#FridayReads ‘Ryan’s Christmas’ by @LJRoss_author #BookReview

Still waiting for your perfect wintry read? Try this cosy, crime mystery set in England’s most haunted castle in Northumbria and written by international bestselling author, L J Ross.

Ryan's Christmas: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 15) by [Ross, LJ]

From the Blurb

DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland.

Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’.

It’s all spooky, fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number…

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

Imagen

Partial View of Chillingham Castle, where the novel takes place.

 

My Review

Ryan’s Christmas is a real treat! It reads as a traditional whodunit, in the style of Agatha Christie, unlike the other DCI Ryan Mysteries.

It is an atmospheric and compelling crime novel, set in an authentic, 12th century castle in the north of England, which is in my bucket list to visit asap!

It was thriling to see the main characters of the series (DCI Ryan Mysteries), solving a crime at Christmas, while stranded in a spooky castle! It’s book 15 in the series, so plenty of crimes have been solved and the characters have taken on a life of their own!

But don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous 14 books (I haven’t read them all, yet!), the best thing is that Ryan’s Christmas can be read as a standalone by readers who haven’t read any of the previous books, although no doubt if you read this novel you’ll want to read the previous books in the series!

What can I say, I love all the characters, especially Ryan, who is the perfect gentleman and police inspector, admired by all his staff, and Anna, his wife,whom he met in book 1, Holy Island, a scholar of local, ancient history and lecturer at Newcastle University.

Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) by [Ross, LJ]

Ryan’s Christmas is especially for lovers of well-written, cosy, crime mysteries, set in the UK, in winter.

LJ Ross

LJ Ross is an international bestselling author, best known for creating atmospheric mystery and thriller novels, including the DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries which have sold over four million copies worldwide.

Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon UK and Australian charts. Since then, she has released a further fourteen novels, all of which have been top three global bestsellers and twelve of which have been UK #1 bestsellers.

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Remedy for Love’ by Bill Roorbach #BookReview #amreading

The remedy for love,’ by Bill Roorbrach is a breathtaking and unique novel. I’m really glad I chose to read it, because it has given me so much to think about, and so much to be grateful and hopeful for. Its underlying optimism and faith in human nature is contagious.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading. I was drawn in by the wintry blurb, ‘The Storm of the Century threatens western Maine,’ and the two unlikely protagonists; a young, penniless squatter and a lawyer, who find themselves alone and trapped in a cabin for a few days during the storm.

I started reading the first ten percent, as I usually do when a blurb catches my attention. I wasn’t sure if I’d continue reading, but once I started, I couldn’t stop and I finished the novel in one wonderful sitting.

The vivid descriptions transported me to the alarmingly unprepared cabin; no electricity or running water, or any type of ‘modern comforts’ we take for granted. The writing made me feel snowed in, chilled to the bone and terrified of the storm.

The only two characters present in the novel also came to life with their loneliness, pain and singularities. Danielle, a starving and homeless young woman, seems unstable to the point of lunacy, and Eric is, at first, a cold, uncaring lawyer, interrogating a suspicious client.

I enjoyed listening to their banter and occasional quarrels. I was grateful for the comic relief brought through their dialogue and interaction which was well constructed and realistic, given their peculiarities and the situation they were trapped in.

Neither of them are who they seem at the beginning. They are both in denial, living in a parallel universe, refusing to face the truth of their respective situations. They cope in very different ways. Eric, abandoned by his wife, is involved with his community doing pro bono work, while Danielle has chosen the solitary path of an outcast, and yet they are ultimately able to help each other start to face the truth of both their situations, in order to move on.

It is not a traditional love story, and there is no conventional love between the characters, although they grow to care for each other, and yet, it is an intensely romantic novel, because there’s an underlying belief that love can heal, that love can break down barriers, and love can arise in the most adverse and unexpected ways.

In spite of the undeniable affection and attraction which grows between them, the few intimate scenes are more gritty than romantic, and yet, there’s no doubt in my mind, that their relationship will develop and their lives will never be the same after their encounter, because they’ll both start moving on from their pain and loss, whatever happens between them in the future.

It isn’t a happy ever after, easy ending, there’s still a lot of healing to be done after the final page, but it’s an optimistic and hopeful conclusion.

I was surprised at the negative reviews, but on the other hand, I’m aware that it is a challenging and intense novel, which will not leave any reader indifferent.

More about the novel and the author on Goodreads

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