Cover detail of Sycamore Gap by L.J. Ross

Sycamore Gap by L.J. Ross

At the moment my posting on the blog seems to be a mix between feast and famine. I have 3 books I have read and am waiting to review on here. And I have holiday reading lined up. Yes, you heard that right Holiday reading! I will try and get my posts up and running of those aforementioned 3 books, then there will be a break of about 2 weeks, and then I will be back on it feeling refreshed and revitalised all being well.

Read about the books I read on my last holiday

And where are we going? Well, as you know this is a rather big birthday year for me, and coupled with another big family celebration, it seems only right to celebrate with a big holiday. Grenada it is! I've never been but it looks absolutely wonderful. We are looking forward to a good rest and when we get back the spring weather will be truly with us. (She said hopefully!)

I have my holiday reads planned, and am taking 4 paperbacks and my kindle. Hattie is staying home sadly, but a lovely lady is coming to live in with her and attend to her every need.

Read my review of The Book Lovers' Retreat by Heidi Swain

And so, on with today's review. It is the second in a series I have been recommended over on Instagram. It was a proper page-turner. It is of course, Sycamore Gap by L.J. Ross.

The Plot

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan's job to piece her past.
Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.
Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in the fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian's Wall.

My Thoughts

First quick note to say about this one, this is the second in the DCI Ryan series, and the events in book number 1 are referenced quite often. I would recommend reading these in order. I will pop a list of the titles in order at the end of the post.

Also, I would like to make mention of Sycamore Gap the place. The book was written before the sad events of last year when someone decided to chop down the famous tree at Sycamore Gap. The tree has featured in numerous photographs., paintings and Hollywood films. It featured in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves when Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman trek from Dover to Northumberland on their way to Nottingham (Nope me neither - the sat nav must have been really off that day!). It was a sad day when the tree was chopped down.

The book is about as gripping as it is possible to get. A body is discovered under the stones at Sycamore Gap with no ID bar a silver bracelet. As DCI Ryan starts to investigate he is forced to confront the monster who murdered his sister. Could he have also murdered the mystery woman 10 years ago? But then another, more recent body is discovered..... there is a new killer.

If you are looking for an excellent police procedural, then you can could do a lot worse than the DCI Ryan books. They are considered, and show the legwork done by the police when investigating a murder. The books are pretty close to the bone (excuse the pun), concerning a group of sinister satan worshipers and their terrifying ways of worship. We also are aware of a group within some of the higher echelons of society, who have the power to control an investigation as they see fit. The scary thing is it is quite believable.

Throughout all of this DCI Ryan goes about his work. He is respected, not afraid to disregard the opinions of those in authority which bring him to the forefront of the sinister group who already have ideas about what to do with him. The supporting cast are great, Philips, Ryan's deputy, a down to earth Yorkshireman, provides support to Ryan when the case becomes especially frustrating.

This is an excellent follow up to Holy Island and keeps the action moving on at a pace. It keeps you guessing to the end, and, on finishing the novel, almost got in the car to purchase book 3 in the series. Very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to reading more of these books.