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Holy Island

(DCI Ryan Mysteries #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  16,823 ratings  ·  871 reviews
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 Ta
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published January 1st 2015 by Kindle Direct Publishing
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  16,823 ratings  ·  871 reviews

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Jan 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
There's a half decent book struggling to get out of this but it's so riddled with faults, of so many different varieties, and with a story that is just entirely implausible.

It's so very bad that you feel sort of obliged to say something positive about it. Well, it has a clear beginning, middle and end, and is written in a prose style that is grammatically correct, syntactically reasonable and is easily readable without being over-simplified. And don't take those comments as facetious, because th
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
No wonder this book was a #1 Best Seller on Amazon! Brilliant stuff!

I have been talking about the brilliant writers that are coming out of the UK this year. What is even more exciting is the writers that are coming out of the North East of England this year. Local writers. I am so darn proud to see the level of talent from my part of the country.

Holy Island is an actual place, also known as Lindisfarne, that sits of the coast of beautiful Northumberland in the North East of England. It's an isl
HOLY ISLAND by L.J. Ross is a debut murder mystery that is set on the U.K.’s Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the North Sea, an island which really exists.

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is staying on Holy Island, taking a leave from his duties as a homicide detective, after the death of his sister. And then a few days before Christmas, his leave is suddenly cancelled when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins.

Former local girl Dr. Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police c
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
There are so many wonderful detective series that are well-written and rewarding but this is not one of them. Please spare me the impossibly good looking detective who immediately falls in love with the impossibly good looking potential victim in the middle of ridiculous melodrama and kinky rituals. So sorry I purchased this.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, romance lovers
“She thought that her eyes were open, but couldn’t be sure. It was so dark.”

This is book 1 of a series, and I will definitely be reading book 2. I could stop there, but. . . I’ll give you the opening scene:

“Winter was an unforgiving time on Holy Island. Harsh winds from the North Sea whipped through the cobbled streets and wove through the squat, stone cottages which huddled together as if for warmth. Above the village the Priory loomed, crippled but still standing after a thousand years.

May 14, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book tries to be both a murder Mystery novel and a Mills and Boon bodice ripper and sadly it falls between the two stools. The characters are well used stereotypes. To find The Holy Island that I know and love peopled only by beautiful people came as a surprise to me. I thought i'd stumbled into Brookside takes a holiday. The author tried to write a story using proper police procedures and this causes some problems as it vastly increases the number of characters.This can make things confusi ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I very rarely give one star reviews as I try to see the positive in the books I read but really... A 70's era sexist main character, so many unrealistic events, geographical inaccuracies, other general inaccuracies, female characters that came from central casting, character stereotypes (troubled back stories etc), REALLY BAD ROMANTIC SCENES (actually laughed out loud). I realise that being a first novel hopefully in future there will be some improvement in some of the above areas. I think the ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Murder, ritual, family, isolation, religion.

What. A. Read.

It was inevitable that I would pick this book one day. It's exactly my cup of tea. It's set locally, has a sizzling hint of romance, there's some nasty goings-on and it's completely unpredictable... Prefect formula.

This book definitely made me smile, and it got my heart racing in more ways than one. The chemistry between Ryan and Anna is almost explosive.

There were so many twists and turns that I just couldn't guess who did it, a
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been eager to read this series for a long time. Eventually, I've made a start with the first encounter with DCI Ryan - Holy Island.

This is a classicly written piece of crime fiction/mystery. Set in Northumberland, the setting itself gives a perfect backdrop to a fantastic story. The author creates a great atmosphere which drew me in. The book grabbed me from the beginning and had me hooked all the way through.

