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FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND When you sell your soul, the devil gives no refunds... When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND When you sell your soul, the devil gives no refunds... When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. When everyone had a motive, can he unravel the secrets of the past before the killer strikes again? Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, trouble is brewing with rumours of a mole in Ryan’s department. With everyone under suspicion, can he count on anybody but himself? Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. “LJ Ross keeps company with the best mystery writers” – The Times “A literary phenomenon” – Evening Chronicle “LJ Ross is the Queen of Kindle” – Sunday Telegraph


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FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND When you sell your soul, the devil gives no refunds... When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. FROM THE #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF HOLY ISLAND When you sell your soul, the devil gives no refunds... When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. When everyone had a motive, can he unravel the secrets of the past before the killer strikes again? Meanwhile, back at Northumbria CID, trouble is brewing with rumours of a mole in Ryan’s department. With everyone under suspicion, can he count on anybody but himself? Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape. “LJ Ross keeps company with the best mystery writers” – The Times “A literary phenomenon” – Evening Chronicle “LJ Ross is the Queen of Kindle” – Sunday Telegraph

30 review for Penshaw

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    That was back to standard. Full review to follow shortly

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Penshaw is the 13th book in the DCI Ryan Mystery series. To get full enjoyment from this book I would recommend that you read The Moor which is the book prior to this one, as there are a lot of references to events that happened in the previous novel. It’s quite hard to know what to say in my review for this book as I don’t want to give to much away in the previous book as well as this one. It was great to see one particular character in this book who I loved from the previous one as I was very i Penshaw is the 13th book in the DCI Ryan Mystery series. To get full enjoyment from this book I would recommend that you read The Moor which is the book prior to this one, as there are a lot of references to events that happened in the previous novel. It’s quite hard to know what to say in my review for this book as I don’t want to give to much away in the previous book as well as this one. It was great to see one particular character in this book who I loved from the previous one as I was very invested in their story and whilst they don’t appear much in it, it was still great to catch up with them as it were. The story line set in the ex mining village and with glimpses of what life was like during the strike really made an impression on me. Whilst I was still a child myself when it happened, I can still remember watching the news of the strikes and also the impact it had on people. My dad worked in the mining industry and whilst not a miner himself, very much affected him and the company he worked for. There are a few threads in the story, the main ones being to do with the murders that are occurring as well as the story line to do with Jack, a detective on the force. By heck it makes for some compelling reading and I was glued to the pages. Penshaw has it all. It is jammed full of murder, mystery and mayhem that punches you in the gut yet pulls on your emotional heart strings. I couldn’t absorb the words in front of me fast enough as the pace picks up and everything comes to a climax and what a climax it was. LJ Ross has delivered another spell binding read that delivers on all counts.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    An old man, a former miner, is burned to death in his house, his wife barely escaping with her life. At first the death seems accidental, but is it? A few days later the man’s son, Simon, a former heroin addict dies from an apparent overdose, but was it? Ryan and his team smell a rat and start to investigate what possible motive there could be for these two deaths within one family so close together. The answers take them back 30 years, to the time of the miner’s strike and the allegations that s An old man, a former miner, is burned to death in his house, his wife barely escaping with her life. At first the death seems accidental, but is it? A few days later the man’s son, Simon, a former heroin addict dies from an apparent overdose, but was it? Ryan and his team smell a rat and start to investigate what possible motive there could be for these two deaths within one family so close together. The answers take them back 30 years, to the time of the miner’s strike and the allegations that someone was feeding information about picket lines to the police who then came out mob-handed. The outcome is shocking for the close-knit local community and a senseless waste of life brought about through greed and power struggles.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    And again five stars for Ryan & Co. Very fast-paced and full of twists and turns. Again!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    Penshaw is book thirteen in the DCI Ryan Mysteries series and it’s every bit as entertaining as all the previous books, which I have read and LOVED! I feel like I am becoming very repetitive in my reviews of this series, but honestly, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Each book is unique, but similar at the same time, if that makes sense!? The main characters are very familiar to me now and I talk about them as if I know them in real life! (I think my husband thinks I’ve lost the plot! Lol!) Penshaw is book thirteen in the DCI Ryan Mysteries series and it’s every bit as entertaining as all the previous books, which I have read and LOVED! I feel like I am becoming very repetitive in my reviews of this series, but honestly, I can’t recommend them highly enough. Each book is unique, but similar at the same time, if that makes sense!? The main characters are very familiar to me now and I talk about them as if I know them in real life! (I think my husband thinks I’ve lost the plot! Lol!) However, each new book brings a fresh challenge to Ryan and the team. This book finds DCI Ryan and his team investigating the seemingly accidental death of an elderly man, in his own living room. His wife was unable to get him out of their house in time when it went up in flames. Something doesn’t sit right with Ryan though and it’s soon obvious that there is far more to this family’s story. I really enjoyed the ex-mining community aspect of this book. My father-in-law and my brother-in-law were miners back in the day and whenever I’ve heard them talk about their time down the pit it’s always been obvious that they were all more than just colleagues to each other, they were family and it was less of a job and more of a way of life. I can only imagine how difficult life must have been for these families when the pits were closed, and their lives were completely turned upside down! The end of an era and not something everyone found easy to move on from. This book also see’s Lowerson getting himself involved in a sticky situation (putting it very mildly!) again. Just as he seemed to be getting his life back on track. Ryan is tasked with helping to uncover a mole within the department. A task which doesn’t really sit well with him, but he is confident it isn’t anyone within his own team and that he will soon get to the bottom of it all. As always nothing is ever straight forward, and I was treated once again to a fast-paced crime thriller which kept me glued to my kindle as often as I could possibly manage around real life! I love that some of the characters are all loved up and that there is a little bit of romance and happiness amongst all the murder. I love how Samantha has impacted on Phillips and MacKenzie and I look forward to how their relationships develop. I have my fingers crossed for Lowerson and Yates! I can’t wait for book 14! https://chataboutbooks.blog/2019/08/1...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kirribilligirl

