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LJ Ross Books In Order

Publication Order of DCI Ryan Books

Holy Island (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sycamore Gap (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Heavenfield (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Angel (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
High Force (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cragside (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

L.J. Ross is an English author made popular by her bestselling DCI Ryan mystery series of novels. Ross was born in Ponteland, Northumberland and attended the Darras Hall First School, Central Newcastle High and Dame Allans, before she proceeded to Kings College at the University of London to undertake a degree course in law. She wrote her first novel “Holy Island”, the first novel in her DCI Ryan Mysteries in 2015. The novel received much popularity and commercial success that it is known as the novel that knocked Paula Hawkins’ fan favorite “The Girl on the Train” off the UK Kindle’s bestseller list. Before she got into practicing law, she would study at the Sorbonne in Paris and in Florence, studies that she saw as essential to rounding up her education profile. While she will always be a northerner at heart, she currently lives with her husband and their son in Bath on the outskirts of London where she spends her days writing her detective mysteries.

Ross loved books from a very early age when she would find old books from her mother’s chest that she would staple and illustrate during her middle school years. Even as she has a varied taste in the types of novels that she reads, and will not mind reading the odd women’s fiction or a romance. However, she has always been a fan of vintage fiction and lists mystery and crime protagonist Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle’s Miss Marple as her favorite characters. She was a great reader right from childhood and read the likes of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and the Secret of Moon Castle by Enid Blyton. As a teenager, she pivoted to the more serious literature from the likes of M.M. Kaye whose novel Far Pavillions she read for hours at a time enchanted by the vivid descriptions and the romance. Nonetheless, it is the vintage crime authors such as Agatha Christie and Daphne du Maurier, which have had the most influence on her work with her DCI Ryan Mysteries.

After practicing law for nearly ten years in London, the stressful environment and the long hours began to take their toll. Thinking of a creative venture that would take her away from her job, she fell pregnant with her son. Motherhood was a very exciting prospect for L.J. Ross, though she was still unsatisfied with her career that would not give her the flexibility she desired to have as a mother. With a passion for writing and reading, a writing career seemed the most plausible way to express her creativity. The idea for the first novel in the series came while she was traveling to Edinburgh with her husband. Passing Holy Island, she observed that it would be the perfect setting for an Agatha style whodunit novel. Jotting down some ideas, she sent an initial draft of “Holy Island” to some publishers and agents and actually got callbacks and a few offers from a publisher an agent. Following the advice of her husband, she rejected both offers and decided to publish on Amazon Kindle, which she found less risky as the real investment was minimal. Apart from the editing, which her husband proudly did, she did not have to pay anything, and was pleasantly surprised when the novel took off. She has been publishing as an Indie ever since.

The DCI Ryan Mysteries are set in Northumberland, which is a region of England that the author is particularly familiar with, given that she grew up there. These are fast-paced mystery and murder novels peppered with a bit of romance and humor. Even as the settings are a character in themselves, the novels are by no means a tourist guide to the locality as the stories are more about the characters that populate the novels. The lead protagonist in the novels is DCI Ryan, who unlike most of his contemporaries such as DCI Vera Stanhope or DCI Kate Daniels, does not have to navigate the dirty back lanes or sleazy basements of the large cities. However, even as Ryan is a southerner, the grim industrial north fits him just fine as he has very few quirks of character. He is not an alcoholic neither does he enjoy jazz. DCI Ryan is the strong, silent type of character that always seems to have some woman chasing after him. Nonetheless, given that he is a homicide detective, he also deals with demons from past cases that often haunt his days.

Set on the historic Holy Island otherwise known as Lindisfarne, “Holy Island” is a gripping novel that introduces Detective Chief Inspector Ryan. Ryan has retreated to Holy Island to recover from a tragic case that had a particularly bad effect on his psyche. A few days into his sabbatical, the tranquility is broken when the body of a young woman is discovered abandoned on the ruins of the nearby monastery buildings. He is now back in action trying to decipher just who would kill a girl and place her in the strangest position, in a community that barely had 200 people. Dr. Anna Taylor, a former local girl is assigned to the case and arrives to help DCI Ryan try to solve the case. Just like Ryan, she also has demons from her past which haunt her days. Struggling to find a killer that is hiding in plain sight, while navigating small town politics and pagan rituals that muddy the waters, romance is blossoming between the two tortured souls, threatening to slow down the investigation.

“Sycamore Gap”, the second novel in the DCI Ryan series of novels is an excellent novel about the adventures of the handsome and troubled Detective Chief Inspector Ryan. Weaving in eerie isolated parks, foggy evenings and a setting in the historic 2000-year-old Hadrian’s Wall, the fast-paced detective thriller will have you in thrall from the first page to the last. He is called in to investigate when an unidentified body of a girl believed to have been killed about a decade earlier, is found in the wall. The girl has apparently been killed during the Summer Solstice, which gives the case some connection to the occult. The members of The Circle the cult that he had infiltrated and destroyed in “Holy Land” seem to have reemerged. The cult, run by some of the most influential members of the society could have high-ranking law enforcement officers among its adherents. Could they be interfering with the investigations?

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