Borderlands by LJ Ross

Borderlands by LJ Ross
Publisher: Dark Skies Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When the gods made man, they made a weapon…

After uncovering a fresh wave of corruption within the ranks of Northumbria CID, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan was looking forward to an uneventful summer. But, when a young woman is shot dead on the remote army ranges of the Northumberland National Park, Ryan is called in to investigate.

Meanwhile, violent crimes are being committed across sites of historic importance in the North East, the perpetrator leaving only a graffitied symbol as their calling card. As the body count rises, Ryan and his team must unravel the mystery behind its meaning – before it’s too late…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

DCI Ryan is called out to a tragic accident in the remote army ranges inside the Northumberland National Park. A woman has been shot during the night-time training sessions and they need to work out who she is and how she came to be so far out in the countryside. Meanwhile Jack and the newly promoted Mel remain back in town struggling to discover the group responsible for a series of arson attacks that appear to be motivated only to stir up hatred and fear. Can they solve both these cases before more people are killed?

I found this to be an interesting and well-paced mystery story. While there are two separate main plotlines running, I felt the author did a good job handling them equally and not letting one of the other take over too much of the story. I was also pleased we got a little bit more insight and movement in Ryan and Anna’s personal relationship which I felt was well-needed after the last few books where the plot – and Frank and Denise’s relationship – has taken more of the front seat.

Readers who haven’t read any of the previous book in this series should still be able to enjoy the two main murder plotlines. I feel they might struggle a little more with all the history and friendship between the main characters – as that has been well established over the last 14 books and so there’s that ease and familiarity that exists between them. That said, the plot and mystery is very well explained and unique to this book – so there’s no prior history needed for that. But readers might not have quite the emotional attachment to the characters if this is the first book they’re trying in this series.

Readers looking for an enjoyable British police procedural style of mystery novel should find this hits the spot. While there’s not a super fast plotline – more of a ‘who done it’ type of mystery and not an action or thriller with a fast pace – this is a solid story and I found it enjoyable.

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