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Holy Island

Author: LJ Ross

Published: 1 January 2015

Reviewed: 17 August 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Maxine at Booklover Catlady Publicity and LJ Ross in return for an honest review

 

Description:

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a murder 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.

My Thoughts & Review:

LJ Ross is a new author for me, and one I will definitely be following closely from now on, Holy Island is the first instalment of the DCI Ryan Mysteries and if this is anything to go by you will be as keen to read the rest of the books as I am.

Immediately Ross throws the reader into the abyss, a murder scene is the theme for the opening page.  The body of Lucy Mathieson is discovered at Lindisfarne Priory and soon DCI Ryan is on the scene, he takes on the case and is assisted by Dr Taylor in form of Pagan expert.   From there the investigation spirals into an intense murder mystery that will delight readers.  No spoilers or hints as to the plot, this book is far too good to give anything away!

The characters are superb, DCI Ryan is is flawed, struggling with his demons but still strong and and sensitive.  Anna Taylor compliments Ryan’s character well, strong, intelligent and not someone to take for granted.  The author writes the blossoming relationship between these characters well, it does not detract from the story or become bits to skip over like you might with others books.

I particularly liked the contrast of the beautiful settings with the horrific murders, incredibly well thought out and executed.  Overall, this is a very cleverly written novel, deviating from the well trodden path followed by authors of this genre, so that readers are kept guessing what will happen next.  The pace, fast and increasing, just how a mystery novel should be.

The ending……wow, I didn’t see that coming!  Now I need to get hold of the sequel Sycamore Gap asap!

You can buy a copy of Holy Island here.

 

About the Author

LJ Ross - Bamburgh Beach

Image and author info courtesy of http://www.ljrossauthor.com/

L.J. Ross is the author of the international #1 bestselling series of  DCI Ryan mystery novels. Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon Kindle UK bestsellers chart.

Its sequels, Sycamore Gap and Heavenfield are also #1 bestsellers. The fourth in the series, Angel, is available for pre-order and is scheduled for general e-book release on 26th August 2016.

The novels are all available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats. Holy Island is also available in German translation.

Louise was born in Northumberland, England.  She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King’s College, University of London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory lawyer for a number of years until taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write.

Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Bath. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.

To find out more about LJ Ross and her books go to her website http://www.ljrossauthor.com/ or follow her on Twitter @LJRoss_author

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The Eyes of The Accused 

Author: Mark Tilbury
Published: 15 April 2016
Reviewed: 29 July 2016
4.5 out of 5 Stars
I received a copy of this book from Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review

 

Description:
 
The second in The Ben Whittle Investigation series of psychological thrillers with occasional flashes of dark humour. Best enjoyed after reading The Revelation Room.

Fresh from the horrors of the Revelation Room, private investigators Ben and Maddie are plunged into a disturbing world of terror as they search for missing pregnant girl, Hannah Heath. Drawn to Frank Crowley, an original suspect in Hannah’s disappearance, Maddie is about to learn the true meaning of evil. As she gets close to Crowley, in an effort to get him to open up, she soon learns all is not what it seems. Crowley is just a small part of something unimaginable. Something so terrible and deranged, it defies reason. After Maddie disappears, Ben is left in a desperate race against time to find her and uncover the truth.