    Could we kill Jack off? I have loved this series but 20% in this book I tossed it in. Jack is a tedious character and again he has landed in bother again. I just don’t care if he lives, dies, develops some level of EQ. I’m just bored with his endless stupidity. This story has such potential, repercussions from the 1984 miners strike. Major investigation in to organized crime. However I couldn’t go on. I pray that Jack dies in this book but I suspect LJ Ross loves this silly boy as a protagonist. S Could we kill Jack off? I have loved this series but 20% in this book I tossed it in. Jack is a tedious character and again he has landed in bother again. I just don’t care if he lives, dies, develops some level of EQ. I’m just bored with his endless stupidity. This story has such potential, repercussions from the 1984 miners strike. Major investigation in to organized crime. However I couldn’t go on. I pray that Jack dies in this book but I suspect LJ Ross loves this silly boy as a protagonist. So it’s farewell Ryan, Phillips, MacKenzie, Melanie ( trust me Mel you can do better than lust after Jack) you have been good friends. I’m leaving this series behind..mic drop!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Ryan

    Opening with a prologue set during the Miner’s strike in 1984, the location is the village of Penshaw, in County Durham. A terrible time for the country which resulted in the closure of mines and collieries, deaths, imprisonment and long held grievances. The emotions, volatility of the situation, rising tide of feelings and knock on effect is captured perfectly. Thirty five years later Alan Watson, whose life went on a downward spiral after the mine closed, is killed in a house fire, his wife ba Opening with a prologue set during the Miner’s strike in 1984, the location is the village of Penshaw, in County Durham. A terrible time for the country which resulted in the closure of mines and collieries, deaths, imprisonment and long held grievances. The emotions, volatility of the situation, rising tide of feelings and knock on effect is captured perfectly. Thirty five years later Alan Watson, whose life went on a downward spiral after the mine closed, is killed in a house fire, his wife badly injured. Following straight on from the previous book, with only a couple of days between the two, Jack Lowerson once again finds himself in a dangerous situation he can’t control, with the preceding events gradually unfolding and the consequences of his actions affecting the team, particularly Ryan. Frank Phillips and Denise MacKenzie are adjusting to life as adoptive parents. Their interactions, and Sam’s experiences in school, and the unique way she deals with bullies, add humour and light-heartedness to an otherwise darker story. Ryan has been tasked to lead Operation Watchman, a new initiative targeting organised crime in the region, as well as investigating the fire at Alan Watson’s house with Phillips. To make matters worse, it seems someone is leaking information to the people they’re investigating, and he’s unable to discuss it with anyone, not even Phillips. Ryan is under pressure to expose the corruption before any more damage is done. I’m really enjoying following this series, and the development of the characters. LJ Ross has made them multi dimensional, believable and engaging, with distinct personalities and home lives that the reader can relate to. The stories are always set in an atmospheric (and real) location. The banter and strong sense of comradeship is very much in evidence again, which also adds to the realism. The plot flows well and is anything but straightforward. The two threads—the death of the former miner and the corruption investigation—twist and turn before merging together with some surprises. And, as always, the writing, dialogue and police procedural is convincing and compelling.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Skyesmum

