The Shrine by LJ Ross

The Shrine (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #16)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: DCI Ryan Mysteries #16
Publication Date: 5/10/20
Number of Pages: 236

OMGoodness – I have found a wonderful new-to-me author and mystery series. I came into the series at the sixteenth book, but I fully intend to go back and start at the beginning because I enjoyed this one so much. I loved the characters; I loved the setting; I loved the mystery; I loved the writing style, and I can’t believe I’m just discovering them.

I used the Whispersync feature with this book, so I listened to the audio of some of it and read some of it. I liked the narrator’s voice as it was very smooth and flowed nicely. However, he didn’t seem to have a very wide range for voices – the females sounded like males with high voices and the male characters just sounded kind of raspy rather than distinctive. That said, I still enjoyed the listen – just not as much as I would have if there were a wider voice range.

Detective Chief Inspector Maxwell Finley-Ryan and his wife, Dr. Anna Taylor-Ryan are happily awaiting the arrival of their first child. As Ryan muses, “For all the tragedies he’d known, Ryan considered himself a lucky man and never more so than the day he’d found Anna—the other, better half of himself.” Now, they are bringing a child into the world.

Never do they expect two tragedies to befall them – almost at the same moment. Are they related, or are they just coincidences? Detective Chief Inspector Joan Tebbutt is brutally gunned down right at her front door. “She heard the motorbike before she saw it and, when she did, there was no time to react. The first shot penetrated the side of her neck and, as the pathologist would later remark, she might have survived that.” At almost that exact same time, Rose is gravely injured in a bombing at Durham Cathedral. “In addition to the head trauma, your wife has several broken bones in her right arm and ankle. She’s also suffering from moderately severe smoke inhalation.” With two of their own dead and injured, DCI Ryan’s team will leave no stone unturned – there will be no hole deep enough to hide, nor any corner far enough away to hide these despicable criminals. The team will find them and see that they are punished – fully – under the law.

The best way to handle both cases is to divide and conquer, so the team divides up and each part takes a different case. Their leads lead them all over the place – from terrorists, to fraud, to vendettas, to – well, you name it and there is some of it in the story.

While we see who the murderer is, we don’t see the mastermind in the wind-up of this story. I assume the next book will see more of his/her machinations and then, maybe his final punishment. So, it isn’t exactly a cliffhanger, but we don’t get a total wrap-up of the story either.

I definitely enjoyed this read and cannot wait to get started on the first fifteen that I missed.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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