Holy Island by LJ Ross


Author : LJ Ross
Title : Holy Island
Series : DCI Ryan Mysteries
Pages : 421
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : January 1, 2015


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.


When I’m in doubt as to what to read next, since I apparently have way too many options available to me, I start a new series. I tell you, Dee-Logic will rule the world some day! 😉

Hence my first foray into the DCI Ryan Mysteries by LJ Ross. I’d seen the latest book in the series go around the internet but I didn’t know anything about it. Holy Island is the first book in what seems to be quite a popular series.

DCI Ryan was forced to take a sabbatical after events from a previous case and chose Holy Island to escape to. When the body of a young woman is found a few days before Christmas, his peaceful life on the island comes to an end. But the murder also happened on the eve of Solstice so could it be ritualistic? Enter Doctor Anna Taylor. She used to live on the island but left and has now returned to act as a consultant on the case.

Since the island is cut off at high tide because the causeway floods, the killer can only be a resident. I absolutely loved that secluded setting as it presents numerous problems like not having a police station or an appropriate place to hold a potential suspect and having to conduct an entire investigation in someone’s living room.

However, I tend to prefer my crime fiction without romance. And so, for me, I found the attraction between Ryan and Anna incredibly distracting. I also felt that despite the author’s valiant efforts to create a complex plot, there was always going to be an element of predictability. I thought the story was a bit choppy; it didn’t really flow for me, nor did it truly grab me. All in all, this wasn’t the book for me but don’t let that stop you from giving it a go as I’m quite clearly in the minority. It happens!

Holy Island was published in 2015.

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  4 comments for “Holy Island by LJ Ross

  1. July 17, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Weirdly, some authors can make me crave for their characters’ romance in crime fiction, like in the Kay series, in which she’s married. They’re too cute! But usually I agree. The romance must stay on the back burner, and I enjoy my blood cold and focused, haha!

    Liked by 2 people

    • RamblingLisa
      July 17, 2017 at 11:52 am

      I’m the same on the romance front! I read a book once and it had serious erotica in it, it made me afraid to read haha!! But yes, I think romance can take away from the grit of the story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 18, 2017 at 9:58 am

        It absolutely can! I quite prefer my crime fiction dark and gritty without the sappy stuff, thank you! 😄


    • July 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

      I’m the same and can’t quite explain it either. I think though in many instances when two people fall for each other and are actively working on the same case, you just know where it’s going to go. I don’t like predictability 😄

      Liked by 1 person

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