Cragside by LJ Ross



28th September 2018 – 4/5 stars

It was always going to be a challenge to follow the high drama and intensity of the previous two novels, Angel and High Force, so Cragside takes DCI Ryan and his team into a more traditional whodunit, set in a stately home. I’m not sure if there was a conscious nod to Agatha Christie, but I enjoyed the change of style and tone.

The pace is gentler, allowing more time to be devoted to the main characters as they cope with the aftermath of The Hacker in the last story. I love the way Ryan’s close-knit team work hard and care for each other. The relationships form one of the backbones of the series and provide some touching and humorous moments to offset the violence and tragedy of murder.

There are plenty of suspects as you would expect with a murder mystery and a good blend of detection and forensics to help the team close in on the killer in a dramatic finale.

Though it lacked the high stakes and tension of the previous novels, Cragside is an entertaining, well written story with a glorious setting and a sinister development that promises to raise the personal stakes in the next novel.

While you don’t need to have read the previous novels in the series, you’re missing out on one of the best crime series I’ve had the good fortune to read.

I’m off to read the next in the series.


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.


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