Paperback: 372 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (8 July 2015)
Synopsis: 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.
Netta's Rating: 5/5
Netta's Review: This is one of the best books I have read in a while.
Holy Island is the first DCI Ryan Mystery. Ryan is on a leave of absence from the police force following a devastating prior case. He retreats to Holy Island and keeps to himself while there. One morning an islander frantically knocks at his door to tell him that she found a body. Ryan's police instincts kick into gear and he throws himself into the investigation.
Anna Taylor, a university professor, is called in to assist with the investigation as a civilian . She is an expert in pagan rituals and grew up on the island although she hasn't been there in eight years.
Ryan and Anna each have their own ghosts to deal with and this investigation brings up some bad experiences and memories for each of them.
There is nothing predictable about this story. There are characters who are not what they appear to be. There is a long standing history of secret ritual on the island. There is family drama and secrets being kept by many. The book is full of twists and turns that kept me guessing. While it is predominantly a mystery there is a side love story that I enjoyed as well.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the second DCI Ryan Mystery - Sycamore Gap.