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Publisher's Summary

The past never stays buried for long....

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan believes he has put his turbulent history behind him. Then, in the early hours of the summer solstice, the skeleton of a young woman is found inside the Roman Wall at Sycamore Gap. She has lain undiscovered for 10 years, and it is Ryan's job to piece together her past.

Enquiry lines cross and merge as Ryan is forced to face his own demons and enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who seems unstoppable. Murder and mystery are peppered with a sprinkling of romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular scenery of Hadrian's Wall country in Northumberland.

©2016 L J Ross (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    104
  • 4 Stars
    65
  • 3 Stars
    27
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    7
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Performance

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    45
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    18
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    1
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 09-03-16

Sort of a cliffhanger..

So, we still have “The Circle” doing their business in killing innocent people. What a whacked bunch of killers, but what a great storyline.

They find Amy Llewellyn buried in the forest, where she’s been for ten years, then Phillips finds other women that have disappeared or been killed that have similarities to Amy. I love serial killer books; I just don’t want to read about the gruesome killing.

We spend time with Ryan and Anna, and I really like how easy they talk about the killings and Ryan doesn’t try to sugarcoat things “to protect her.” I do get tired of heroes always trying to protect the heroines, like the heroines are made of glass, or something. And, Ryan finally tells Anna about his sister and how Edwards killed Natalie, it was sad. When it was told what actually happened that day (Ryan was dreaming) it was really horrible, what Edwards did to Natalie. And later Ryan told Anna about going to see Edwards so Anna decided NOT to tell him she felt like she was being watched that day. Duh! AND Edwards is still an important player in this story, even if he is in prison.

Soooo, someone called Holy Island a cliffhanger, which it was NOT. BUT this one is close to being a cliffhanger. It left a whole lot of unanswered questions about Ryan in this one. I mean, you really do have to read Heavenfield if you ever want to know what happens to Ryan, as well as The Circle.

This is truly a great murder/mystery/romance. I’m really lovin’ it.

There is swearing in this and the F-bomb was used 9 times. As to the sex, there wasn’t even a fade to black in this one BUT there was a lot of thoughts and feelings of love between Ryan and Anna.

As to the narrator: Again he was a wonderful reader with wonderful male voices and plenty of emotions but his women’s voices still suck. Guess I’ll take the good with the bad, because when he laughs or grunts or grumbles or whispers I can overlook anything.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

masterfully written

With plot twists and turns to keep you guessing! Can't wait to delve into the continuing saga in book 3 of the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Good mystery!

Just finished listening to this book, I would recommend it to any mystery reader fan!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Distracting narrative

Narrator used over the top pretentious voice for Ryan, which created a distraction when listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kit
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • 03-11-18

.definite improvement over the first installment

Solid plotting, goid character development, good suspense development, and better, if still a bit awkward and implausible, inclusion of romantic elements.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is great

I was intrigued after finishing the first book in this series. This second book was even better and I'm still interested enough to read the third book. (Listen, actually; the narration is perfect!) I like the characters and their side stories. I should have guessed the killer but missed clues and that's fine. At least I think I know who the perpetrator was. Can't say more for risk of spoilers.

This book left many threads still open. I hope this doesn't go on too long. It could get tiresome. But on to Book 3 I go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Please!

Not a police procedural. Evil, powerful conspiracy throughout the force and various peripheral characters. Too far fetched. . .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Potential is there

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No

What three words best describe Jonathan Keeble’s performance?

OK-not great.

Could you see Sycamore Gap being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It may make a better movie than book.

Any additional comments?

Although the first book was somewhat unpolished with unbelievable dialog and reactions of main characters I sensed real potential in first book in the series so I read the second--Sycamore Gap. There are moments in the book that are well done. But sadly, there are overshadowed by many moments that seem juvenile, simply unbelievable and disjointed. Just didn't come to together at the end. Perhaps with a little more practice? Again, there is some potential.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not My Style

I read the first book in the series and debated reading the second. I thought the stories might move on from serial killers and secret Pagan fellowships. I would have welcomed more character development and a less predictable plot. However, the second book went right back to the same format as the first.

One thing that I enjoy in mysteries is a good puzzle in the plot. I like to be surprised by an unexpected ending. I found neither one in the two books I read.

