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When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective… DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective… DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until he has his man in custody. Nathan Armstrong is a dangerous psychopath but there’s just one problem – he’s also an international celebrity; a world-famous thriller writer with money and connections. Ryan is a stranger in a foreign land, but he knows one thing – he’ll never give up. Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular landscapes of Northumberland and Tuscany.


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When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective… DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until When an old man is found dead inside the ancient hermitage at Warkworth Castle, Northumbria CID are called in to investigate. With no apparent motive, it’s their job to unravel why he was murdered – and this time they’re forced to do it without their star detective… DCI Ryan is thousands of miles away. He’s tracked a killer across Europe and has sworn not to return until he has his man in custody. Nathan Armstrong is a dangerous psychopath but there’s just one problem – he’s also an international celebrity; a world-famous thriller writer with money and connections. Ryan is a stranger in a foreign land, but he knows one thing – he’ll never give up. Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular landscapes of Northumberland and Tuscany.

30 review for The Hermitage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kylie D

    Another unputdownable read in the DCI Ryan series by LJ Ross. This time we're following Ryan to Florence, Italy on the trail of a known killer that Ryan sees as the "One That Got Away". Meanwhile back on their own patch Phillips and MacKenzie are looking for the killer of an old man who worked as a boatman at a local historical site. As the investigations march onwards some of Ryan's team join him in Tuscany and we race towards the surprising conclusions. The Hermitage is another must read in th Another unputdownable read in the DCI Ryan series by LJ Ross. This time we're following Ryan to Florence, Italy on the trail of a known killer that Ryan sees as the "One That Got Away". Meanwhile back on their own patch Phillips and MacKenzie are looking for the killer of an old man who worked as a boatman at a local historical site. As the investigations march onwards some of Ryan's team join him in Tuscany and we race towards the surprising conclusions. The Hermitage is another must read in this series, which just goes from strength to strength. I'm now looking forward to reading the next in the series, "Longstone". Recommended for all lovers of crime and mysteries.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    Close but no cigar This was not a bad book, but didn't really work for me as good as the previous books. Not sure what the problem was, some great description of Newcastle and Florence, good characters and a reasonable storyline. But somewhere the magic was missing for me anyway. I am sure this is just a blip, looking forward to book 10. Yet again the best part was the ending. Close but no cigar This was not a bad book, but didn't really work for me as good as the previous books. Not sure what the problem was, some great description of Newcastle and Florence, good characters and a reasonable storyline. But somewhere the magic was missing for me anyway. I am sure this is just a blip, looking forward to book 10. Yet again the best part was the ending.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hans

