Cover detail of Heavenfield by L.J. Ross

Heavenfield by L.J. Ross

I am coming to you this morning at 5.55am as I can't sleep and decided to pick up my laptop and have a bit of a blog instead. I have been off this week as needed to use up some holiday hours. We've enjoyed a lovely visit to the Kent coast to visit my Sister who I have not seen in too long. Hattie was wonderfully looked after by her Grandparents during this time. We came back on the Tuesday and I have been pottering, enjoying a few 'disco naps' and of course done a bit of reading. But today I think the lack of routine has caught up with me.

Read my Review of Holy Island by L.J. Ross

Does anybody else find this whilst on holiday? It's lovely, but I know come Monday when the alarm for work goes off at 6.30am, I will be peeling my eyes open and weeping with tiredness. In no way am I being a touch dramatic. hahaha. And so here I am writing to you. Sorry that was probably the world's dullest intro bit wasn't it?

In other news, our village will be commemorating D-Day on Thursday which I know will be very poignant. It is the AGM for our village panto which we are looking forward to volunteering for again. I will most definitely be backstage. (I'm too terrified to tread the boards myself). Sometimes life is all about it's wonderful minutiae isn't it?

Today's book is the third in a series of very popular books. Whenever I go into my local Waterstones, they are piled high on the table, a guaranteed sale for those looking for a book set in the local (ish) area.

The Plot

When a man is found dead at the remote church of Heavenfield, DCI Ryan is the only other person for miles around. The police have no weapon, no motive and no other suspects.
Already suspended from Northumbria CID, Ryan must fight to clear his name. But soon more than his career is at stake when prominent members of the mysterious 'Circle' begin to die. Somebody wants Ryan's name to be next on the Coroner's list and to survive he must unmask the devil who walks among them - before it is too late.
Unfortunately for Ryan, the devil looks just like everybody else.

My Thoughts

If you are looking to read an excellent, fast-paced thriller then please do try the DCI Ryan Mysteries. As I said, this is the third book in the series, and definitely do start with book 1 which is Holy Island. Lots of events in books 1 and 2 are referred to here and it is in these that we first encounter the terrifying 'Circle'. Handily each book is numbered on the spine, and all look good together on your bookshelves. I'm getting quite the collection.

There is something interesting about DCI Ryan. We've encountered his type before in many a well-written crime book. Nelson from the Dr Ruth Galloway books being a case in point. He inspires devotion from his team, is a bit of a rule-breaker and is very quietly understated. There are no temper tantrums here, no storming out of a police station or a speech about 'not handling the truth'. Instead, Ryan goes about his work diligently, pulling on threads and hunting down leads.

But somehow he has come to the attention of the dangerous 'Circle'. A group of people motivated by power, sex and greed with a bit of devil worship thrown in. And they are really quite terrifying, not just for the tendrils of influence they extend, but for how much they get away with it as well. It does not make for easy reading, but it does make a page-turner and an exciting one at that.

The pace of the book is almost a gallop as we are straight into the murder and the subsequent investigation. Ryan going about his work in an unassuming way. L.J. Ross writes chillingly well about the Circle, and the minds of its inhabitants. You can almost feel the cold sweat of any member who has not executed his duty well awaiting the consequences from those in power.

Ryan is savvy here, and maybe this is what makes him such an engaging lead. Carefully going about his work, one eye firmly looking over his shoulder. L.J.Ross happy to focus on other members of his team assisting with the case.

In conclusion, this series is going from strength to strength and I'm only 3 books in. I'm already looking forward to Book 4, and have Book 5 on standby as well.