and his team have the task of finding out the identity of the girl, how she died and how she came to be buried in this spot 10 years previously. The investigation becomes complicated by the discovery of another body, this time a recent kill, at the same spot. Further enquiries reveal a pattern of similar disappearances at this time of year. There are worrying links to incidents in book 1 of the series, leading to very real concern about how many more people are going to be in danger before the killer is caught.

I have really enjoyed catching up with DCI Ryan again. After reading the first book I was left with the desire to find out how his personal life would develop and was pleased to find him slowly but surely recovering from those terrible events. The present story once again was filled with feelings of danger around every corner and I found myself worried for all of the team investigating the murders and for DCI Ryan’s partner, Anna. The pages of the book almost drip with evil, coming from multiple directions. Although the investigation reached a conclusion, there is definitely more to be discovered about who and what is behind these crimes. I would recommend this book as a gripping whodunnit, but would strongly suggest reading book 1 first.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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