    And again an amazing addition to this series. DCI Ryan and Anna are a real treat. As are Frank and his wife to be, Denise. Even in Florence! With a very moving, emotional finale. Can it get any better?!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    2.75 stars. Solid storytelling, mature romance, and a bit of a surprise twist. This one won’t stand out in my mind, but it wasn’t bad.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    I almost got to Northumbria last month, but, unfortunately, plans fell through. Thus, the next best way to travel to NE England is by reading L J Ross’ The Hermitage (DCI Ryan Mystery #9). What a surprise to discover that DCI Ryan and his wife, Anna, are in Italy - Florence, to be exact. You may well be asking ‘Why are Ryan and Anna in Florence?’ ‘Why is McKenzie temporarily sitting in Ryan’s seat at meetings?’ Well, Ryan is on an international manhunt - the one who got away so McKenzie (and Phi I almost got to Northumbria last month, but, unfortunately, plans fell through. Thus, the next best way to travel to NE England is by reading L J Ross’ The Hermitage (DCI Ryan Mystery #9). What a surprise to discover that DCI Ryan and his wife, Anna, are in Italy - Florence, to be exact. You may well be asking ‘Why are Ryan and Anna in Florence?’ ‘Why is McKenzie temporarily sitting in Ryan’s seat at meetings?’ Well, Ryan is on an international manhunt - the one who got away so McKenzie (and Philips) is/are helping out at home with CID. Ryan is more than determined, maybe obsessed, with bringing killer Nathan Armstrong to justice, but Armstrong is also “an international celebrity”. Ryan begins working with the Italian police to attempt to ‘get’ Armstrong. In Italy everything is slower than here in the USA. At least Ryan believes this. He wishes to start this manhunt, but the Italians admire Nathan Armstrong. Thus the Italians wish to tread softly. In addition, one must be aware of every players’ ‘connections’ - one being a well know mafioso family headed by a woman. This superbly weaved story gets somewhat complicated-not confusing just complicated! Anna glimpses her husband’s background. Ryan is being Ryan so McKenzie and Philips are requested to go to Italy to lend a hand. What an eye-opener for them! Not wanting to give away much, I cannot say anymore about the details, but I highly recommend this DCI Mystery especially if you would like to go to Europe, and you are not able to leave right now!! 4.5-5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The majority of this story is set over in Italy. Oh my, how the author brings the area vividly to life. Yes this may be a dark and chilling read in parts but boy did I fall in love with the place. The descriptions were just to wonderful not to.  I have to say for me the star of this book is Phillips. He brings some light relief to the story and many a times I found myself grinning at his local dialogue. Believe me, by the end of the book, you can't help ever so slightly falling a little bit in lo The majority of this story is set over in Italy. Oh my, how the author brings the area vividly to life. Yes this may be a dark and chilling read in parts but boy did I fall in love with the place. The descriptions were just to wonderful not to.  I have to say for me the star of this book is Phillips. He brings some light relief to the story and many a times I found myself grinning at his local dialogue. Believe me, by the end of the book, you can't help ever so slightly falling a little bit in love with him yourself. He really is such a sweetheart.  It's probably best to have read previous books in the story to get the most from this book as there is a bit of background you would be better of knowing to do with Ryan and Anna. It was great to catch up with them and see where the author was going to take us all next. The Hermitage was a gripping page turner of a read that I couldn't help but devour pretty much in one go. It was just to fabulous not to. The author is certainly one who is well known for bringing the settings in her books to life and you can't help but get wrapped up with the scenery as well as all the goings on in the case. The pace starts off steady and picks up throughout as we get nearer to the end and I enjoyed every minute of it. A highly recommended read.  My thanks to the author for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    It was still excellent but I just didn't enjoy the Italian setting as much. I loved the ending though. It was still excellent but I just didn't enjoy the Italian setting as much. I loved the ending though.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    Angry with myself for hoping this series would get better. It hasn’t. Ryan is too utterly fucking perfect and everyone else has the flaws. Sigh. It’s like reading someone's fanfic squeeeeing Angry with myself for hoping this series would get better. It hasn’t. Ryan is too utterly fucking perfect and everyone else has the flaws. Sigh. It’s like reading someone's fanfic squeeeeing

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sherrie

    Book number nine and they just get better. Couldn't put it down, roll on number 10! Book number nine and they just get better. Couldn't put it down, roll on number 10!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This is the first time that I've given a book in this series 4 stars however, I still very much enjoyed this book - I just want to make that clear. The reason I am rating it 4 stars is simply because I have preferred the others so far. Still a fantastic storyline that had me gripped. Maybe I'm getting a little fed up that the best things happen at the end? I also missed Ryan and Frank working together as a big bulk of the book had them separated. This is the first time that I've given a book in this series 4 stars however, I still very much enjoyed this book - I just want to make that clear. The reason I am rating it 4 stars is simply because I have preferred the others so far. Still a fantastic storyline that had me gripped. Maybe I'm getting a little fed up that the best things happen at the end? I also missed Ryan and Frank working together as a big bulk of the book had them separated.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Skyesmum

    Thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue with this one, how the 2 crime scenes played out and the team's investigation skills. The Ryans, Phillips and McKenzie are an absolutely fabulous team. The author really has captured my imagination. I listened to this one on audio via BorrowBox. Thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue with this one, how the 2 crime scenes played out and the team's investigation skills. The Ryans, Phillips and McKenzie are an absolutely fabulous team. The author really has captured my imagination. I listened to this one on audio via BorrowBox.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    Yet another brilliant book from L J Ross. This series just gets better and better. In this book Ryan and Anna head to Italy to track down Armstrong after he sent postcards to their home. Ryan won’t feel safe until he’s caught so asks the Italian police to help him. Back home, a ferryman is brutally murdered near a historic landmark and Frank and Mackenzie try and work out who took his life. I can’t say too much more and this book has lots of great twists and I loved the ending in more ways than Yet another brilliant book from L J Ross. This series just gets better and better. In this book Ryan and Anna head to Italy to track down Armstrong after he sent postcards to their home. Ryan won’t feel safe until he’s caught so asks the Italian police to help him. Back home, a ferryman is brutally murdered near a historic landmark and Frank and Mackenzie try and work out who took his life. I can’t say too much more and this book has lots of great twists and I loved the ending in more ways than one. On to the next book for me :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tripfiction