    I really enjoyed listening to this. I live not far from the villages mentioned and I couldn't help but make mental notes of some of the places to visit. I thought that the story was well thought out and you can't help but like Ryan, his team and his wife Annie. I have just waded in with the series and need to listen to them as and when they are available from the library, which will be interesting. All in all, a good solid police drama. I really enjoyed listening to this. I live not far from the villages mentioned and I couldn't help but make mental notes of some of the places to visit. I thought that the story was well thought out and you can't help but like Ryan, his team and his wife Annie. I have just waded in with the series and need to listen to them as and when they are available from the library, which will be interesting. All in all, a good solid police drama.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: DCI Ryan Mysteries #12 Publication Date: 7/27/19 Number of Pages: 280 OMGoodness! There is a LOT going on in Northumberia and we all need our running shoes on to keep up with it. Ryan and Lowerson are placed in untenable and dangerous positions, dead bodies are turning up in Penshaw, a dangerous villain from previous books turns up, and it appears there is more corruption within the constabulary. OH! MY! As always, the fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down mystery is filled with twists-and-turns th Series: DCI Ryan Mysteries #12 Publication Date: 7/27/19 Number of Pages: 280 OMGoodness! There is a LOT going on in Northumberia and we all need our running shoes on to keep up with it. Ryan and Lowerson are placed in untenable and dangerous positions, dead bodies are turning up in Penshaw, a dangerous villain from previous books turns up, and it appears there is more corruption within the constabulary. OH! MY! As always, the fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down mystery is filled with twists-and-turns that will keep your head spinning. There has been a marked increase in crime and at the same time, a decrease in successful apprehensions and prosecutions. Because of his sterling reputation, DCI Ryan has been tasked with heading up a task force consisting of all of the various units such as drugs, fraud, major crimes, digital forensics, organized crime, etc. His task is to foster information sharing across agencies so that they can all help each other catch, prosecute, and imprison the culprits responsible for the mayhem. At the same time, Ryan is approached by his boss, Chief Constable Sandra Morrison, and DCI Andrew Blackett, of what is known as the Ghost Squad. They are sure that the policing forces have been compromised – at all levels – and that there is even a mole in Ryan’s own team. OH! MY! Ryan’s task is to figure out who, throughout the policing forces, have been compromised. Ryan is sure nobody in his squad would be compromised – one of them cannot be a mole on this very task force. Or, can they? While all of that is happening, we are learning about the sad death of Alan Watson in Penshaw. Alan had been a robust, active, dedicated miner for years – until the great strike in the fall of 1984. Alan had been a major organizer and leader of the union and the strike, but when it failed, a rumor started, and it accused him of providing information to the government about the union's plans. It broke him for his close-knit community to think that of him and he took to drink. Now, over 30 years later, his charred remains have been pulled from their burning home by his wife. She’s seriously burned, but Alan didn’t survive. Was he murdered or did he die of a heart attack and drop his cigarette, thus causing the fire? MacKenzie and Lowerson catch the Watson case and something about it just seems ‘off’ to MacKenzie. As they investigate, and more deaths and betrayals occur, they figure out that there is something much bigger going on. You’ll love the mystery and you’ll see Ryan’s angst and dismay at dealing with yet more corruption within the constabulary. He thought they’d taken care of all of that two years ago and yet it is back again. It was good to see, and hope, that Lowerson is finally finding himself and realizing what is really important in life. I also liked seeing the growth in Trainee Detective Constable Melanie Yates and look forward to seeing more of her in future books. Great read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I pass this monument regularly on my way to my sister's, it is so good to read books that set locally :-) I pass this monument regularly on my way to my sister's, it is so good to read books that set locally :-)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nerys Roberts