I won't read any more books in this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Narration

While not a true serial, there are characters and themes that carryover from book to book. The series revolves around DCI Ryan's cases, which seem to all be linked. I normally skip books with hooks that force readers to buy all the books to get closure. However, Joanathan Keeble is such an excellent reader I will end up listening to all the books available.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
  • 07-27-16

Very enjoyable!

This is the second book in a trilogy and I feel that the writing of this one is a bit more assured than the first one, which did suffer a bit from the 'muscular shoulders -smouldering eyes - rippling muscles' type of writing! The plotting and character development of this one is much more confident and involving! Unusually for me, I am quite enjoying the feeling of on-going menace which underpins these books!
Jonathan Keeble's performance is, obviously, superb - and adds greatly to the pleasure to be had from listening to LJ Ross's books!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Iwe
  • 01-25-16

Not complete

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Its one thing to write a story with a view to a sequel, but this is so blatant that it doesn't have an ending.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • susan harper
  • 01-26-16

Bit disappointed

I am sorry not to have rated this book higher but I feel disappointed that after listening to both books, Holy Island and Sycamore Gap, the story still hasn't reached a conclusion. I think of these books as a long serial....just hope everything gets tied up in the next book and the team can start investigating a new case. Would have been brilliant if it could all have been covered in one book...yes, I'm disappointed.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sparks
  • 01-23-16

highly recommended, kept me quessing until the end

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend that people read book 1 first. The characters are gelling and maturing well now and it was a good suspense novel. It is a great second novel.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sycamore Gap?

without spoilers it is hard, but it was towards the end involving 2 of the main characters Gregson and Ryan

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

phillips is a great character, and the northern accent is not bad at all

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Anger at the incompetance of some of the characters, and true dislike of Edwards and Colin

Any additional comments?

LJ Ross has written a good suspense novel, a huge improvement on her first in the series and Jonathan Keebles narration had me on the edge of my seat at times.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Kitson
  • 01-26-16

Superb thriller in atmospheric Northumumberland

Would you listen to Sycamore Gap again? Why?

Yes. The gripping plot has tremendous pace that keeps the listener glued.

What other book might you compare Sycamore Gap to, and why?

This follows Holy Island by L.J.Ross - another must listen.

What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

The pace brings out the best of this great thriller and brilliantly portrays the characters .

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it is fast paced and a compelling plot.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for the last in the series- Heavenfield.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Salter
  • 01-31-18

Continuation of the Ryan Series.......

Sycamore Gap picks up where Holy Island left off, with the mysterious Circle still scheming in the background. The focus this time is on a body found within Hadrian's Wall, having laid there for 10 years. Ryan soon discovers that the murder has all the hallmarks of a killer he's already very familiar with.
Sycamore Gap continues the DCI Ryan story - which would certainly be more enjoyable if you finished the books in the order intended. The backstory here paves the way for the next book in the series.
If you enjoy a good, fast paced murder/mystery, then I can'r recommend this series enough.
Once again flawless narration from Jonathan Keeble....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Theresa
  • 09-14-16

Great story and realistic characters

A good book to listen to because it keeps moving without being shallow. Well read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eleanor
  • 07-30-16

Hooked again!

Another strong story and even better written than Holy Island. As a Geordie I enjoy the local setting. Inconclusive but not frustrating - just want to read the next book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bookworm
  • 07-23-16

gripping

loved it , clever , human and based somewhere I know ! perfect . Recommend this for a cold winter's evening by the fire .

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-22-16

Sycamore Gap

Very enjoyable book well written. Everything in it murder mystery, love interest. Let's not forget the occult dark satanic. A book that you do not want to put down.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-18

best mystery

love, love , love this series. edge of your seat, twists, turns and white rabbits. Super well written, I love this series. Is it the circle? or another muderer. Not written with crass but with a great story line and a tie to the next book.... maybe . Read the series now!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sonja Chalmers
  • 10-11-16

Gripping yarn

Great plot and riveting performance from Jonathan Keeble as usual. Terrific characterisations and can't wait to listen to the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 09-02-16

A gripping dark tale

You won't be able to stop yourself from listening to all 3 of these novels. Great storyline, magnificent performance by Jonathan Keeble. Great landscape images too

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Meryl
  • 11-28-16

Boring

Any additional comments?

After listening to book 1 of this series, I found this book too similar and it quickly became very boring.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful