Sycamore Gap

Sycamore Gap

THE EXPLOSIVE SEQUEL TO THE UK #1 BESTSELLER HOLY ISLAND The past never stays buried for long... Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for ten years and it is Ryan's job to pi...

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Title:Sycamore Gap
Author:L.J. Ross
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Sycamore Gap Reviews

  • Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess

    I'm definitely addicted. Addicted to DCI Ryan.

    I loved the twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat as I read. I also loved that this book had me researching various little titbits of local history (about three hours I think? Whoops!).

    There is a dark mixture of crime, obsession and history, with a creepy old cult of the rich and powerful thrown in for good measure. And it's a fantastic cocktail, the perfect recipe, because I just can't get

    I'm definitely addicted. Addicted to DCI Ryan.

    I loved the twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat as I read. I also loved that this book had me researching various little titbits of local history (about three hours I think? Whoops!).

    There is a dark mixture of crime, obsession and history, with a creepy old cult of the rich and powerful thrown in for good measure. And it's a fantastic cocktail, the perfect recipe, because I just can't get enough.

    You get to learn more about Ryan's past, about what made him who he is, about the skeletons lurking in his mind, about the man who devastated him, and the result at the end is a far deeper character and a better understanding of what drives him.

    This is a very tense thriller, and I felt that it was just that little bit darker than the first book. It was a fantastic follow up and has left me desperate for the next one.

    You can definitely read Sycamore Gap as a standalone but I would absolutely recommend reading them in order.

    ETA: Three months on and I already want to reread it!

  • PattyMacDotComma

    5★

    A body stuffed in a gap ten years ago points Ryan to his sister’s killer, but how? He’s in prison.

    LJ Ross has given us another in her excellent series about the handsome, troubled detective who is driven to find the killer who butchered his sister in front of his eyes.

    DCI Ryan and his now girlfriend, Anna, were introduced to us in

    . Both books are self-contained mysteries (in case you stumble on the second one first), but it’s satisfying to watch the characters

    5★

    A body stuffed in a gap ten years ago points Ryan to his sister’s killer, but how? He’s in prison.

    LJ Ross has given us another in her excellent series about the handsome, troubled detective who is driven to find the killer who butchered his sister in front of his eyes.

    DCI Ryan and his now girlfriend, Anna, were introduced to us in

    . Both books are self-contained mysteries (in case you stumble on the second one first), but it’s satisfying to watch the characters develop as the stories progress.

    The author skilfully incorporates foggy evenings, eerie isolated parks, and interesting settings – the gap is in Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage site built by the Romans 2000 years ago.

    This body belongs to a girl murdered 10 years earlier, around June 21, the time of the Summer Solstice. We met some members of The Circle when a girl was murdered on Holy Island in December, during the Winter Solstice. This secret pagan cult is run by some highly respected community figures, including professional people involved with the investigations.

    The Holy Island mystery was cleared up, and The Circle was thought to have disbanded, but no, they lived to fight another day, and by golly, they’re a nasty lot. There’s minimal discussion of cult ceremonies – it’s not that sort of book – but just enough to know the High Priest wields enormous power and influence with his satanic practices. And there's deadly competition within the cult. There’s not a lot of blood and gore, just enough to be cringe-worthy.

    We know who a few of Ryan’s deadly foes are, and we have strong suspicions about some others, but the author is so clever with her clues that Ryan figured it out before I did.

    Ryan is ably assisted by friend and trust-worthy veteran DS Frank Phillips, senior to him in age but not in rank, which would be awkward if they weren’t so close. A scene when they are reminded of Ryan’s sister’s murder:

    [Ryan protests.]

    The crusty Phillips has also managed to gain the affections of luscious, copper-tressed, Irish DI, Denise MacKenzie, who is later used as believable bait in a honey-trap. Good stuff!

    I recommend it highly and thank Booklover Catlady Publicity and the author for my preview copy. This is even better than

    , which I rated 4.5★.

    Now I’m looking forward to #3, please. It's going to take a long time to clean up this cult. :)

  • Sarah

    This is the second book in the DCI Ryan series and another corker of a read.

    This has to be one of the best settings for a crime series. There is so much history as well as stunning views and even though there are plenty of murders that occur, that certainly didn't put me off wanting to move there. If anything I thought that at least house prices would be cheap with such a high death rate!

    Ryan is just starting to move on with his life with a little help from the lovely Anna. Unfortunately when a

    This is the second book in the DCI Ryan series and another corker of a read.

    This has to be one of the best settings for a crime series. There is so much history as well as stunning views and even though there are plenty of murders that occur, that certainly didn't put me off wanting to move there. If anything I thought that at least house prices would be cheap with such a high death rate!

