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.
'The Hermitage' is book 9 in the stunning DCI Ryan series by the highly-talented LJ Ross. Through her articulate, clean, crisp writing, the author has once again succeeded in keeping me hooked and on the edge of my seat from start to finish as she slowly unfurled another intricate mystery. As with the previous books, I was entranced by the beautiful locations she oh-so vividly and expertly brings to life.
"Eddie Charon was quiet and well-spoken. He kept himself to himself, came into work and did as he was told without any trouble."
So why did someone murder this old man in cold blood? Eddie was just a simple ferryman, taking tourists across a river in a small boat to and from the castle's hermitage in Warkworth, Northumberland. When Eddie's body is discovered inside the hermitage, Denise MacKenzie and Frank Phillips are called in to investigate. They soon realise that in order to solve this crime, they need to dig deep into the man's past, and it's not long before they make a shocking discovery. Up until a few years earlier, Eddie had been leading a very different life. He held a powerful position and accumulated an uncountable number of enemies during that time. Who was really Eddie Charon? Why did he leave his old life behind and come into 'hiding' in this quiet setting? And who has apparently found him out and evened the score?
While Denise and Phillips are busy trying to solve the case, DCI Ryan and his wife Anna are away in Florence, Italy, chasing a vicious murderer who has left a trail of victims behind both in the UK and in other countries. Nathan Armstrong hides his true nature behind the facade of a world famous writer currently celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his masterpiece 'Il Mostro'. Ryan has to deal with his Italian counterparts in Florence to try and capture Armstrong and he knows that he has no say there. He has to abide by the Italian police's regulations and just observe. But where there's Nathan Armstrong, death is never far away, and it's not long before a murder takes place. Soon, Ryan's input in Italy becomes an indispensable aid for the Italian police. But will Ryan's efforts to catch Armstrong bear fruit this time?
Well, this was such an adrenaline-pumping, roller-coaster read full of twists and turns. Once I started this book, I couldn't stop and guiltily enough I found myself even reading a few chapters at work, shhh!!! But I was desperate to find out who killed Eddie. This character became more and more interesting as the story progressed. And I wanted to know if Armstrong would slither through Ryan's hands once again. I found myself imagining the quiet setting of the mysterious hermitage witness to this brutal murder, and I could clearly visualise the beautiful Florence with the famous cathedral dominating the skyline, the narrow streets traversing the tall palazzos and the city's beautiful squares.
Have you ever felt sorry for a killer? No? Well, read this book till the end first. I won't say anything else, just that I was left in awe by the insanely brilliant way the author develops and weaves the plot. I certainly wasn't expecting things to turn the way they did towards the end. I was so absorbed by the story and the realistic turn of events that I was left quite overwhelmed by emotions at the end. I felt sad, shocked and happy, all at the same time! WOW! Just WOW!!
Louise Ross is undoubtedly one of the best authors out there. Her books are all absolutely fantastic and every time I finish one, I feel the urge to shout about it from the rooftops. Needless to say, I highly recommend, not only 'The Hermitage', but the whole DCI Ryan series.
With thanks to the author for a review copy of this book that 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.
Since then, she has released a further seven full-length novels in the DCI Ryan Series, all of which have been top three bestsellers. Cragside, Dark Skies, Seven Bridges and The Hermitage (due for release 20 October 2018) were all #1 in the UK on pre-orders alone.
The novels are 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.
Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate Law at King's College, University of London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory lawyer for a number of years before taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write.
Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland. 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: