Seven Bridges by LJ Ross

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

Ryan’s most explosive case yet…

It’s been five months since a killer walked free and DCI Ryan is preparing to leave Newcastle to hunt him down – this time, for good.

But Ryan’s plans are scuppered when events take a dramatic turn and he is forced to stay and face his past one last time, or watch a friend suffer the consequences.

Amid the chaos, another killer is preparing to strike. When the Tyne Bridge explodes, Ryan’s team are faced with a frantic race to uncover a deadly foe who won’t stop until every bridge is burned, along with everybody on it…

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

Just as DCI Ryan is considering a sabbatical to hunt a killer that has got away, two very serious, new threats appear. One is a bomber terrorizing everyone by blowing up important bridges that keep everything connected, and the other is a danger far closer to home for Ryan and his team.

I enjoyed the somewhat faster pace of this story. With two strong plotlines interwoven together at times there was hardly a chance for Ryan and his team to catch their breath and I felt the author expressed this hurry-hurry-hurry mentality very well to the reader. I feel part of the faster, more action-oriented style of pacing was because the bombings occurred with short notice. Additionally, letters were given to the media first, which meant they were relayed out to everyone with the police left perpetually chasing afterwards. So while this wasn’t a traditional “who dun it” murder mystery it definitely fit the bill in other respects and was a solid police procedural style of book.

The other main plot which took up a good portion of the storyline was the death of Detective Chief Superintendent Jennifer Lucas. There isn’t a lot I can say without treading into spoilers but suffice to say I strongly feel this element of the story added a huge amount of emotions and turmoil – both from the present and the past – for the team as a whole. I was very pleased this plotline was given an almost equal share of time to the bomber plot. I could understand if some readers would feel this might make the murder feel a little drawn out or given too much exposure – but I really feel emotionally and for the characters in the team this plotline had a significant impact on everyone. To some degree – particularly a personal one for the team members – it might even have been more important than the bomber threatening everyone’s daily lives and sense of normalcy. Personally, I was pleased the author didn’t cut this aspect of the plot nor dim its impact down. For a few main characters this really was quite world-shattering and I was pleased it was given the attention and space it was.

In many respects I feel this book could absolutely stand alone. The bomber plotline was very self-contained and I don’t feel readers need any particular prior understanding to thoroughly enjoy it. Even the Superintendents death was very well explained and quite detailed. While I feel the strength of the impact and the fallout from it might be better enjoyed by readers who have read at least a few of the previous books and have an emotional attachment to the main police team and the characters – I feel anyone could pick up this story and easily follow along with what’s happening and help put the pieces together.

A strong book with a good, fast-paced action style of plot this is a great mystery. This is an author and series I’d definitely recommend.

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