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

  • Misfits farm

    Another brilliant piece of writing from LJ Ross. A body found after many years by chance or is it? Is it the same killer as before, or a copycat or someone as yet undiscovered? Unknown they maybe but they know about Ryan and his life, girlfriend and contacts. Is "the circle" still active or is this completely different? Police are not always what they seem- or are they? Somethings are left undiscovered which is where the next book , I hope, will clarify things even more.

    A standalone book althoug

    Another brilliant piece of writing from LJ Ross. A body found after many years by chance or is it? Is it the same killer as before, or a copycat or someone as yet undiscovered? Unknown they maybe but they know about Ryan and his life, girlfriend and contacts. Is "the circle" still active or is this completely different? Police are not always what they seem- or are they? Somethings are left undiscovered which is where the next book , I hope, will clarify things even more.

    A standalone book although follows on from Holy Island and best read as a sequel. Again scenarios and characters are very real and I can also picture this as a TV film/drama. 9.5/10 from me only because it leads into the next book and although an ending it's not quite (if that makes sense- and the next book hasn't been published yet!) Still unputdownable and can't wait for the next one!

    I was given a free copy of this book for an open and honest review.

  • 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.

  • Sue

    SYCAMORE GAP by L.J.Ross is a DCI Ryan Mystery, the SEQUEL TO BESTSELLER HOLY ISLAND, which I just finished reading. I would suggest reading these books in order to gain the full effect of the character development. I enjoyed this dark mystery even more than 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 Rom

    SYCAMORE GAP by L.J.Ross is a DCI Ryan Mystery, the SEQUEL TO BESTSELLER HOLY ISLAND, which I just finished reading. I would suggest reading these books in order to gain the full effect of the character development. I enjoyed this dark mystery even more than 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.”

    The romance between DCI Ryan and Anna is heating up and more genuine. But their relationship has to be put on the backburner when Ryan and his colleague, Frank Phillips, are assigned two murder cases. The skeleton of a young girl is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. It has been there for ten years. Then another woman’s body is found in the same location. Could these crimes be related?

    I found the plot relating to The Circle was a bit far-fetched to be believable, but I accept how it was linked to Ryan's former assignment before Holy Island. The author allows for the characters of Ryan and Anna, Phillips, and Denise MacKenzie to be more fleshed out, and the humor between the characters was uplifting.

    A very satisfying read.

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

  • 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

  • Petra

    This follows on from the events in

    , the first DCI Ryan mystery. Ideally, they should be read in order. I enjoyed this one even more than Holy Island. For starters, the romantic relationship between Ryan and Anna is handled so much better. It's become a lot more realistic. The plot relating to The Circle pushes the bounds of credibility a bit though, but I enjoyed how it was linked to Ryan's previous case before Holy Island. It added another layer. The characters of Phillips and MacKe

    This follows on from the events in

    , the first DCI Ryan mystery. Ideally, they should be read in order. I enjoyed this one even more than Holy Island. For starters, the romantic relationship between Ryan and Anna is handled so much better. It's become a lot more realistic. The plot relating to The Circle pushes the bounds of credibility a bit though, but I enjoyed how it was linked to Ryan's previous case before Holy Island. It added another layer. The characters of Phillips and MacKenzie are more fleshed out in this one. I love the humour that is added via the interactions between Phillips, MacKenzie and Ryan. There are some great characters in this, and while the cult theme isn't something I would usually keep reading, this storyline is exciting, suspenseful and interesting enough that I will pick up book 3,

    .

    And then, of course, they are all narrated by Jonathan Keeble, so that's reason enough.

  • G.J.

    The DCI Ryan #2 is a great follow up story to the first, entitled Holy Island. I think LJ Ross is a talented writer who creates well rounded characters, both good and bad and plenty of tension in her stories. I am not usually drawn to Detective series, but I confess that as I grew up in the North East of England my heart still resides there, and this series transports me back to so many familiar locations. As a teenager I enjoyed many school hiking trips around the area of Hadrian's Wall, and fe

    The DCI Ryan #2 is a great follow up story to the first, entitled Holy Island. I think LJ Ross is a talented writer who creates well rounded characters, both good and bad and plenty of tension in her stories. I am not usually drawn to Detective series, but I confess that as I grew up in the North East of England my heart still resides there, and this series transports me back to so many familiar locations. As a teenager I enjoyed many school hiking trips around the area of Hadrian's Wall, and feel it is time I had a trip back there before too long !

    I read somewhere that this novel could be read as a stand alone, however in my view it is better to read Holy Island first, otherwise all the references found in this one, Sycamore Gap would be puzzling to the reader. This book is fast paced with lots of elements to keep the reader guessing, I know I will certainly be reading the next one.

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