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Holy Island Audiobook

Holy Island: The DCI Ryan Mysteries, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 L J Ross (P)2015 Audible, Ltd

What the Critics Say

"Holy Island is a blockbuster." (Daily Express)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (799 )
5 star
 (365)
4 star
 (231)
3 star
 (116)
2 star
 (46)
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 (41)
Overall
4.0 (726 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (44)
Story
4.3 (724 )
5 star
 (401)
4 star
 (202)
3 star
 (74)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (18)
Performance
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  •  
    Colette 06/01/2016
    Colette 06/01/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    314
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    528
    88
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    Performance
    Story
    "Struggled to finish this one"

    This could have been so good. An interesting story and setting but dragged on until I thought it would never finish. A couple of hours worth of editing would have been a big help. My main complaint though was that it was too much like a Mills & Boon book. The hero is just far too gorgeous and moody and the heroine too headstrong and wilful. Some cringe worthy writing as they gazed at each other adoringly.
    Jonathan Keeble did a wonderful job in the circumstances.
    I won't be buying the next in the series.

    38 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Harwich, United Kingdom 18/01/2016
    Ms Harwich, United Kingdom 18/01/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Should this be a Mills and Boons??"
    Would you try another book written by LJ Ross or narrated by Jonathan Keeble?

    No - this is marked as within the Crime Genre - it should have been romance or at least fantasy!
    It was utter dribble with no conclusion as to why the villain had stooped to the levels he had. No credible explanation about why others had joined up. Poor Mr Keeble was overly annuciated - every romantic scene was cringe-worthy.
    The main characters were too perfect - just boringly predictable too


    Has Holy Island put you off other books in this genre?

    Only by the author. Awful book


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jonathan Keeble?

    No one - better left unnarrated or written


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration - I wasted a credit on this bilge. So annoying.


    Any additional comments?

    Never read anything by this author again

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louize Ely, United Kingdom 17/01/2016
    Louize Ely, United Kingdom 17/01/2016 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What utter gup"

    I wish I'd read the reviews before purchasing this book. As previous reviewers have said this was pure, badly written Milks & Boon. The story was so far fetched as to be farcical. The only plus was the narrator who read well

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr William Dewar 11/01/2016 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Utter tosh!"
    What disappointed you about Holy Island?

    This has got to be the most old fashioned sexist nonsense I have had the misfortune to listen to ever. It is all doe eyes and heaving bosoms and ranges from downright cringe-worthy to hilarious at times. I burst out laughing on numerous occasions when it really was not meant to be funny. Mind you, the island seems worth a visit since of the 200 residents if they are not stunningly gorgeous they are evil baddies, we even had a description of the loveliness of the main criminals teeth as he was about to perform a dastardly deed.


    What will your next listen be?

    Certainly not another in this series, maybe William Brodricks latest as I need some intelligent writing to get over this.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    I can't think of one to be honest, at a push the final one as it was comical for all the wrong reasons.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Holy Island?

    Nothing would escape my scissors.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to say that Jonathon Keeble did an excellent job as a narrator, his style seemed to suit the old fashioned dialogue and he has a way of sounding like he is delivering the dialogue rather than just narrating if that makes any sense at all. He also deserves praise for not cracking up laughing every 10 minutes.

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caroline 30/12/2015
    caroline 30/12/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "As usual gorgeous hero and heroine"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the narrator but guessed who was going to die, who the killer/killers were and got a bit fed up with the Tall Dark Handsome inspector and the beautiful intelligent female counterpart. How refreshing to have an inspector who is average height, balding with a paunch, I know John Rebus! As for the females, why cant they be short, overweight with bad hair, unremarkable eyes and not a brilliant Doctor, or University guru. Perhaps they dont sell books. Will I go for the next book? probably but will wait until their is a sale on.