    Love this series - it just keeps getting better!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Boosmummy

    Another great read by LJ Ross. I love these books not only for the story but they're set in my second favourite county, Northumberland, my home county of Yorkshire obviously my favourite! I love how the main characters grow through each book and become people you would invite round for a drink. The storyline flows and the plots are always realistic enough to believe they could happen in your area. Each book could be read as a standalone but I prefer to read them in order. Definitely one of my fav Another great read by LJ Ross. I love these books not only for the story but they're set in my second favourite county, Northumberland, my home county of Yorkshire obviously my favourite! I love how the main characters grow through each book and become people you would invite round for a drink. The storyline flows and the plots are always realistic enough to believe they could happen in your area. Each book could be read as a standalone but I prefer to read them in order. Definitely one of my favourite crime authors.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    Another excellent book featuring Northumberland and DI Ryan. Looking forward to the next one

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in the novel Penshaw. When I knew the latest novel was set on this very iconic site, I was intrigued. This to any North East native, and indeed many visitors, is a legendary tale of folklore and magic. A giant worm once wrapped itself around the hill on which the monument is built, giving it its unique shape. This is a place where fighting dragons and getting justice for local people is well ingrained into the history and heritage. Apt then that the major theme of the book is t Visit the locations in the novel Penshaw. When I knew the latest novel was set on this very iconic site, I was intrigued. This to any North East native, and indeed many visitors, is a legendary tale of folklore and magic. A giant worm once wrapped itself around the hill on which the monument is built, giving it its unique shape. This is a place where fighting dragons and getting justice for local people is well ingrained into the history and heritage. Apt then that the major theme of the book is the Thatcher years, the closure of the mines and the collieries which left many scars on the North East landscape and collective memory. The novel’s core story is built on the experiences and glimpses of life in these pit villages. An area once proud and hard-working saw their men belittled and left with a sense of worthlessness. Communities foundered and life was hard for many for a very long time. BookTrail Travel to the locations in Penshaw The main story however emerges strong from this solid basis of heritage and heartache. There is a murder and an investigation to get their teeth into (one involving a former miner, the other corrupt officers) which get the team working hard. Then there’s Jack – a character who has been through it and who we get to learn more about in this installment. There’s lots to love here, but the best bit is that the easy style and easy flow of writing is what sucks you into the story. You read hungrily and quickly and only realise the complex historical background at the end. There’s solid research here that you access via L J Ross’ easy accessible style., Snippets of local history and intrigue pepper the juicy plot , only enhancing the flavour of the main meal and never overdoing it. The characters are further developed too and there are some surprises in store. Some authors with such a meaty plot and background might neglect the characters but L J Ross puts them in the driving seat. Keep an eye on Mackenzie, Phillips and Samantha. This really is a brilliantly woven series of crime, intrigue, romance and spectacular sense of place. Recommended!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dee Groocock

