Sycamore Gap by LJ Ross
5/5 stars. Absorbing, well-written, beautifully crafted and filled with characters you care about, Sycamore Gap is crime fiction with a heart.
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 piece together her past.
Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable.
Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian’s Wall country in Northumberland.
I thoroughly enjoyed Holy Island and soon settled into Sycamore Gap with its menacing subplot adding an additional layer of suspense to the main investigation.
Suspense and tension are always much sharper when the crimes become personal. In this case, DCI Ryan, still dealing with recent traumas, seems to be in danger on all fronts. The skeleton of a woman murdered ten years earlier could be the work of his nemesis, currently serving time for other killings. Or is there a copycat killer, vying for his attention? As the body count rises and his own partner, Anna, comes under threat, the stakes can’t get much higher for Ryan.
I really felt for Ryan, attacked on all side, trying to set aside personal trauma that could affect his judgement, while sinister forces plot to destroy his career. But he soldiered on, ably assisted by his team, trying to make sense of a convoluted plot that threw up several suspects before Ryan uncovered the real killer.
I enjoyed the Durham setting, the internal politics and the tensions between team members that all painted a realistic picture of a murder investigation. Absorbing, well-written, beautifully crafted and filled with characters you care about, Sycamore Gap is crime fiction with a heart.
Looking forward to reading the next in the series.