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Whitfield Newcastle-U-Tyne 10/01/2016
    J Whitfield Newcastle-U-Tyne 10/01/2016 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could have been better but not bad for first book"

    Unfortunately I found the romantic elements jarring and unnecessary. The narration was superb.
    Quite predictable and too cosy for my liking

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Redford 07/01/2016
    Rachel Redford 07/01/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Nothing holy on a sacred island"

    This is a fast-paced, artfully written crime mystery beautifully suited to audio. DCI Ryan has come to the ancient and mystical island of Lindisfarne, rich in history and wild beauty, on a forced sabbatical following a traumatic and tragic murder case the details of which are slowly revealed during the story. Any hope of a serene restorative holiday is of course shattered when the body of a young woman is found on an ancient altar, clearly the result of some pagan ritual.
    The landscape of Lindisfarne is a brilliant backdrop, bleak, wild and beautiful, and the fact that it is regularly cut off from the Northumbrian mainland by treacherous tides adds to the atmosphere of lurking threat and murderous intent hidden within the island. Ryan knows that the killer is close by - and is watching him. Further murders - extremely gruesome seemingly pagan, ritualistic killings - follow. Ryan's time is running out.
    He is joined by Dr Anna Taylor to help with the investigation. She has specialist historical knowledge and was brought up on Lindisfarne, and her estranged sister is one of the victims. Anna is drawn to Ryan with his shock of black hair and piercing eyes, and he to her. Gradually they reveal their personal burdens of damage to one another and start to heal. But Ryan knows that Anna is in danger and tries to protect her, but she trusts the people with whom she grew up - with terrifying consequences.
    The pace is fast and the author drives her story forward with waves of plot, like the waves surging around the island. Time and again, you as listener think the mystery is solved, but it isn't, and suspense is cranked up yet again with an increasing feel of impending horror. The truth is revealed only in the very last minutes of the story. And then there's the Epilogue which delivers another final, final twist!
    The narration is excellent and very much increases the drama and tension of the plot whilst rooting it in the credible everyday by the reality of the characters' voices.
    And there's a final, final bonus too: after 'Holy Island' concludes there follows Jonathan Keeble reading the first chapter of L J Ross's next DCI Ryan book. You'll want to listen on!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel 30/12/2015
    Rachel 30/12/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Start of a Fantastic New Detective Series"

    This was a rocketing read! Never a dull moment. Characters were well developed and you were drawn in immediately. And Jonathan Keeble as narrator - well what can I say. I could listen to him read the phone book!

    I had not heard of the author LJ Ross before. If this was a debut novel I would expect some great reading ahead. I see there is a new release in the series coming 16/01/16. I will definitely download. Don't miss this series. Get in at the beginning!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Kitson Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom 26/12/2015
    Jim Kitson Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom 26/12/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Fantastic story and narration!"

    Highly recommended- a brilliant story and excellent narration. Kept me gripped right to the end!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KM 28/12/2015
    KM 28/12/2015 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Fabulous indeed!!"

    Well this book was just fabulous!!! I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't want to read it!! It just has it all - drama, suspense, romance!! It is the full package! I absolutely loved it and it really brought my partner and I closer together snuggled up in winter listening to it. We can't wait for the next one to come out!

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
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  • Michele B
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    19/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Soppy stuff."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not to my friends, no. It was full of promise and possibilities but the author thoroughly killed the book with excessive melodrama and completely unbelievable 'romance'.


    If you’ve listened to books by LJ Ross before, how does this one compare?

    I have not. If I had, I might have been forewarned about this one. But possibly this one isn't one of her best.


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought the narrator did an excellent job. I liked him and thought he did admirably with the material he had to work with. I would have been rolling on the floor wheezing with laughter at certain points.


    Do you think Holy Island needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Well, it is certainly presented that way, so it seems inevitable. Unfortunately.


    Any additional comments?

    I hate to be so negative, but I bought it hoping for a good mystery and instead got a soppy, unbelievable, romance filled with practicing pagans. If that is your cup of tea, you will love this book a lot.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • barbara
    Chiswick, Australia
    23/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "barbara cartland revisited, so old and corny"

    I only finished this book due to some other reviews being so positive, I was hoping that it improved. Such an old fashioned novel you would expect to be serialised in a 1950s womens magazine, tall dark handsome hero who demands his little lady obey him, looking deeply into dark eyes...with a sad past... so cliched! I was hoping for a true detective story with lots of the usual twists, not a badly written romance and whats with making the murders so gruesome - so not necessary, the joy of a police story is in the detective work and the unexpected finale...tension can still be there without the gruesome murders..so dramatic
    The narrater, Jonathan Keeble, was the main reason that I chose this book, he is first class.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Trish R.
    JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
    02/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good story. On to the next one.."