    A great start to this latest in the series where we go back to the 80’s and the mining strikes. Living in an old mining community, I found this really interesting. When a fire starts in the home of an 80 year old man and results in his death, DCI Ryan has to wonder if this is related to the mining strike back in the 1980’s. DCI Ryan and his team have a lot to contend with, as well as this case, it is believed there is a mole in the team. Who can Ryan trust? Are all his team whiter than white? I c A great start to this latest in the series where we go back to the 80’s and the mining strikes. Living in an old mining community, I found this really interesting. When a fire starts in the home of an 80 year old man and results in his death, DCI Ryan has to wonder if this is related to the mining strike back in the 1980’s. DCI Ryan and his team have a lot to contend with, as well as this case, it is believed there is a mole in the team. Who can Ryan trust? Are all his team whiter than white? I couldn’t put this book down, I was hooked from the first page. A fast paced story that was action packed. Full of great detail and plenty of North East charm. I highly recommend this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    With a fantastic cast of characters, a beautiful setting and an undeniable sense of place, it is little wonder that time and time again these books, the DCI Ryan series from LJ Ross, head straight to the top of the charts within mere hours of their release. I was late to the series, but have made up for it since, and each time a new book is released I will ensure that I make time to read it, no matter what. LJ Ross has reintroduced me to a part of the country that I always felt was beautiful, an With a fantastic cast of characters, a beautiful setting and an undeniable sense of place, it is little wonder that time and time again these books, the DCI Ryan series from LJ Ross, head straight to the top of the charts within mere hours of their release. I was late to the series, but have made up for it since, and each time a new book is released I will ensure that I make time to read it, no matter what. LJ Ross has reintroduced me to a part of the country that I always felt was beautiful, and has made me appreciate all of the wonders it has to hold all over again. Hell, I've taken my summer holiday there the last two years on the bounce and will be checking to see if third time really is a charm in 2020. So many things left to see and places yet to explore that I think I could visit every year for a decade and still not complete it all. This time around the area that Ms Ross draws our attention to is Penshaw, a small village that sits to the west of the Penshaw Monument, around halfway between Washington and Houghton le Spring. Now I have been to Washington more often than I care to remember and whilst I recall having seen it many, many times, I have never really given it much thought. I have now. The story opens in the midst of the Miners strike in the mid 1980's, a particularly dark time for the country, especially the heavily affected communities in the North East. Whilst the colliery in this book is fictional, the hate, the fighting and the emotional toil which is depicted in the story is not. This is only a back drop to what is yet to come, but has a heavy impact nonetheless. Whilst I don't really remember much of that period in history - I was only 9 when the strikes ended, on the verge of becoming an Aunty which was much more exciting to a young girl - many will have lived, and still do live, with the devastation that the pit closures caused. None more so, it turns out, than the book's first victim, Alan Watson, long thought to be the man who turned 'worm' betraying his village and his friends in the worst possible way. When Alan, and his wife Joan, are caught up in a house fire, DCI Ryan and Frank Phillips are sent to investigate, to determine if the fire was simply an accident or something far more sinister. With Alan having spent his life in hiding, slowing declining with each passing day, could his need to know the truth have been his last mistake, or did his fall from grace and sinking deeper into the bottle prove fatal? This is a perplexing case for Ryan co, nothing quite as it seems. The Watson family are completely fractured and the author has captured perfectly the differing fortunes of the parents and their children, even the two children themselves, one who turned to drugs, the other to politics. Add into the mix a whole mass of corruption, drug wars, and organised crime, as Ryan also has to head a multi task force operation to bring down a new up and coming crime syndicate, and you are left with a story which is equal parts tension, action and intrigue, one which kept me hooked from beginning to end. Speaking of ends ... Anyone who has read The Moor, book twelve in the series, will remember what a twist the author threw at readers right at the end there. Well ... no real spoilers to say that Samantha is back, and as bubbly and bright as ever. Her arrival in Phillips and MacKenzie's life has thrown them for a loop, leading to certain changes being needed, but it does give a real ray of light to the story and I'm loving seeing her stick about. And as for her unique way of handling the school bullies - love it. And then there is Jack. Jack, Jack Jack! His actions last time around will have repercussions for the whole team, leading to Ryan making some choices that go against everything he stands for, asking others to do things for him that he would never normally ask. You can feel the anguish over those choices, but, as is Ryan, as a reader you are thankful he has Anna to go home to. I love the way the author has built up this series, creating characters who are believable, relatable, determined but most of all fun. I love Phillips' humour, Ryan's stoicism and high sense of morality, also the way in which being with his friends and family, especially Anna, humanises him. Even if they are annoyingly perfect ;). A series which keeps going from strength to strength and I loved it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Bookliterati