    Crime mystery set in NORTHUMBERLAND and FLORENCE There are two storylines over a 1000 miles apart. Near Warkworth, at the Hermitage, the ferryman on the River Coquet is found murdered. He is a bit of a recluse, someone who has been keeping himself to himself and as the story peels back, it becomes clear he is not all he seems. Ryan and his new wife Anna are hotly pursuing their nemesis, Nathan Armstrong. Both have history with him but he has managed to evade being charged with previous murders, al Crime mystery set in NORTHUMBERLAND and FLORENCE There are two storylines over a 1000 miles apart. Near Warkworth, at the Hermitage, the ferryman on the River Coquet is found murdered. He is a bit of a recluse, someone who has been keeping himself to himself and as the story peels back, it becomes clear he is not all he seems. Ryan and his new wife Anna are hotly pursuing their nemesis, Nathan Armstrong. Both have history with him but he has managed to evade being charged with previous murders, although his culpability is absolutely clear, evidence has been insufficient. He is currently in the midst of a book signing tour across Europe – his book “Il Mostro’ has been a chart topper for a long time. It details the pattern of a serial killer which coincidentally seems a little close to home; after all, Armstrong has seemingly killed people before and with new deaths coming to light, coinciding with his book tour stops, all paths seem to point in one direction. The Ryans arrive at Villa Lucia, not far from Piazzale Michelangelo in the city and settle in to plot their strategy. The local police need winning over and there is still quite some investigating to be done. An evening at the Uffizi – a masked gathering to add an extra layer of frisson – for one of Nathan Armstrong’s book signings sees a real turn in events and by this time his close ally from Newcastle, Frank Phillips and his fiancée Denise MacKenzie, are on the scene. They are struggling with their own wedding plans but with mounting deaths, they must put their personal issues to one side. Intrigue, Mafia connections and negotiating Florentine Polizia procedurals combine to make this a very readable and buzzy book. L J Ross has a very loyal following and it is justifiably increasing all the time. She is a fine example of an author who has made self-publishing work for her. It is a lovely series that is easy to read, the chapters are connective and don’t leave the reader hanging for prolonged periods. Is L J Ross the Donna Leon of Northumberland, with a brief outing to Florence? Yes, actually I think she is, but check out her books for yourself. This can be read as a stand-alone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in Northumberland and Florence! There’s something very special when a detective leaves his or hers home turf and flies half way across the world to investigate someone…Ryan and Anna are off to Florence and it’s a world away from Northumberland but really allows us to see a new and different side to the characters. Anna in particular made me laugh and high-five myself with the attitude she has here. Ryan is out investigating so she isn’t going to sit in the house, even if it is Visit the locations in Northumberland and Florence! There’s something very special when a detective leaves his or hers home turf and flies half way across the world to investigate someone…Ryan and Anna are off to Florence and it’s a world away from Northumberland but really allows us to see a new and different side to the characters. Anna in particular made me laugh and high-five myself with the attitude she has here. Ryan is out investigating so she isn’t going to sit in the house, even if it is a villa! I SO wanted to live in this fictional villa. It’s pretty darn special. Anna is impressed and so was I! There’s not much time for cocktails on the terrace however before the reason they’ve come here kicks off and all hell breaks loose. The city of Florence is brought to life with startling quality from the cobbled streets, vespas, ice creams and coffee. There’s lot of lovely mentions of sites, impressive buildings and a little bit of history sprinkled through the text which really helps to picture things. First time there for Anna so as well as work, they to are discovering the city when they have time. The Uffizi Galllery is an impressive venue anytime but as a setting for a crime investigation, it really comes unto its own. I was fascinated learning more about the history and status of this gallery. And the setting worked well for this investigation. Ryan and Anna are out of place in one way and doesn’t the Italian police let them know! But it allows their characters to develop and shine on another level. Don’t think that Northumberland is left out. There’s enough Northern heritage here to keep fans happy. And just think – Ryan’s away for now – so when the cat’s away, those police mice play! Some very funny scenes here. So, The Hermitage? Don’t be a hermit – get outside and buy this book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Coulthard

    Another great story l love Maxwell Ryan, Anna and the rest of the team, what can I say apart from I look forward to the next book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    G.J.

