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Summary

From the number one international best-selling author of Holy Island.

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.

©2017 LJ Ross (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

Critic reviews

"LJ Ross is the queen of Kindle." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"A literary phenomenon." ( Evening Chronicle)
"LJ Ross keeps company with the best mystery writers." ( The Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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A 5 star murder mystery

I came across this series in the beginning of the year and binge-listened to all audiobooks that were available at the time. I became a big fan of the DCI Ryan novels and the writing style of LJ Ross'; I always look forward to where the next story takes us and how the characters develop.

A fun evening of a murder mystery game turns into a real life catch-the-killer as we welcome back DCI Ryan and co. Although Ryan is present when the first death occurs, he is none the wiser about what exactly happened. There are more questions than answers during the investigation and the team is working around the clock to try to solve the crimes. They have their work cut out for them as, even with a limited amount of suspects, the motive is still unclear. It's a great big puzzle, and finding all the pieces requires everyone's skill and attention. I like how they work together in unison, making them a successful, close-knit law enforcement group.

The location offers the perfect backdrop to this whodunit; you can't help but think of Agatha Christie, with a modern twist. (However, Ryan is more handsome than Poirot!) While the setting is old fashioned, the story is fast paced and gripping. It has the right balance between solving crimes and having an insight into the personal lives of the main characters. It's great to see how the relationships/friendships evolve throughout the series.

I really enjoyed this well written novel and definitely highly recommend it!

Jonathan Keeble narrates this story brilliantly; he's been a great choice for all of the books in the series.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable

A less gruesome but equally interesting sequel to the DI Ryan series... I really enjoyed it

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Well worth the wait

Like so many, I'm hooked on the DCI Ryan series so read the book as soon as it came out. It was good, but not, it seemed to me, as multi-layered as the earlier ones - that was my original thought. Not quite so many nuances... A little more black and white. No narration though, that was to follow later, and I did wonder if it was worth buying both.

Definitely! As soon as Jonathan Keeble had read the first chapter I was hearing the light and shade I'd managed to miss when reading the book at too much speed when it was first published. He really is a superb narrator, and has made this series his own. All the familiar characters come to life again - and I do have a sneaky thing for the lovely Frank Phillips.

Please, Ms Ross, keep writing this series - and please don't ever change the narrator.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Love this series and this book

Really enjoyed this book, found the narrators whistling as he spoke a little distracting at times but if I didn’t concentrate to hard I could forget about it.
Can’t wait for the next one!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

OK but the weakest story in the series.

I have quite enjoyed the series but though a good listen this is not as compelling as the others. Excellent narration as usual.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Fabulous

As always a great mystery involving tangible characters and a plot that twists through NE England

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Just fabulous as expected

Great author at the top of her game and probably the absolute best narrator. What a combination. Superb.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • Herefordshire, UK
  • 14-02-18

Cragside....

Book 6 in the DCI Ryan Series.
Another very enjoyable instalment, although I didn't find it quite as engaging as some of the previous books in the series. That said, the series on the whole is great, and I'd recommend them to anyone.
If you enjoy a crime/mystery, with a bit of romance thrown in then this is certainly for you.
LJ Ross has produced a first class series here, and I'm very much looking forward to listening to Dark Skies.
Super narration from Jonathan Keeble once again. Flawless throughout the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Terrible impersonation of Geordie accents

I know that its difficult to master but the narrator does a poor impersonation of a geordie accent!

A few reality checks needed eg siphoning oxygen from pressurised gas cylinders and most of the descriptions of Cragside.



7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A rare 5 star treasure

I usually give excellent books a four star review and save 5 stars for the very best, and this is one of very few 5 stars fiction novels I’ve read this year.
This is the latest book in the series, but I didn’t feel that I needed to know what had happened in the past, although I cannot wait to finish typing this before going back to book one and start the series over from the beginning. I might speak Geordie by the end.
I listen to audio books in the car on the way back from the school run, giving me between 20 and 25 minutes of listening time each day. As the days have continued I was tempted to take the longer route home to finish it sooner. This is easier than trying to locate the Kindle on the steering wheel (just joking…) I found some of the north-east accents difficult at times, but the narrator audio work was very well presented and easy to understand. Given that the author and character with the setting all belong to the north east, I can see why the region was chosen and well presented throughout. I could easily have visited Cragside during my listening to this audiobook.
The outcome surprised me, as I was tricked into believing the identity of the killer as the clues became evident.
The audio book was so good, I can see how this could easily become a film in the future. I would go to see it.
Louise Ross writes a great story here with character development excellent throughout. I felt as though I knew all the main characters very well by the end of this story.
I was given free access to this audio book on Audible, without a review as a requirement. However, I’m more than pleased to present this review and its full five stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • CM
  • 22-10-17

JL Ross gets better and better

I was first drawn to this series at is set In my home county of Northumberland England. Firstly it was important that the narrator got the very particular local accent right which Jonathan Keeble does and he has a beautiful voice to listen to. Over the series the books have bece gripping as the back story of all the characters has developed . This book has somewhat of the country house murder mystery about it but that is no bad thing after the horrendous serial killer in the previous book ! I really enjoyed this one and all the others in this series and the author shows there is some dark days ahead for Ryan in the next book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ginny Barnhill
  • 19-10-18

Ross always presents fresh stories

LJ Ross's mastery of storytelling includes her ability to seemingly reinvent her characters with each story. They are real and relatable. Cragside is no different. The primary DCI Ryan characters do not disappoint, and new characters reveal themselves well and just in time. Jonathan Keeble is a master narrator. Simply, whether it's Cragside, or any other of the LJ Ross books, you cannot be disappointed--well, unless you're reading with that goal in mind, but that's on the reader; isn't it!

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  • Ann
  • 20-06-18

Excellent mystery!

Excellent mystery, narration and story! Am enjoying the series, and glad to be done with the "Circle cult"!

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  • Dany
  • 05-05-18

Love this series!

And this is such an amazing narrator! He can perform each character with their own personalized tone and pitch. Pretty soon I'm going to start talking in one of tbeir local dialects, eventhough I'm German, living in the US, with my own accent. :) On to the next book in the series!
Audible addict,
Santa Fe, NM

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  • barbara
  • 18-03-18

Craigside

Really good book, couldn't put it down. You felt like you were a part of Craigside. very good ending. Narration excellent.

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  • Trish R.
  • 03-01-18

7 stars for the book. 10 stars for narration..



Another great murder mystery with DCI Ryan and Anna, Phillips, MacKenzie, Lowerson and Yates. They make a wonderful team, book after book. Whether it’s about a murder or two or a serial killer it’s always such a thrill to read it and be shocked when you find out who the killer is.

This was about two murders but one was not a murder after all but an accident, though the one accidently killed was a blackmailer, so that was no great loss. The next WAS a murder and she certainly didn’t deserve it. THEN someone killed the murderer so Ryan was now looking for another killer. A couple of twists and turns going on and the second killer was quite a surprise.

There is never any sex in the DCI Ryan mysteries but the F-bomb was used 5 times.

As to the narration: All I can say is that Jonathan Keeble is simply phenomenal. Every single person has his or her own specific voice and his reading emotions are off the charts.

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  • JeanneW
  • 16-11-17

Ryan and Anna again!<br />

Good story and characters. The reader is diverted in clever ways from the ultimate peep.