Holy Island manages to keep a nice balance between gruesome and cosy crime. It's
Natalie Cavernelis
Was interested because this book is top of the kindle bestsellers but battled to finish. Thought it was a police procedural but it seems to be a mills and boon with a detective main character. points of view change rather oddly, characters have far too much emotion being conveyed through their eyes and are also constantly thinking about how hot the main detective is, and less about the deaths on their tiny rather scary sounding island.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I didn't see that end coming (I admit I hardly ever do), it had a nice twist.
Helena Aarons
Feb 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was as though two people had written this novel. One loved dramatic and stereotyped romance in the style of Mills and Boone and the other wrote a detective novel. The romantic part of the novel was really inappropriate....brooding and troubled dark eyed hero detective comes to tell heroine something bad has happened (don't want to add any spoilers) and ends up kissing her! So many five star ratings for this novel both on Goodreads and Amazon, I just don't understand.
Holy Island by L.J. Ross is a 3-D delight: devilishly dark and dangerous. Set on the U.K.’s Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the North Sea, the events that occur in this sparsely populated isle are definitely unholy.

When the body of 21-year-old Lucy Mathieson is discovered laid out in ritualistic fashion, Detective Chief Inspector Maxwell Ryan is suddenly reinstated from his leave-of-absence following the case of a brutal serial murderer in which his own sister was a victim. Now he is about to find
Lexie Conyngham
A below-average police procedural set in the close-knit community on Lindisfarne. The book for me was marred by several things including a number of randomly used Americanisms; some rather odd inconsistencies in the plot; constant and irritating changes in point-of-view; and most of all the Mills & Boon style romance between two of the lead characters which looked very much like the author writing out her own fantasy world. I’m all in favour of a bit of love interest in a crime novel, but this w ...more
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I have arrived late in finding the work of L.J. Ross. Not for want of great reviews has my interest wavered just the space and time to slot in a new series into my growing list of books to read.
Having spent a brief holiday in Northumberland last year and seen Holy Island and walked to Sycamore Gap the meeting of books to reader almost seemed inevitable.
Add to the mix that Holy Island is set just before Christmas, it was opportune that I should read this book during this holiday period.
Holy Isla
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really liked DCI Ryan from the very start. I also don't mind a decent romance in s series. The end for DCI Ryan was a happy one and at the same time a very unsuspected one.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a fabulous setting for a crime novel! I have to say I totally fell in love with Holy Island, although dead bodies turning up probably doesn’t make it the most sought after area to live. It actually reminded me slightly of Midsomer Murders as they both have idyllic settings and have that small community feel to them.

DCI Ryan, I was drawn to straight away. I was intrigued as to why he had been on a sabbatical and was worried whether he would be up to the job of taking on a case like this one.
I started this the other day simply because I love listening to Jonathan Keeble, the narrator of the audio book. I got quickly pulled into this crime story and have since gone straight on to the second book in this series. The setting on Holy Island in the North East of Britain was atmospheric and the plot involving ceremonial rituals was interesting and a bit different. The only thing that put me off for a bit was the introduction of the romance between DCI Ryan and Anna, a civilian specialist, ...more
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-dunnits
I thought that this book was rather far fetched! I'm not sure what the good people of Lindisfarne think of how they were portrayed! Three gruesome murders in as many days - I think there would have been a greater police presence than the story had, I'm sure police would have been drafted in from the whole area, (despite the twist in the tale at the end of the book - which again was a bit far fetched for me!!) ~

Another oddity, one character was described as having her hair coloured every week, I'
Alan Cotterell
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017

Can't believe it has taken me so long to discover this author. This has everything you could want in a story. Beautiful but harsh island, lot of history mixed with modern technology. Very strong characters on both sides. All combined with an ending that I hadn't seen coming. Can't wait to read book 2.
Sebastien Castell
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I was curious about this book after finding out that it was both an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK and that its author, L.J. Ross, had become one of the very top selling crime writers in the UK – no small achievement for a self-published author. What I found reading Holy Island was a somewhat by-the-numbers mystery novel that I suspect the author has long surpassed in quality with the subsequent thirteen books in the series.

Holy Island hits all the conventional police detective beats of yesterye
Natalie M
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I was looking for a new series and all 15 books have four or more stars in away I went and maybe I was overly optimistic?