    The ninth in this series, this one is set in Northumberland and Florence ! Quite a departure for Ryan to be in foreign lands, but it added to my enjoyment. The usual characters are there , and I liked the story line. DCI Ryan does seem at times a bit tooperfect for words, but nevertheless it is a good series when you fancy a quick read :-)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Craig Gillan

    One of my favourite books in the series, fantastic storyline and characters as always, the way the author takes us through Florence make you feel like you know the place

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    I am always SO excited when there's a new DCI Ryan mystery to devour. I absolutely LOVE this series! L J Ross's writing is just awesome and I know I'm in for a treat with each new addition to the series. The Hermitage (Book 9) is another brilliant addition and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven't read this series yet, then why not? You really are missing out! Holy Island is book 1 if you'd like to start from the beginning, as I prefer to do. If you read that you will be hooked, like me, I am always SO excited when there's a new DCI Ryan mystery to devour. I absolutely LOVE this series! L J Ross's writing is just awesome and I know I'm in for a treat with each new addition to the series. The Hermitage (Book 9) is another brilliant addition and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven't read this series yet, then why not? You really are missing out! Holy Island is book 1 if you'd like to start from the beginning, as I prefer to do. If you read that you will be hooked, like me, I'm sure! First of all, that ending! So beautiful! It brought a tear to my eye and put a big smile on my face. What a lovely way to end such a tense story. I am so fond of some of the characters in this series now. It does feel like catching up with friends. I have to say I have loved the fact that this book is set in Italy also. I SO want to go there. Even more so now! I'd love a villa like Ryan's ;-) If only! I was on the edge of my seat reading this story as Ryan fought to prove that Nathan Armstrong, despite being a famous author with a huge fan base, is actually a dangerous psychopath who has so far literally got away with murder. It was never going to be an easy task, especially with the Italian authorities not being convinced they have anything solid on Armstrong, but Ryan and his team are determined. However, they could not be prepared for what they would uncover during this investigation. Nothing is quite as it seems and each twist in the story is as shocking as the last. The truth is quite sad and highlights just how far some people will go for fame and fortune, not caring who they have to stamp on to get there. Also, how grief can consume some people until revenge seems like their only option to find peace and justice. Brilliantly written, as always. Page-turner is an understatement! I can't recommend highly enough! I can't wait to read book 10! Thanks SO much to L J Ross for my mobi and beautiful signed paperback copy (and chocolate!). https://chataboutbooks.wordpress.com/...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dee Groocock

    I loved The Hermitage, such a wonderful book. I went on an amazing journey between the North of England and Italy. The way the book was written, made me feel like I was there with Ryan and the gang. Great characters and a good plot kept me rooted to my seat. This is a fantastic series and I would highly recommend this book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Fairbrother

    This was much less well written than the previous books in the series and I found the characters voices not to ring true. In places I found the style clunky and naive, something I have not felt at all in the previous books - it read as though written by someone else and less talented. A good storyline as always, but perhaps three books in one year is a step too far for quality?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna ~ The Romance Cover

    This series is totally addictive and having read nine books on the bounce I am still not tiring of the webs that LJ Ross expertly weaves. With DCI Ryan leading the pack, the team has become a family and they always have each others backs. When the chips are down these are a formidable force and I pity any serial killer or murderer of pits their wits against them.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Ryan

    Detective Chief Inspector Ryan and his wife Anna, have left Northumberland for Italy in pursuit of Nathan Armstrong, the psychopathic killer who first made his appearance in Dark Skies. Ryan is determined to bring him to justice once and for all but is hampered by the slower pace of the Italian policing system and Armstrong’s celebrity status as the author of an international best seller. Armstrong has an inflated sense of self-worth, money and connections which give him a feeling of invincibili Detective Chief Inspector Ryan and his wife Anna, have left Northumberland for Italy in pursuit of Nathan Armstrong, the psychopathic killer who first made his appearance in Dark Skies. Ryan is determined to bring him to justice once and for all but is hampered by the slower pace of the Italian policing system and Armstrong’s celebrity status as the author of an international best seller. Armstrong has an inflated sense of self-worth, money and connections which give him a feeling of invincibility, a conviction that he will always be able to stay one step ahead. Ryan and Anna are staying at the luxurious Ryan family villa in Florence, mainly because it’s surrounded by high walls and has the best security system money could buy. Safety was important, especially since Anna was with him. Back in Northumberland Phillips and MacKenzie are investigating the mysterious death of Edward Charon. His body was discovered in the hermitage, an old priest’s dwelling carved into the cliff on the northern bank of the River Coquet in Warkworth. The only way to reach the hermitage was by boat and Charon was one of the boatmen who ferried people across the river. As MacKenzie and Phillips dig deeper into Chalon’s background they unearth some surprising facts. Warkworth, in fact Northumberland as a whole, is a favourite place of mine and last time we were there, we took the rowboat across the river to the Hermitage. A very atmospheric place and incredible how it was carved out of the rocky cliff all those years ago. I love when I can picture the setting so clearly. This is another compelling addition to the series and taking Ryan away from his normal environment enhances and gives an extra layer to the story. I could picture the Italian settings, so well were they described, and I enjoyed finding out more about Ryan and his family background, how it contrasts with his and Anna’s life in Northumberland. Ryan isn’t used to standing back and waiting while another detective takes the lead, especially one who isn’t convinced he, Ryan, is on the right track. How can a famous and feted author be the dangerous psychopathic killer Ryan is convinced his is? Surely he has made a mistake. Although quite pleasant and appearing willing to further Ryan’s investigation, albeit at his own pace, it leaves the reader wondering if Inspector Ricci is actually being as helpful as it seems. The Hermitage is a fast paced and exciting tale with, danger, intrigue and connections with the mafia. LJ Ross weaves the storylines together seamlessly and the settings are brought to life wonderfully, as always. Everything is tied up nicely, the ending is delightful and I love that Philips always manages unwittingly to lighten the mood.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rod