    Penshaw is the thirteenth book in the fabulous DCI Ryan series, set in the beautiful North East of England, which I’m proud to call my home. This book follows straight on from the cliffhanger ending of The Moor, where Philip’s and MacKenzie were about make a life altering decision, and DCI Jack Lowerson finds himself in a dangerous situation. After a fire at a house in Penshaw, Ryan and Philips are called in to see if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. Ryan also finds Penshaw is the thirteenth book in the fabulous DCI Ryan series, set in the beautiful North East of England, which I’m proud to call my home. This book follows straight on from the cliffhanger ending of The Moor, where Philip’s and MacKenzie were about make a life altering decision, and DCI Jack Lowerson finds himself in a dangerous situation. After a fire at a house in Penshaw, Ryan and Philips are called in to see if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. Ryan also finds himself heading Operation Watchman, a cross department initiative aimed at bringing down Bobby Singh and his drugs business. With two investigations and the suspicions of a mole in the team, DCI Ryan finds himself pulled in several directions and not able to confide in anyone, not even Philip’s. Since finishing The Moor with it’s shocking cliffhanger, I have been chomping at the bit to get my hands on Penshaw. Only two days have passed time wise between the ending of one book to the beginning of the next, but a lot seems to have happened. DCI Jack Lowerson found himself in a life threatening predicament at the end of The Moor, and in this book we see him back at work but battered, bruised and frightened. Slowly we are fed the details of what happened over those two days and why he is acting out of character. The other plot line of the body of eighty year old Alan Watson dying the house fire has links back to the Miner’s strikes of 1984 that had a devastating effect in the North East, where mining was a primary industry. L.J Ross perfectly captures the feeling and consequences of the strikes, both at the time and how it still resonates today. The good thing about a series is being able to return to characters that are now like friends, and seeing them grow over the course of the books. Ryan and Philips are like an old married couple and I don’t think I will ever tire of their dry, Geordie humour and sarcasm. Both find themselves facing new challenges, Ryan in his lead role on Operation Watchman, and Philips in his personal life with his wonderful wife DI Denise MacKenzie. There is also the on off romance of trainee DC Melanie Yates and DC Jack Lowerson. These all add light. and shade, drama with a touch of humour that make these books such a brilliant read. For DCI Ryan fans Penshaw is a must read. Another fabulous crime thriller with plenty of drama and suspense, a touch of romance and the brilliant Geordie humour. The only downside is now having to wait for the next book in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tripfiction

