Wednesday 22 May 2019

Guest Review: Heavenfield: A DCI Ryan Mystery by L J Ross

The hunter becomes the hunted…

When a man is found dead at the remote church of Heavenfield, DCI Ryan is the only other person for miles around. The police have no weapon, no motive and no other suspects.

Already suspended from Northumbria CID, Ryan must fight to clear his name. But soon, more than his career is at stake when prominent members of the mysterious ‘Circle’ begin to die. Somebody wants Ryan’s name to be next on the coroner’s list and to survive he must unmask the devil who walks among them – before it is too late. 

Unfortunately for Ryan, the devil looks just like everybody else…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit from LJ Ross, set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. 

This is the third book in the DCI Ryan mysteries series from this author. Having read the first two books in the series, I was keen to find out what was happening to DCI Ryan and his colleagues following the dramatic events at the end of the previous story, Sycamore Gap. Once again, I would not recommend this as a stand-alone novel; it very much carries on from the first two in the series and frequent mention is made of characters and incidents in these books. As I found with the previous books, I was completely hooked by this story from the very first page and was eager to return to it at each sitting.

This story finds DCI Ryan in deep trouble when a man is found murdered in the ancient and remote Heavenfield church deep in the Northumbrian countryside. Suspicion immediately falls on him as he is the only person in the vicinity at the time; his superior officer sees this as an ideal opportunity to get rid of him. The ensuing investigation soon becomes complicated by several other murders involving suspected members of the mysterious ‘circle’ of Satan worshippers that Ryan and his team have been looking into since the initial events on Holy Island. As one death follows another, the reader wonders who will be next and, indeed,  who can be trusted.

I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in the series. It is always good to meet up with familiar faces and learn a little more about them. DCI Ryan is an interesting character with his gruff exterior and soft centre; you really wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of the law in one of his investigations. In this particular story, I once again found myself worrying for all of his loyal team, and also his girlfriend Anna, as someone was methodically disposing of members of the murderous ‘circle’ and anyone else who got in their way. Ryan knows that he must find the leader of the group but this is complicated by the fact that that person could be just about anyone; their evil seems to have penetrated the whole police force. The book has been skilfully written, with clues leading the reader as well as the investigators down many dead ends in an attempt to identify the guilty parties, danger lurking round every corner. As light relief from the tense investigation, there are also moments of humour and romance within the story. I highly recommend this book as a fast moving murder mystery, but definitely suggest reading the first two books in the series first.

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

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