Cragside is probably my favourite book in this amazing series so far and I am so excited to be sharing my review with you all today!
Before I continue though, here’s the blurb …
Are you afraid of the dark..?
After his climactic battle with notorious serial killer The Hacker, DCI Ryan is spending the summer with his fiancée within the grounds of Cragside, a spectacular Bavarian-style mansion surrounded by acres of woodland. When they are invited to attend the staff summer party – a Victorian murder mystery evening – it’s all a joke until the lights go out and an elderly man is found dead. It looks like an unfortunate accident but, as the dead man’s life begins to unfold, Ryan and his team of detectives realise that all is not as it appears.
When a second body is found, terror grips the close-knit community and Ryan must uncover the killer who walks among them, before they strike again…
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
My thoughts …
What a fantastic instalment in this brilliant series!
Ross’ writing just keeps getting better and better with each book and they are a pleasure to read.
Several months after their last case, Ryan and the team are still reeling from the ghastly dealings with The Hacker and are slowly trying to put their lives back together and in attempt to feel more normal, Anna, Ryan’s fiancé, accepts an invitation to a murder mystery night at the mansion in the grounds of the estate they are currently living in. Ryan isn’t exactly looking forward to it, but with the wedding fast approaching he is keen to make Anna happy.
As the night is drawing to a close, the mansion plunges in to an unexpected darkness and in search for the handy man sent to restore the power, Ryan finds the body of an elderly man who has died in what appears to be a tragic accident. Ryan isn’t so sure though and as he asks the team to look in to the victim and the other guests and staff at the event, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems.
Ross captures the feel of the mansion perfectly, I could have been sat there with them in the grounds of Cragside, seeing the events as they unfolded around me. Her descriptive prose is captivating, pulling you straight on to the pages and in to the lives of the characters she has created, it’s just wonderful!
As always, the team are in perfect synchronicity in how they work together and it is great to read about them developing in each of the books. The relationships are growing stronger and their interactions are lovely to read. I love how Ryan has Anna, how they interact and how she completely understands the nature of his job is really quite refreshing in a police procedural, although she has only been with him for two years, there’s plenty of time for her to get fed up of the late night calls!!!I loved seeing the relationship between Phillips and MacKenzie developing despite everything that has happened to them. They have come through it stronger and more determined that ever to show The Hacker that they are stronger than anything he can throw at them.
It was also nice to see the relationship blossoming between MacKenzie and Anna. I love female characters who don’t have an agenda against each other but who instead empower each other and I’m excited to see what the future has in store for these two.
Cragside sees the arrival of some new characters in the team, first we have Melanie Yates, a young PC desperate to make herself a name in the crime squad and she soon has herself embedded in the team and with Lowerson’s eye firmly on her, she seems to fit right in. There’s something about her though, something in the way she watches and the way she acts in front of Anna, I’m not sure if it’s just my overactive imagination or if there is something a little more to Yates than meets the eye. And on that suspicious note, I’ll move to Jennifer Lucas. About as far from her namesake as possible, the fictitious Lucas is going to cause some unbelievable trouble for Ryan and Anna. She has trouble written all over her and given the history between them, it’s hard not to wonder why she has decided to relocate her family to the town where her ex has set up home, just weeks before he gets married. Is the married couple going to have a nice easy start to their married life? I doubt it!!!
With a slightly tamer pace than we are used to with a Ross book, Cragside does not disappoint, the plot is slick and clever, the characters well developed and believable, the location as important as the people in it and the writing is, as always, perfection.
A fantastic instalment in a series that all true, crime fiction fans will love!
Cragside is out now and you can follow the link below to get your copy.
About the author …
L.J. 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 went on to become a Kindle UK #1 bestseller. Its sequels, Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel and High Force have all been top five bestsellers. The novels are all available to purchase in e-book, paperback and audiobook formats on the Amazon store (the audiobook version of High Force will be released in early 2017). 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 until 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 Bath. 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: