Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby Priory.
When former local girl Dr Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface making her confront her difficult past. She and Ryan struggle to work together to hunt a killer who hides in plain sight, while pagan ritual and small-town politics muddy the waters of their investigation.
Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set on the spectacular Northumbrian island of Lindisfarne, cut off from the English mainland by a tidal causeway.
What a fabulous setting for a crime novel! I have to say I totally fell in love with Holy Island, although dead bodies turning up probably doesn’t make it the most sought after area to live. It actually reminded me slightly of Midsomer Murders as they both have idyllic settings and have that small community feel to them.
DCI Ryan, I was drawn to straight away. I was intrigued as to why he had been on a sabbatical and was worried whether he would be up to the job of taking on a case like this one. I didn’t need to fear though as he didn’t let any personal issues get in the way of tracking down the culprits. His head does slightly get turned by the lovely Anna though and I enjoyed the growing relationship between the two of them.
Anna seems to have had just as much go off in her past which she has tried to put behind her and move on by leaving the island. Obviously coming back to the island brings a lot of stuff that she had pushed far back in her mind back again, but I think that the murders and Ryan are a good distraction for her until it suddenly gets a bit to close for comfort.
This was a very steady read and kept me guessing throughout. I have to say the ending was pretty spectacular. I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be so tense and exhilarating and it left me on a total high after finishing it.
Holy Island without a doubt has everything that you would expect from a crime novel. It is full of mystery and suspense and overall a gripping read. With a strong start and finish, the author has left me desperate for more.
Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.
Holy Island is available to purchase from Amazon.