    Another great read from L.J.Ross this is No 9 the best so far the whole DC Ryan series from book No1 has been a treat The Hermitage by L.J. Ross My rating: 5 of 5 stars Another great read from L.J.Ross this is No 9 the best so far the whole DC Ryan series from book No1 has been a treat View all my reviews Another great read from L.J.Ross this is No 9 the best so far the whole DC Ryan series from book No1 has been a treat The Hermitage by L.J. Ross My rating: 5 of 5 stars Another great read from L.J.Ross this is No 9 the best so far the whole DC Ryan series from book No1 has been a treat View all my reviews

  24. 5 out of 5

    Trish R.

    I absolutely love DCI Ryan, his wife Anna and their best friends Frank Phillips and Denise MacKenzie (now Denise Phillips.) And I love the way the awesome narrator Jonathan Keeble continues to give everyone their own special voice so that you know who’s talking without the book telling you, after this 9th book all the main characters still sound exactly the same. And this was a great story. All about Nathan Armstrong, the killer that got away once, but not this time, Ryan, Anna, Phillips and MacK I absolutely love DCI Ryan, his wife Anna and their best friends Frank Phillips and Denise MacKenzie (now Denise Phillips.) And I love the way the awesome narrator Jonathan Keeble continues to give everyone their own special voice so that you know who’s talking without the book telling you, after this 9th book all the main characters still sound exactly the same. And this was a great story. All about Nathan Armstrong, the killer that got away once, but not this time, Ryan, Anna, Phillips and MacKenzie followed Armstrong all the way to Italy and back again to England, but they finally got him red-handed. He got exactly what he deserved for the lives he ruined and the innocents he killed. There is no swearing and nothing more than a kiss in these books. As to the narration: Simply awesome!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Hunter

    Another brilliant episode in this brilliant series. Eagerly awaiting this book I started and finished it in the same day. DCI Ryan and Anna have travelled to Italy where Ryan hopes to bring a man, who has previously eluded Ryan, to justice. Meanwhile Detectives Denise Mackenzie and Frank Philips are investigating the murder of a ferryman in Northumberland. An enthralling, suspenseful and intriguing plot. Can't wait for the next in series! Another brilliant episode in this brilliant series. Eagerly awaiting this book I started and finished it in the same day. DCI Ryan and Anna have travelled to Italy where Ryan hopes to bring a man, who has previously eluded Ryan, to justice. Meanwhile Detectives Denise Mackenzie and Frank Philips are investigating the murder of a ferryman in Northumberland. An enthralling, suspenseful and intriguing plot. Can't wait for the next in series!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bexar Smith

    Great development of characters. Really enjoyed this one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I literally listened to this all day - well nearly! The combination of writing and narration just appeals to me so much. The next one is reserved - sigh seven week wait.

  28. 4 out of 5

    WeeJackie BookWorm

    Yet another excellent DCI Ryan Mystery. LJ Ross has done it again and Jonathon Keeble has made it an enjoyable listen. getting ready now for longstone book10

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    The best book of the series... so far! 9 books in, and they just keep getting better and better.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book is a little different from others in the series in including a very distinct 'outside' location. It was just as enjoyable beautifully done, and fitted together like a jigsaw. Very enjoyable. This book is a little different from others in the series in including a very distinct 'outside' location. It was just as enjoyable beautifully done, and fitted together like a jigsaw. Very enjoyable.

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