My Thoughts & Review:
This is the second book in the Ben Whittle series, and I would thoroughly recommend checking out the first book The Revelation Room.  However, this book can be read as a standalone, there are details that link back to the first book but nothing that would impact on this story and leave you feeling like you’ve missed something.
Ben Whittle and Maddie White are Private Investigators working for Ben’s father who owns the Private Investigation company.  Having been hired to find a missing woman named Hannah, who happens to be pregnant and due to give birth soon they embark upon an investigation that will prove to be dangerous for all involved, and when Maddie goes missing Ben knows he must do everything he can to find both women before it’s too late. 
From the very first chapter the reader is hooked, the intensity of the terror and writing style really grab your attention and ensure you are sucked in for the duration of the story.  The narration from Hannah is exceptionally well written, dark and intense, her desperation really comes through, it’s hard not to feel some horror at how she’s been kept.  
The storyline well paced, I felt that it kept my attention throughout, combined with fantastic characters I really struggled to put this one down at bedtime!  The dark humour interjected into this was a thing of greatness, Mark Tilbury shows a brilliant sense of humour through his writing, it adds an extra something to his characters and really brings them alive.
I will definitely be looking out for more from this author, his writing style really appeals to me, the characters are great and I cannot wait to see where he takes them next.
Many thanks to Booklover Catlady Publicity for this cracking read!
You can buy a copy of Eyes of the Accused here 

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183 Times a Year

Author: Eva Jordan
Published: 15 September 2015
Reviewed: 19 July 2016
4 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from Booklover Catlady Publicity in return for a fair and honest review
Description:

Mothers and daughters alike will never look at each other in quite the same way after reading this book—a brilliantly funny observation of contemporary family life.

Lizzie—exasperated Mother of Cassie, Connor and Stepdaughter Maisy—is the frustrated voice of reason to her daughters’ teenage angst. She gets by with good friends, cheap wine and talking to herself—out loud.

16-year-old Cassie—the Facebook-Tweeting, Selfie-Taking, Music and Mobile Phone obsessed teen—hates everything about her life. She longs for the perfect world of Chelsea Divine and her ‘undivorced’ parents—and Joe, of course.

However, the discovery of a terrible betrayal and a brutal attack throws the whole household into disarray. Lizzie and Cassie are forced to reassess the important things in life as they embark upon separate journeys of self-discovery—accepting some less than flattering home truths along the way.

Although tragic at times this is a delightfully funny exploration of domestic love, hate, strength and ultimately friendship. A poignant, heartfelt look at that complex and diverse relationship between a Mother and daughter set amongst the thorny realities of today’s divided and extended families.

My Thoughts & Review: 
I’m so glad I took a chance on this book, when I read the description I was curious but not entirely sure if it was the book for me.
A funny, entertaining and light hearted read for most parts, the reader is introduced to a typical dysfunctional family, a mother nearing the end of her tether with her teenage daughter and stepdaughter, and worrying her delightful son will find his hormones and will turn into another moody teen.  Throw in her ex husband who seems to have abandoned the kids almost completely, her new partner working away from home a lot so not able to support her when it comes to the kids, it’s no wonder that Lizzie needs the help of good friends and wine to keep her sanity.  
Lizzie is a fantastic character, her quirkiness makes her leap off the pages and seem so real.  I can see traces of my own mother in her, and I can see myself already following down some of the pathways taken by Lizzie, especially talking out loud to myself and having a full blown conversation half inside my head and aloud.  
Cassie is the typical 16 year old, her life revolves around what others think of her, her social status and making sure everyone knows that life isn’t easy when you’re 16.  She’s a character that I think most people can see traces of themselves in, I know I certainly can and I really need to apologise to my mother for that – amazing I made it through teenage years without any injuries!
The narration from alternating perspectives of Lizzie and Cassie is incredibly well written.  It gives the reader a great insight into each character, but it also opens the characters up even more, makes them even more relatable.   

The writing is superb, for a début novel I was impressed.  I particularly liked how Eva Jordan dangled the implication of there being more to a situation but not giving all the details away at that time.  Doing this ensured that my attention was held captive by her storytelling but also, illustrated that Jordan has quite a talent for writing.  

I would definitely say this is a book that both teenagers and adults should read, it relates to so many issues cleverly whilst telling a heart warming story.  Most importantly though, it reminds us not to take others for granted and appreciate the things that others do for us – even if it is just emptying the dishwasher or taking cups from the bedroom before they start to grow penicillin cultures.  
You can buy a copy of 183 Times a Year here.  

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