The Hermitage by LJ Ross

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

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.

DCI Ryan and his wife have travelled to Italy in pursuit of a killer who has managed to elude justice for too long. With the rest of his team tackling a new case can they still work together to fulfil their duties.

I found this to be an interesting read. For much of the book the case in Italy and the case in England are completely separate and the author did a good job of balancing the story-telling between the two cases. I was a little surprised how they dovetailed together – while it was some exceptional writing on behalf of the author I felt it was just a little too pat for my tastes. Personally I would have found it more believable had they remained separate but the eventual linking between the two was strong and well written.

I admit I did enjoy that Phillips and Mackenzie were able to eventually join Anna and Ryan in Italy and the ending was extremely satisfying and perfectly to my tastes of a well-closed case and a happy ending. I feel readers can be fairly safe in picking this book up. While there are a number of tangled threads linking back to previous books the plot and characters for this story are very well explained and the book can mostly be read on it’s own merits I feel. Certainly the reader will hold a more emotional connection to the characters and their well being if they’ve read some of the previous books – but I do feel that isn’t strictly necessary to enjoy this book by itself.

An interesting police procedural style of murder mystery book I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be continuing with this series.

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