The setting was unique and interesting, the plot was different but at times a little implausible and from a police POV unprofessional, which isn’t necessarily a bad aspect given the sacrificial nature of the crimes, and some literary leeway. On those fronts, a good read.

Issues for me were the condescending, chauvinistic demeanour of DCI Ryan. He patronises co-workers,
Linda Strong
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is staying on Holy Island seeking when he is forced to take leave from his duties as a homicide detective, following his last case, when his sister was murdered. When a young woman is found dead among the ancient ruins, his leave is officially over.

Former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant on the local customs . She and Ryan work together to hunt a killer while fighting their attraction to each other. And when Anna's sister
I've decided to stop being a baby and reading heaps of novellas in an effort to put off making a full length selection. Here's to hoping that this'll be a great new series!:)

I was hoping for a solid romantic suspense novel and this book delivered. The romance was just right, not quite instalove and sweet and surprisingly angst free. I loved that this wasn't erotica. Thank you, L.J. Ross for writing a book where I didn't have to skim scenes at a time. The closed door intimacy was just right by me
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Not much character development. Hard to keep so many people straight. Had to keep flipping back to figure out who was who. Weird amount of "love at first sight" going on. All in all, I'd have usually quit reading about five chapters in, but boredom kept me going back to just finish it. So many tropes...Had fun identifying them more than anything else.
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Thanks to Maxine at Booklover Catlady and LJ Ross for my copy of Holy Island to review.

I hadn't heard of this book before I read it, but I won't forget it in a hurry!

Holy Island does not begin gently, it starts with the murder of Lucy Matheison and the discovery of her body at the Lindisfarne Priory.

Amazon describes it as follows-

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
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HOLY ISLAND is the first in a series of crime/thriller novels featuring DCI Ryan. On a personal sabbatical following his last case, Ryan is living on Holy Island--a small island community of about 200, where everybody knows everyone else. Six months into his "break", Ryan is confronted by a villager who runs to tell him about a dead body--that of 21 year old Lucy Mathiesan--which she has seen in the Priory.

After a call to his supervisor, Ryan finds himself back to work in an official capacity. D
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are a number of series that I noticed others were really loving and yet I knew nothing about them. So I finally read the first Armand Gamache book by Louise Penny (review is on Goodreads) and here we are having read the first DCI Ryan book by L.J. Ross. I was very pleasantly surprised.

The book got straight into the action, the characters were very relatable. I particularly liked Ryan’s sergeant (I forget his name right now). The story was quite gripping and the corrupt members of the circ
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kept reading because I wanted to give DCI Ryan some time, but this "Holy" Island is more like Hell Island....will not continue the string of pagan ritual murders that had somehow not been noticed over the years that will be picked up in the next book I shall return unread. And then there's the sleazy romance(?) factor to stay away from as well. Not for me.
-available on Kindle Unlimited -
Trish R.
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good book..

A lot of reviewers complained about this being too much of a romance but I beg to differ. There was just enough romance to satisfy anyone looking for a romance/suspense/murder/mystery, like me. And to the one reviewer who said the author was a woman because she started getting into the “sex acts.” The first time they had sex he carried her to the bedroom, kissed her and it faded to black. And the second time they had sex it was fade to black. Not much of a sex act if you ask me
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Born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, LJ Ross moved to London where she graduated from King's College London with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law. After working in the City as a regulatory lawyer for a number of years, she realised it was high time for a change.

Her first book, 'Holy Island', has consistently been listed as an Amazon bestseller since its release in January 2015 and hit the Am

Other books in the series

DCI Ryan Mysteries (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Infirmary (DCI Ryan series prequel)
  • Sycamore Gap (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #2)
  • Heavenfield  (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #3)
  • Angel (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #4)
  • High Force (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #5)
  • Cragside (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #6)
  • Dark Skies (DCI Ryan Mysteries #7)
  • Seven Bridges (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #8)
  • The Hermitage (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #9)
  • Longstone (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #10)

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