    A whodunnit set in North East ENGLAND This is no. 13 in the DCI Ryan crime mystery series, set all around the North East of England. This time the area covered is from Newcastle upon Tyne down towards Sunderland, County Durham and Penshaw (where of course the Penshaw Monument can be found, which is technically in Tyne and Wear). It is a faux Doric-style Greek temple – a Victorian Folly – perched atop a hill, built in 1844 in honour of John George Lambton, the first Earl of Durham. And ‘Lambton’ f A whodunnit set in North East ENGLAND This is no. 13 in the DCI Ryan crime mystery series, set all around the North East of England. This time the area covered is from Newcastle upon Tyne down towards Sunderland, County Durham and Penshaw (where of course the Penshaw Monument can be found, which is technically in Tyne and Wear). It is a faux Doric-style Greek temple – a Victorian Folly – perched atop a hill, built in 1844 in honour of John George Lambton, the first Earl of Durham. And ‘Lambton’ for many will conjure up images of the story of the Lambton Worm which had to be fought as it was terrorising local inhabitants. As you can see, the North East is an area rich in tradition and quirky history, and the author, in all her novels, makes good use of locale and lore. As usual, the novel is a well-rounded tale of misdeeds and murders, with romance, humour and social concern thrown in. It opens in the 1980s with the Miners’ Strike, a tumultuous period in English history, when Margaret Thatcher pitched her iron fist at the collective mining community over pay. It was the start of the end of coal mining and caused huge damage to economic and societal infrastructure across mining areas in England – all situated in the northerly areas of the country. In the novel, Alan Watson was on the picket lines in the 1980s and, now, in 2019 he is in his 80s. One evening – the 8th of June 2019 to be precise – his house is engulfed in flames, a fire that was started deliberately it seems. His wife survives, he does not. Why would someone target him? There is also trouble brewing amongst the gangs who run the organised crime across the region. Bobby Singh is not to be messed with! This mystery can be read as a standalone, as any mentioned incidents from the previous 12 books are explained but I think the charm of the series is getting to know the characters, especially the star of the books DCI Ryan. You find out more about his marriage and enjoy his friendship with colleague Frank Phillips (who is known across the land for his love of bacon stotties). The story unfolds seamlessly and the author’s style is easy to read and engrossing. What more do you need from a whodunnit?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trish R.

    It says this is book 13 of 14 and I would hate to think the next one is the last. It’s a great series and I love Maxwell Ryan and his wife Anna, his partner and best friend Frank Phillips and wife Denise. And that Jack Lowerson, I was wondering if Jack was going to make it out alive. He was always getting in messes. This book was no different for Jack. And he had to work himself into a near nervous breakdown before he asked for Ryan’s help. All the while Ryan was working undercover trying to fer It says this is book 13 of 14 and I would hate to think the next one is the last. It’s a great series and I love Maxwell Ryan and his wife Anna, his partner and best friend Frank Phillips and wife Denise. And that Jack Lowerson, I was wondering if Jack was going to make it out alive. He was always getting in messes. This book was no different for Jack. And he had to work himself into a near nervous breakdown before he asked for Ryan’s help. All the while Ryan was working undercover trying to ferret out bad cops. It was an excellent storyline. I can’t wait for Borderlands to come out September 29th. There was no sex, but it was a good love story. Ryan and Anna were wonderful together. There was also no swearing. As to the narration: Jonathan Keeble is as great with this book as he was with all 12 of the others. Loved Ryan’s sexy voice and Franks rough gravelly one. Everyone had their own voice to where it didn’t have to tell you who was speaking, you recognized the voice automatically.

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Lowther

    I ordered Penshaw because I'm very familiar with the area. I didn't realise there were a dozen books featuring DCI Ryan which precede this. Penshaw is an excellent detective story with some very attractive heroes, some dreadful villains, thrilling locations and fascinating plot. The police procedural aspect of the tale is well-constructed and grippingly told. Dialogue is convincing and the plot exciting. Soon I shall start at the beginning with the DCI Ryan mysteries. Very entertaining. David Low I ordered Penshaw because I'm very familiar with the area. I didn't realise there were a dozen books featuring DCI Ryan which precede this. Penshaw is an excellent detective story with some very attractive heroes, some dreadful villains, thrilling locations and fascinating plot. The police procedural aspect of the tale is well-constructed and grippingly told. Dialogue is convincing and the plot exciting. Soon I shall start at the beginning with the DCI Ryan mysteries. Very entertaining. David Lowther. Author of The Blue Pencil, Liberating Belsen, Two Families at War and The Summer of '39, all published by Sacristy Press.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christine Rennie

