Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) - LJ Ross

In Holy Island, DCI Ryan is on temporary leave from his job as a homicide detective after a traumatic incident and holes up on an island off the north-east coast of England.  A few months into his leave, an islander turns up at Ryan's cottage; she has found a young woman dead in the ruins of a priory.  Not long after, 2 more people are found dead and Ryan is thrown into a dark world of ritual sacrifice, small town lies and long buried secrets.

 

Whew, after reading several cozy mysteries in a row, I was a little unprepared for the long slog getting through a real mystery.

 

Not that this book was boring in any way; the labyrinthine plot was well paced and bewildering.  This was one of those books where I kinda figured early on that I probably wouldn't solve this one on my own and that I was just along for the ride. 

 

I loved the island location, it's almost a classic mystery theme and it worked well with this story.  Yeah, it made some aspects predictable, but it still fit well in the story.

 

This is one of those books where everyone has a tortuous back story and, if you're anything like me, you get impatient waiting for the story to stop tiptoeing around everything and spit it out.  Most of the details of Ryan's past didn't come out until a good 3/4 of the way through the book.  No, if you're going to set up such a detailed back story, you should really disclose it a lot sooner than it was.  Ugh.

 

Overall, Holy Island was a solid story, and one I recommend for any British mystery lover.