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DCI Ryan Books In Order

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Publication Order of DCI Ryan Books

Holy Island (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sycamore Gap (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heavenfield (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Angel (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
High Force (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cragside (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Skies (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Seven Bridges (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hermitage (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Longstone (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Infirmary (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moor (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Penshaw (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Borderlands (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ryan's Christmas (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shrine (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cuthbert's Way (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rock (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bamburgh (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lady's Well (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Rocks (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chronologically, The Infirmary is a prequel to the series although the author advises that you read in publication order.
The name ‘DCI Ryan’ refers to a crime fiction series of novels written by L.J. Ross. The books follow the exploits of DCI Ryan.

The DCI Ryan novels begin with ‘Holy Island’. Holy Island is an actual place. They call it Lindisfarne. Located in North East England, the island is rich with history and tourists from all over the world visit it with the intention of exploring that history.

Because these books are categorized under the ‘DCI Ryan Mysteries’ name, it isn’t surprising to learn that Detective Chief Inspector Ryan takes center stage in this series. When he is first introduced, Ryan has been forced to undertake a sabbatical leave.

However, his attempts at finding peace are complicated when the remains of a young woman are found at a historical sight. Even though he isn’t on duty, Ryan’s instincts won’t allow him to ignore case, especially one that might have a depraved killer at its heart.

This book sets the tone for all the books in the DCI Ryan series that follow. Anyone that has read crime fiction will recognize the style and themes present in the DCI Ryan books. As with most literary crime dramas, the DCI Ryan books are led by a tortured law enforcement operative.

In the case of DCI Ryan, the death of his sister still haunts him. Not only does it strain his career, but every decision he makes after his sister’s tragic passing is informed in some way by her death and thoughts of the man that took her life.

As with most crime fiction protagonists, Ryan’s tragic past is what drives him to be such a great detective. He seems to have a head for understanding and catching killers that escape many of his colleagues.

However, Ryan is no genius. L.J. Ross chooses to not burden him with some extraordinary gift which allows him to better solve crimes. While such abilities tend to set the heroes of most crime fiction series apart, the fact that Ryan is sometimes presented as just another Detective Chief Inspector who just happens to work really hard once he catches the scent of a case allows the DCI Ryan series to stand out.

The DCI Ryan books delve into the history of North East England, using local myths, legends and cults to drum up plots. While the books have been advertised as intense thrillers, they are hardly the darkest psychological dramas in the world.

And the killers in the DCI Ryan series are hardly the most brutal and depraved in the crime fiction genre. It is worth noting that while the DCI Ryan books are a series featuring recurring characters like DCI Ryan, his girlfriend Anna Taylor and veteran DS Frank Phillips, many of the novels can be read as standalones.

Certainly, understanding the relationships between the characters, the trials they have encountered in the past and the manner in which their bonds have been tested can make the DCI Ryan series more enjoyable.

However, each new book provides enough snippets of information about what happened in the past that readers can jump aboard at any moment. However, L.J. Ross would rather her readers tackled her series from the very beginning.

L.J. Ross is a pseudonym for Louise Ross. Ross is an English author that was born in Northumberland. The author studied at King’s College London, eventually graduating with degrees in Law and spending several years practicing as an attorney in the city.

Ross met her husband during her college years. It was during the months following the birth of her son that Ross began writing her first book. After visiting Lindisfarne, the author was so thoroughly impressed by the atmosphere of the Island that she couldn’t believe no one had written a crime thriller set on the location. It wasn’t long before the author’s wondering mind drove her to produce the draft for ‘Holy Island’ in 2015.

Ross chose to self-publish her first novel instead of going the traditional publishing route, and the decision paid off. Ross’ first novel quickly climbed to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, and her next couple of novels continued to receive similar success.

Ross soon grew so confident in her abilities that when traditional publishers came knocking and made her an offer, she turned it down, choosing to remain rooted in the self-publishing field. Ross used her husband’s name when she was creating her pseudonym, the idea being to honor him for all the support he had provided her during her pursuit of a publishing career.

Ross took a leap of faith when she became a writer. She had to give up a career that paid rather well to get her books out, and her husband was more than happy to support her choices in this area.

Holy Island Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island believing that he will enjoy some peace. The Sabbatical leave wasn’t his choice but he is willing to embrace the peace. However, complications arise when remains are found amongst ancient ruins.

Ryan is drawn into the case, though he isn’t alone. Doctor Anna Taylor is a police consultant with roots on Holy Island. As she struggles to overcome her old memories, Ryan and Anna work together to catch a killer.

The first book in the DCI Ryan Mystery series finds DCI Ryan on an island of only 200 people one of whom is a killer. DCI Ryan is a strong silent man who draws the interest of Doctor Anna Taylor. The pair concludes that someone on the island is practicing old and dangerous religious rites, the kind that might threaten the local populace.

Sycamore Gap The remains of a woman found in the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap throw DCI Ryan’s life into chaos. As Ryan tries to piece together the clues surrounding the ten-year-old case, he is forced to contend with demons he thought he had left in the past.

There is a killer on the loose, one that might actually be unstoppable. The second book in the DCI Ryan series finds DCI Ryan and his girlfriend looking into the death of a girl that was killed a decade ago. There seems to be a pagan cult in play.

Book Series In Order » Characters » DCI Ryan

15 Responses to “DCI Ryan”

  1. p cachart: 12 months ago

    am on my 3rd read ,all books in order

  2. Denise Nesbitt: 1 year ago

    I have just finished Holy Island and have a couple more at home which apparently are much later in the series with DCI Ryan. Thankfully I read the comments above and will progress through the series in order so as I type I am awaiting delivery of Sycamore Gap and Heavenfield. We regularly visit Northumberland on our motorbike so am familiar with the amazing scenery!

  3. Joan Brocklebank: 1 year ago

    When will Death Rocks be published please as I have now read all the Ryan novels and would very much look forward to the continuation of the journey, with all the characters in these novels .. in fact I feel as though I have lost touch with my family !!!
    Wonderfully descriptive of Northumberland and researched so that you can visualise every scene . Thank you LJRoss

  4. Jennifer Barrie: 1 year ago

    Just finished The Shrine recommended to me by local library. Really enjoyed the story and it’s characters. Wish I’d started from the 1st book, but will continue with the one after this. I have read all Shetland books, but have enjoyed DCI Ryan equally, perhaps even more.
    I am 75 years old and have always found reading a great pleasure.

  5. Maggie Pinnell: 1 year ago

    I wasn’t expecting The Infirmary to be a prequel and I cannot understand why having gone through the whole saga about Gregson why the need to resurrect him again? I do not feel I want to continue with this book, but hate giving up without an adequate explanation?
    Perhaps someone can enlighten me please.
    Many thanks

  6. Julie Thompson: 1 year ago

    As I am from Northumberland I find these books fascinating. I found the first one by chance on audible and and now making my way through the series.

  7. J Stephenson: 2 years ago

    I’ve only read 4 of Ross’ books, 2 of which are about DCI Ryan. I am enjoying them and looking forward to the next one in the series which I am about to start

  8. Peggy: 2 years ago

    I have listened to all of the DC Ryan books on audible and each time I finish one I can’t wait to listen to the next one. I think they are very well written and the stories are very well balanced. I do hope there are going to be some more.

  9. Tracy: 2 years ago

    I find I want to like this series, as there is enough good to make me read the next book each time I finish. However, the author uses such cringe-worthy vocabulary for description— what seems to be a century old— that I have to stop mid-read. She seems stuck on characters curling their lips— who in the world has used that phrase in the last 60 years? Many things like that tend to turn me off. She seems to be intent on churning these books out a little too quickly. She has the basics for a good series, but wish she would do a better job with the written word.

  10. Leaston: 2 years ago

    I just wanted to echo a message earlier, this definitely should be made into a TV drama, I’ve read them all twice 🙂

  11. Pauline Martin: 2 years ago

    Could these books possibly be made into a television series. The locations are fantastic and the leading characters both strong and have good storylines.
    Could this rival Vera. Let’s hope some time in the future it may be possible.

    • Lynn: 2 years ago

      It could absolutely rival Vera, love Anne Cleves but LJ is much better.

    • elaine robertson: 1 year ago

      totally agree, why not on tv?stunning locations, good stories, why not?

  12. Simmobb2: 3 years ago

    LJR has a strange turn of phrase at times. “Motorcycle driver and “leaped” instead of leapt spring to mind. The list of books is not in the correct order as ‘The Infirmary’ is clearly earlier than the 4 previous books in the list.

    • Graeme: 3 years ago


      The list is in the correct order of when the books were published. There’s also a note on it stating that The Infirmary is a prequel to the series. Thanks.


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