    I have just finished reading Penshaw, L J Ross’s latest book in the DCI Ryan series, Book 13 and yet again it was a wonderful, engrossing, interesting read. The storyline was superb and Frank and Denise as foster parents was a masterful stroke of genius, in my humble opinion. Whilst some of the storyline was a continuation from Book 12, the introduction of the former mining village of Penshaw was an interesting and intriguing storyline to follow. Yet again a superb story and an intriguing, engro I have just finished reading Penshaw, L J Ross’s latest book in the DCI Ryan series, Book 13 and yet again it was a wonderful, engrossing, interesting read. The storyline was superb and Frank and Denise as foster parents was a masterful stroke of genius, in my humble opinion. Whilst some of the storyline was a continuation from Book 12, the introduction of the former mining village of Penshaw was an interesting and intriguing storyline to follow. Yet again a superb story and an intriguing, engrossing read. I am looking forward already to Book 14! Highly recommended.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Williams

    Spellbinding I absolutely love the DCI Ryan series, I have just finished reading book 13 and like all the others there were twists and shocks galore. As a series I feel I personally know the characters and all the emotions they go through with each investigation and I am totally hooked. I pray there is a book 14 in the making and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the characters. Excellent writing LJ Ross. Spellbinding I absolutely love the DCI Ryan series, I have just finished reading book 13 and like all the others there were twists and shocks galore. As a series I feel I personally know the characters and all the emotions they go through with each investigation and I am totally hooked. I pray there is a book 14 in the making and I can't wait to see what the future holds for the characters. Excellent writing LJ Ross.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jude Bayton

    The writer does a consistent job of making her stories very interesting. The repeating characters are now so well developed that they enhance the story, and the reader roots for them. This was not my favourite story, but nonetheless deserves five stars because it is well written, interesting, and the pace of it is good. Well worth a read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    Another fabulous addition to the DCI Ryan series! Full review to follow!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    Another brilliant DCI Ryan book that had me completely hooked. Couldn’t put it down. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bexar Smith

    Amazing. I've liked the LJ Ross books a great amount so far but this is another level. Rings so true with the feelings of the ex mining communities in the region. Brought me to tears and laughs. G Amazing. I've liked the LJ Ross books a great amount so far but this is another level. Rings so true with the feelings of the ex mining communities in the region. Brought me to tears and laughs. G

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fish

    Brilliant The way the author writes you can imagine the people and places around the North East. The interaction between all the characters especially Phillips and Ryan is funny and brilliant. My wife has read all 13 books one after other she smiled and chuckled on each book. Then talks about the places she’s read as we’ve been to most of them. Wonderful thank you.

  28. 5 out of 5

    brian corn

    You did it again Love the way the characters have developed over the series, also love the links to the North East, my home. Knowing the places in which the novels are set makes the stories come to life. Will never tire of Ryan and his team. Love Phillips with his lovely north east humour and sheer down to earth personality. Keep writing I can't get enough. You did it again Love the way the characters have developed over the series, also love the links to the North East, my home. Knowing the places in which the novels are set makes the stories come to life. Will never tire of Ryan and his team. Love Phillips with his lovely north east humour and sheer down to earth personality. Keep writing I can't get enough.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Wild

    I enjoy this series much more now but little things spoil the general thriller read. Main culprits are 'manly' slap on the back of hug - I think we're made fully aware that the men are straight and not like to display effeminate mannerisms without the old fashioned term. The author's preference of the word fulminate over furious is also distracting, rather than adding a richness to the language used. I enjoy this series much more now but little things spoil the general thriller read. Main culprits are 'manly' slap on the back of hug - I think we're made fully aware that the men are straight and not like to display effeminate mannerisms without the old fashioned term. The author's preference of the word fulminate over furious is also distracting, rather than adding a richness to the language used.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Coulthard

    Great read Another great story from LJRoss I think the DCI Ryan stories are getting better, I hope there are many more to come.

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