Beware what lies beneath…
One fateful, starry night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant…until now.
Detective Chief Inspector Ryan returns from honeymoon to face danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest, a murderer has escaped justice before and will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, an old foe has taken the helm as Superintendent and is determined to destroy Ryan at any cost.
Who will prevail in Ryan’s most dangerous case yet?
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
'Dark Skies' is the seventh book in the fantastic DCI Ryan series by L J Ross, and like the others, it's an atmospheric, well-written, captivating read that had me hooked from page 1. Once again, the author took me to a breathtakingly beautiful location in Northumberland - this time to Kielder Waterside, where she literally immersed me into a bone-chilling mystery spanning decades.
"Secrets, he thought. There were secrets to uncover in this little corner of the world."
1981. Three teenagers are together in some desolate area, among the rubble of some demolished building. Something happens and one of the youths ends up brutally murdered.
Fast forward three decades and the mummified body of a young man is accidentally dislodged from its resting place in the depths of Kielder reservoir. The injuries displayed by the surprisingly well-preserved remains indicate suspicious death.
DCI Ryan is just back from his honeymoon when news of the body reach him, and together with his sidekick, DS Phillips, rushes to Kielder Waterside to start the investigation into what will evidently be a very awkward case. Who was this boy? When did he die? Who killed him? And why? How did he end up on the bottom of the reservoir and for how long has he been there? How can they identify him, let alone his killer?
Back at the station, Ryan watches his close-knit team being literally dismembered by the new Superintendent, a ghost from his past who's vowed to invade and destroy the new life he has built. How will Ryan cope at work, taking orders from the same person he's escaped from years earlier?
Well, I've said it many times before, but I'll say it again, the DCI Ryan series is absolutely one of the best mystery series I've ever read. Every time I finish one of these fabulous books, I feel the urge to shout about it from the rooftops and start yearning for the next one. Reading the terrifying prologue of 'Dark Skies', I knew that this would be another unputdownable book, and in fact I found myself gripped from the get-go, following Ryan and the others as they embark on a deadly hunt for a demented, shrewd killer who's been enjoying freedom for decades, hiding in plain sight. With numerous suspects, I couldn't for the life of me work out the killer's identity, and when I thought I had guessed, I was proved wrong at the end.
The author's crisp prose and detailed, vivid descriptions brought this beauty spot to life in HD. Even though I've never visited Kielder Waterside, I could clearly imagine this huge man-made reservoir with its water rippling gently in the breeze, glittering in the sunshine, the ferry taking its passengers from one side of the lake to the other, the boats moored to the jetties, the surrounding dense forest and the small visitor centres, lodges and businesses scattered around the area. I really wish I could visit this place one day.
Suspenseful from start to finish (oh that ending! Made me experience all sorts of emotions but above all desperate to read the next book, now!), but also peppered with humour and romance, and with a clever, intricate plot weaved around believable characters and breathtaking scenery, Dark Skies is yet another brilliant, engaging addition to the series and I highly recommend it.
This series is just AMAZING!!! Bring on the next one!
With thanks to the author for an ARC of this book which I voluntarily accepted to read and review.
LJ Ross is the author of the international #1 bestselling series of DCI Ryan mystery novels. Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon Kindle UK best sellers chart.
Its sequels, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel and High Force were all top five UK best sellers and she recently hit the top of the charts again with her sixth book, Cragside, which was number one in the UK on pre-orders alone.
The novels are all available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store, as well as in selected independent bookshops. Holy Island is also available in German translation.
Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Bath. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
If you would like to connect with LJ Ross, she would be very happy to hear from you: