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 whodunit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan currently on leave from the force (he was asked to take a sabbatical from the force and you are left wondering why at the beginning but all becomes clear as the book progress) and escaped to “Holy Island” an island which twice a day is cut off from the mainland. Whilst on the island, a place that seems like it could become his home, a place he seems to have settled in and away from everyone that knows him, a place he feels like he can put the past behind him and move on that is until a horrible murder takes place.
The murder is of Lucy Mathieson, a local of the island and the discovery of her body at the Lindisfarne Priory. DCI Ryan takes charge due to being on the island and insists to his boss (Gregson) that he is fit for duty and capable of running the investigation properly.
During the course of the investigation Dr Taylor arrives on the island to assist as a Police consultant as the killing is linked to certain holy rituals. Dr Taylor has a specialism in ceremonial rituals. However Dr Taylor (Anna) is a familiar face to the island having lived there when she was young with her parents and sister. Her sister Megan is still living on the island.
During the course of the investigation it becomes apparent that DCI Ryan has feelings for Dr Taylor and a relationship starts, rather predictable really but don’t despair this is the only predictable part in the book. Ryan comes across as rugged, strong with a sensitive side to him possibly classed as a knight in shining armour. As the investigation progresses and more murders happen DCI Ryan is left with a feeling that Anna wasn’t chosen to assist for her specialism but for other unknown reasons and wants to protect her with every waking moment despite what’s happening on the island.
What are the reasons I hear you say, well I asked myself the same questions as I was reading the book: -
1. Is there a reason Anna has been asked to assist?
2. Is Ryan (due to his personal situation) able and capable of solving a murder?
3. How many more people are going to die whilst this investigation is continuing?
I will add that I don’t like doing spoilers in my reviews, I like to think that anybody reading the review wants to know what happens and therefore they will buy the book as they are intrigued as to what happens next!
If that person is you, and you want answers to these questions then I’m afraid, yes you’ve guessed it you’re going to have to read the book. If you don’t then you really are missing out on a gem of a read.
*Lindisfarne is a real island just off the coast of Northumberland and is known as Holy Island and anyone that has read my reviews before will know I’m a UK thriller / mystery kind of girl. This is an excellent book, excellent story and yes you’ve probably guessed it in my opinion an excellent story.
I would like to say a special thanks to the author L J Ross who contacted me via my blog to ask would I like to review this book and I am so pleased that I said yes!