    A lot of reviewers complained about this being too much of a romance but I beg to differ. There was just enough romance to satisfy anyone looking for a romance/suspense/murder/mystery, like me. And to the one reviewer who said the author was a woman because she started getting into the “sex acts.” The first time they had sex he carried her to the bedroom, kissed her and it faded to black. And the second time they had sex it was fade to black. Not much of a sex act if you ask me.

    I liked all the background they gave on the players instead of going from one murder to the next. Ryan was on sabbatical due to the Hacker case he worked and things went very badly. Anna was back on the island she’d left 8 years ago, because of her mother’s fall down stone steps that lead to her death and the leap off the cliff her dad took. Anna was there to join Ryan on the case of ritual killings, and their attraction to one another was immediate. I really enjoyed that part of the book, made them more human and not just robots trying to solve some murders. She was also there to try to figure out where she and her sister went wrong so many years ago.

    One reviewer said this was a cliffhanger and THAT IS NOT TRUE. Two crimes were solved, Ryan and Anna got their HEA and that was the end of that story. The epilogue was just to let you know there was a next book that had to do with “the circle” if you wanted to read it.

    There was swearing and the F-bomb was used 16 times. LOL, I think 99.9% of the time the F-bomb was said by the hero, Ryan.

    As to the narrator: Jonathan Keeble gave all the men great voices, especially Ryan, but the women, especially Anna, sounded toooo much like men. I’m hoping in the next book, Sycamore Gap, he’ll do better. He did read with a lot of emotions, which he did fantastically.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Glenda
    Albuquerque, NM United States
    13/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Christian bashing must be popular!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author was able to understand everyone's beliefs or shortcomings except Christian's. He needs to learn how to write from a more unbiased perspective.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Another mystery


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has a pleasant voice


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Holy Island?

    Probably when the author made fun of the minister's wife's looks, it had nothing to do with the story line and made the character look petty.


    Any additional comments?

    There was no build up to the two main character's "feelings" toward each other. You couldn't tell the difference between their supposedly caring for each other or two other strangers hooking up in a bar!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mihaly Meszaros
    Fevik, Norway
    26/11/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful"

    Could not stand the story or the narrator and the main character is just a total ass

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gail J Elverd
    Sharjah, UAE
    24/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    Personally found the "burning looks". Heavy breathing etc a total turn off. Construct seemed clumsy and unbelable. Also hard to have 5 deaths in such a small place with so few residences. Not for me. Narrator did well with different characters.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • CM
    15/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed"

    I enjoyed this. I bought it because I come from the area where the book is set. If I did not know Holy Island I would have enjoyed it more. Having been to Lindisfarne many times you do have to suspend disbelief a bit. Not sure people who live there will appreciate the Satanic cult based on their Island. Anyway I liked the Characters and the pace enough to buy the next book "Sycamore Gap" I appreciated having the 1st chapter free as an add on to "Holy Island " and it is on sale! The narrator is good although his Northumberland accent wobbles a bit at times but on the whole v. Good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wild Horses Flying
    Bremerton, WA
    17/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painfully bad"

    I thought it was going to be good because of reviews and the narrator has a good voice for a detective procedural. However, the romance is ridiculous - i.e. being jealous when you've known the person for a day; the various love and drama situations are comically or excruciatingly corny and over-done. The main detective has an authoritative attitude take charge way and language that works OK at first but then becomes completely overworked, unrealistic and irritating -- no depth to character. It feels like a third-grader decided to try to write a grown up book. Sorry to be so harsh. I couldn't keep listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie Lacey
    Arlington, TX, US
    26/09/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Read"

    I am so excited to discover this series. Loved this first book and just bought the second.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anita
    Wagram, NC, United States
    20/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wanted to like it -- ah ha, a new series!"

    BUT the plot was pretty predictable, and the "oh you're so cute when you're feisty" female lead (gag) never exhibits any real strength or gets developed as a character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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