Holy Island; LJ Ross

holy island

When LJ Ross reached out to me and asked if I would like to read her book, I took one look at the blurb and knew it would be right up my street.

[The Plot]: Detective  Chief Inspector Ryan retreated to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective.  A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.
When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past.  She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.

Just from my initial read of the blurb, I knew I was going to love Holy Island and I could not have been more right in my presumptions.  DCI Ryan is staying on the island of Lindisfarne during sabbatical leave from his duties.  During the past couple of months, he has mingled with the local residents to a certain extent, but has really kept himself to himself.  He has a certain mysterious air about him and the more you read the more you learn about him and his past.  As he slowly reveals himself to Anna, I find their relationship to be really honest to the real world.  There is a bit of a battle between the two characters at the beginning of the book, but their attraction and curiosity of each other takes over.  I find this to be a much more realistic relationship progression than many books I’ve read and I found it really refreshing.

I’m a big fan of crime, thriller and mystery books at the moment, and I found Holy Island to have a truly original plot.  Ross’ writing style manages to combine the descriptive narration along with the action and dialogue in a way that keeps you engrossed in the story.  I can be guilty of skimming through books I find to be too descriptive, but this was not the case with Holy Island.  I didn’t want to put the book down and actually ended up staying up really late just so I could finish it before going to sleep.

The ending of Holy Island could not have been more perfect.  The mystery is completely wrapped up, and just when you are getting past the shock of finding out who the murderer is, you are hit with another cliff hanger.  I’m itching to find out what happens next to DCI Ryan and Anna.  Overall, I really loved this book, it’s dark with just enough humour and the romance doesn’t take away from the story.  I’m really looking forward to ‘Sycamore Gap’ which is due to be released on the 12th of September.

If you are a fan of mystery and crime books at all, I really do recommend you giving Holy Island a read.. it will not let you down!

I rate this book five out of five stars.

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Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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