LJ Ross: Holy Island


Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats 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.

Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.


I’ve heard so much about DCI Ryan, so it seemed like high time I found out what I was missing, and boy, have I been missing out! I love LJ Ross’ writing and her ability to bring me in to the story and keep me engaged is brilliant.

DCI Ryan is a very well depicted character. Ross makes it clear from the beginning that he has lived through some tragic circumstances. I was interested to see what had happened in his past and how it affected his actions during the course of the investigation. I think there is definitely more to come from him in future instalments and I look forward to seeing how his character develops.

Holy Island takes its title from the location in which it is set. I went on holiday in this area when I was younger and it is a beautiful part of the country. Ross describes this beauty wonderfully and really conveys the character of the place and its potential as a crime scene. I could picture every scene and I really enjoyed being transported to Lindisfarne.

The investigation into the deaths on Holy Island is incredibly tense and there are a number of suspects. I was very intrigued by what had happened and I loved the twists and turns as the plot reached a head.

I chose to listen to Holy Island through Audible. The narration was one of the best narrations I have ever heard as Jonathan Keeble added expression and tension, as well as brilliant characterisation, including local accents.

Holy Island is available from Amazon.

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