Review of Holy Island by L.J. Ross

4 stars

I’ve been a crime fiction fan for as long as I can remember and have always loved locked door type mysteries so when this book came up for review I was immediately interested. What crime fan wouldn’t be interested in a murder mystery set on an island where access is determined by the tides and which means there is a limited pool of suspects. This is a début novel by L.J. Ross and it’s an excellent start. The novel is set on Holy Island, also called Lindisfarne, where a body is found in the Priory ruins in what could be a ritualistic killing and DCI Ryan is authorised to investigate, despite having been living on the island while he takes a break from his police career. Ryan drafts in his best men and women and the investigation begins, only to be hindered by the attraction between himself and Dr Anna Taylor, secretive locals (in more ways than one!) and further mysterious killings that baffle the detectives in their apparent randomness.

I genuinely enjoyed this book and for a début I thought it was really good, I’ve read books from established authors that weren’t this good. However, I did have some quibbles. I did, at times, get the characters confused as there were rather a lot of them, a map of the island would have been helpful to get a better idea of significant places as I felt this was a little lacking in the description and, some of the details were just plain wrong like the character who got her hair dyed weekly – why? My hair is dyed and there is barely any visible root growth at 2 weeks let alone 1 so this point irritated me. Having said that it is a really good read in my opinion and I will definitely be reading the second book in this series. The characters may have acted in ways in which I didn’t agree with but I liked Ryan, Anna and Philips and would love to see how their story develops. Definitely a book worth checking out.

I received a copy of this book from the author’s publicist – Booklover Catlady Publicity in exchange for a fair and honest review. I do not know the author or publicist personally.

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