Thursday 14 July 2022

Guest Review: Bamburgh by AJ Ross


When a cantankerous old woman dies at her home in the sleepy, picturesque village of Bamburgh, DCI Ryan doesn’t think much of it—except, that is, for the small matter of it having been his wife who happened to find her body. Then another body turns up amongst the sand dunes at the base of the mighty castle fortress, and he decides it can’t be a coincidence…

Meanwhile, after a recent revelation about her sister, DC Melanie Yates’ quest to avenge her death is becoming an obsession—much to the concern of those around her. With a new DCS to contend with and hundreds of cold case files to sift through, the chances of uncovering a dormant killer seem unlikely. But as Melanie delves deeper into the secrets of the past to uncover the truth, she soon realises it lies much closer to home…

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

Review: This is book 19 in the DCI Ryan Mysteries series from AJ Ross, which follows the life and career of this policeman and his team at the serious crime division of Northumbria constabulary. I have been following this series from the very start and have enjoyed getting to know Ryan, his wife, Anna, and his colleagues as they have worked on various crimes in the north-east of England. Each book can be read as a standalone, but it is helpful to know the relationships among the main characters, so I would advise reading some previous books in the series before this one.

In this story, there are two crimes being investigated by the team. One is the recent murder of an elderly property owner in the small village of Bamburgh, and the other is a cold case involving the murder of the sister of one of Ryan’s colleagues, DC Melanie Yates, 15 years previously. As the team focuses on the murder in Bamburgh and the possible motive, Melanie is becoming obsessed with finding her sister’s killer and is getting dangerously close to the truth. Can her colleagues stop her before she becomes another victim of a ruthless serial killer?

I found this an extremely exciting and gripping tale, with light relief provided by humorous interludes, mainly in the form of banter between Ryan and his DS Frank Philips. Unusually, the reader is not given clues to the identity of the killer of Melanie’s sister, but is taken back 15 years and told the name. I was a little disappointed by this, as I enjoy trying to work it out along with Ryan. Returning characters in this story included Dr Alexander Gregory, a forensic psychologist who features in another series written by this author that I have enjoyed. The climax of the present story was particularly thrilling and had me on the edge of my seat. I feel that there may be some fallout from the action in future stories and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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

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