    Ryan is just starting to move on with his life with a little help from the lovely Anna. Unfortunately when a woman's remains are found, Ryan is having to face things he was hoping to put behind him. The case if anything starts to get quite personal for Ryan and I think to a certain extent he is struggling with how to deal with it.

    I loved how the author blends events from the first book in the series into the second one and the whole story flows really well. I think it would certainly help readers to have read Holy Island prior to reading Sycamore Gap with it pretty much following on from where that one ends and it will give them a better understanding to the case that Ryan is working on.

    Sycamore Gap is a thrilling and gripping read. The wonderful descriptions instantly draws you into the fabulous surroundings and I felt very much that I was there with Ryan and his team. The author certainly knows how to leave the readers wanting more and I can't wait to read the third in the series.

  • Linda Strong

    DCI Ryan is back and just when he thinks everything has returned to normal and he can concentrate more on his relationship with Anna, a man stumbles across a skeleton.

    It belongs to a young girl who disappeared 10 years earlier and was hidden inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. Ryan is going to have to face his own past to discover who killed her and more importantly, why.

    As much as I enjoyed the first book, I think I like this one even better. Maybe it's because the characters were so well wr

    DCI Ryan is back and just when he thinks everything has returned to normal and he can concentrate more on his relationship with Anna, a man stumbles across a skeleton.

    It belongs to a young girl who disappeared 10 years earlier and was hidden inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. Ryan is going to have to face his own past to discover who killed her and more importantly, why.

    As much as I enjoyed the first book, I think I like this one even better. Maybe it's because the characters were so well written, they feel like family now. I really enjoy Ryan and Anna's relationship .. lots of love, lots of humor. And she can read him like a book ..so there's no more hiding from her.

    The story line is defined so well, her descriptions could be for a land centuries ago ..or happening in today's world. Since I have never been one to travel, I thoroughly enjoy these jaunts in / to places I've never heard of, let alone visited.

    It's a fast paced mystery with clues sprinkled here and there. There is a bit of suspense left at the end ..which I believe denotes there may be another book coming ..soon, I hope.

    My thanks to the author and to Booklover Catlady Publicity who furnished the digital copy in exchange for an honest. unbiased review.

  • Jean

    What do the centuries old Hadrian’s Wall, Circle of Satanic worshipers, a serial killer, and DCI Maxwell Ryan have in common? Much more than one might think. LJ Ross has woven another dark, intense mystery involving Ryan and his colleague, Frank Phillips, as they attempt to unravel the interlocking puzzles of two murders: The skeleton of a young woman is found hidden within the old Roman wall; apparently it has been interred there for ten years. Soon thereafter, another young woman’s body is fou

    What do the centuries old Hadrian’s Wall, Circle of Satanic worshipers, a serial killer, and DCI Maxwell Ryan have in common? Much more than one might think. LJ Ross has woven another dark, intense mystery involving Ryan and his colleague, Frank Phillips, as they attempt to unravel the interlocking puzzles of two murders: The skeleton of a young woman is found hidden within the old Roman wall; apparently it has been interred there for ten years. Soon thereafter, another young woman’s body is found in the same spot. The crimes seem to be related, but can they possibly be work of the same man?

    It is the Summer Solstice. The Circle that was responsible for the deaths on Holy Island, Ryan’s previous case, has been disbanded, according to police officials. What Ryan and his team are seeing now has them wondering. My brain screamed, “Not again!” I enjoyed Holy Island a great deal, but I felt that a second book filled with secret members and sacrificial victims would be over the top. Much to my relief, most of the plot focused on other characters with motives even more malevolent, if that is possible. Ms. Ross has once again conjured up some wicked people; some are bad to the bone, while several others are quite skilled at masking their true selves, and they appear to function as normal human beings. One, in particular, had me completely fooled.

    The good guys are more balanced in their personalities. They have genuine feelings, they have relationships, and they work hard, not for power and prestige, but because they want to make the world better and safer. As in Holy Island, Ryan and Anna continue their romance; Phillips, too, has been bitten by the love bug, and I couldn’t help rooting for him. There are some smatterings of humor along the way also.

    It was easy to become immersed in this second book. I think I liked it even better than the first. Is everything resolved in the end? Regrettably, no. Questions are left unanswered and some crimes go unpunished. This leaves the door open for a third novel. I am not sure that I can handle more than three books in this vein, since for me, it really pushes the bounds of believability. Three and out for the Circle would be my preference. However, I do enjoy Ryan and Anna, Phillips, and Denise MacKenzie. I would like to see them investigating other sorts of crimes not related to the occult. Ms. Ross writes a suspense-filled plot and likable, as well as loath-able, characters, so I do look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

    I wish to thank the author and Booklover Catlady Publicity for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in exchange for my unbiased review.

    4 stars

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