Monday 4 March 2019

The Hermitage (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 9) - LJ Ross

He thought he was invincible, but he was wrong…

When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective…

DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until he has his man in custody. Nathan Armstrong is a dangerous psychopath but there’s just one problem – he’s also an international celebrity; a world-famous thriller writer with money and connections. 

Ryan is a stranger in a foreign land, but he knows one thing – he’ll never give up

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular landscapes of Northumberland and Tuscany. 

What did I think?

I admit to feeling a little nervous that my favourite Northumbrian literary detectives were heading abroad to Florence in the latest DCI Ryan book, The Hermitage.  To be honest, I wasn't just nervous, I was could LJ Ross take these characters out of the beautiful (but seemingly deadly) North East?  Well, I needn't have worried as it turns out that you can take the detectives out of the North East but you can't take the North East out of the detectives - Frank Phillips, I'm talking about you here, my stottie loving friend.  

The Hermitage picks up the thread left dangling at the end of Dark Skies, book 7, when Nathan Armstrong, a famous author, literally gets away with murder.  As we know, Ryan is like a dog with a bone when he gets a killer in his sights and when Armstrong heads to Italy, so do Ryan and Anna.  Ryan turns into a bit of a stalker himself, turning up wherever Nathan Armstrong is, and although his actions border on harassment his charm and his team's belief in him always seem to get him out of the scrapes he inevitably finds himself in.

I may have mentioned it once or twice, but I adore my native North East and the way that LJ Ross brings our beautiful region to life in her novels, however, I was completely won over by the beautiful scenery depicted in The Hermitage; I almost felt like I was having a little holiday there myself.  I also loved finding out a bit more about Ryan's family and his childhood in his breathtaking family villa.

Of course, this isn't a travel guide so there's murder both and home and abroad for the team to solve.  With more shocks and surprises than ever, will Ryan get his man this time?  

So my fellow North Easterners, fear not that Ryan and his team are venturing to foreign climes, as there really is no place like home and they'll be back on home soil soon.  It does make me smile thinking about them abroad as you do always seem to run into a Geordie whenever you travel anywhere.  It's also testament to the multi-dimensional characters that LJ Ross has created over her previous 8 books, that the characters themselves can carry the story wherever the location.

No surprises that this is another well deserved 5 stars from me.  It's maybe not my favourite DCI Ryan book but the twists and turns are outstanding and the very satisfying ending brought a little tear to my eye.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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