Book Review – Holy Island – A DCI Ryan Mystery

Cards on the table, I only got this book for two reasons: it was offered free with my Amazon Prime membership, and it is set on Lindisfarne which I have visited recently and absolutely love. I quite like detective books, although I haven’t read many recently, so I thought I’d give it a go.

So I read it while on a short holiday last week and quite enjoyed it, although I thought the end sucked. So I checked out the reviews.

As you can see it has over a thousand 5 star reviews which is very impressive, but I also noticed it had 125 1 star reviews, of which this was my favourite:

DCI Ryan, escapee from a French perfume ad by way of Made in Chelsea, lives on Lindisfarne and fumes. We’re never quite sure what he’s fuming about but he does a lot of it. DCI Ryan has the charisma of a baking potato but none of the spud’s inherent likeability.
Across on the mainland lives a fey mimsy whimsy creature, Anna, who holds down a job as a university lecturer?, researcher?.- who cares, you only need to know that she’s wetter than a haddock’s bathers. She used to live on Lindisfarne.

There’s a murder on the island.

Ryan stomps about fuming and giving orders to his sidekicks. Watch out for the Irish sergeant with the Scottish name – she’s flame-haired which gives her a bad temper. NO, it’s true! – it’s been proven by people at the University of Hairs.

Then there’s another murder.

Then there’s another particularly horrible murder. Involving fire. By now it’s clear that Lindisfarne, although just four and a half miles in area, possesses many of the characteristics of the Tardis, since nobody is close enough to notice the smell of freshly toasting person on the breeze.

The mainland police have no access to boats or helicopters so they have to wait till the tide goes out, leaving Ryan to do all the enquiries.

Ryan is very fuming now. Mimsy Anna has been sent to the island to help him as she is an expert on Things.

Ryan’s first contact with Mimsy makes DCI Gene Hunt of Life on Mars sound like the Editor of the Guardian Womens’ page.
Nonetheless Mimsy feels a fluttering in her underpinnings because she is a Big Wet Nelly.

Ryan calls round to hers one day, kicks the door off its hinges like any reasonable copper would do, and finds Mimsy without any underpinnings at all, having just got out of the shower …
I’ll leave you to guess what happens next.

That’s as far as I’ve got with this bilge. I know I should simply donate my Kindle to the British Heart Foundation charity shop, but could I really allow some misfortunate to stumble upon this without warning.

Do yourself a favour – save your eyeballs and your money.

Now, this review is much better than the book itself, and actually everything it says about the book is pretty much true. Much of the book is fairly ludicrous, and some of the plot devices really don’t work, or are introduced and then never appear again, (like the killer’s internal monologue – weird that you only hear it once). So what rating do I give it? The thing is I enjoyed reading it. Maybe I’m not demanding enough, or maybe I’m very good at suspending disbelief, or maybe I just didn’t expect too much from what I thought of as a ‘trashy’ novel I got for free.

I read the absolutely sublime All The Light We Cannot See before Holy Island. Another great book wouldn’t have worked afterwards, it would have been too much. Perhaps every book doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s a bit like watching TV, sometimes you want to watch a really high quality drama, other times you just want to settle down with something undemanding that passes the time.

So is Holy Island a good book? As always it depends what you like and how you’re feeling at the time. Sitting outside my caravan with a glass of wine, it was a good book.

And while we are in the subject of reviews, The Path Of Swords just got another 5 star review on Amazon. If you want to take a look then click on the links below.        for the UK           for the US

Thanks again.




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