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High Force

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Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend? There’s a nationwi Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend? There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late? The clock is ticking… Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.


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Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend? There’s a nationwi Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend? There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late? The clock is ticking… Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

30 review for High Force

  1. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    4★ DCI Ryan is off again, after his nemesis, serial killer Keir Edwards, who brutally murdered Ryan’s sister in front of him and who has recently been released from jail. Edwards has always picked brunettes in the past (we don’t know why), but this time, the story opens with our favourite redhead, DI Denise MacKenzie in the boot of his car, rumbling off to God-knows-where! Her poor beloved Det Sgt Frank Phillips is beside himself with worry. We’ve come to know tall, handsome Ryan, his smart 4★ DCI Ryan is off again, after his nemesis, serial killer Keir Edwards, who brutally murdered Ryan’s sister in front of him and who has recently been released from jail. Edwards has always picked brunettes in the past (we don’t know why), but this time, the story opens with our favourite redhead, DI Denise MacKenzie in the boot of his car, rumbling off to God-knows-where! Her poor beloved Det Sgt Frank Phillips is beside himself with worry. We’ve come to know tall, handsome Ryan, his smart, studious brunette fiancée Anna, MacKenzie (in the boot), curmudgeonly Phillips and earnest young Det Constable Jack Lowerson from their previous escapades. It’s nice to see them all again. I think Ross gives readers enough background to enjoy this as a stand-alone (plenty of police procedure and action), but of course it’s more fun if you’ve watched Anna thaw Maxwell Finlay-Ryan out a bit and seen Frank lift his tired old game when falling for the younger Denise. Ryan (always called only Ryan – the reason actually explained late in this book), has been concentrating on protecting his own brunette, Anna, because Edwards is out for revenge after Ryan put him away. The resourceful MacKenzie (Ross seems to favour surnames) finds herself in a deserted farmhouse, locked in a room. She tries to prepared for certain death whenever Edwards returns, but she has to sleep sometimes. She wakes one night, sensing him in the room. “Just then, the clouds shifted outside and the moon’s watery light shone through the tiny window onto the tall, menacing figure standing over her. She could see that he had changed his clothes, and they were covered in blood. She knew then that the beast had been sated.” We see Edwards bait his hook to trap Ryan, and we follow Ryan as he finds clues and tries to avoid the traps he spots. Meanwhile, Ross can’t help reminding us about Ryan’s overwhelming appeal. He arrives at a crime scene and approaches the female sergeant who has begun questioning witnesses. Just to give you a sense of his 'superpowers': “ ‘DS Thomas?’ She turned to him with tired brown eyes, which brightened immeasurably when she spotted who had arrived. Lowerson watched her reaction with long-suffering acceptance and thought that, if he didn’t like the man so much, he might resent being consigned to the role of Ryan’s ‘less attractive wingman’. Some of his colleagues had begun to call it the ‘Ryan Effect’, but the man himself seemed totally unaware of the impact he had on people, which was probably for the best. ‘Yes. And you’re DCI Ryan,’ she held out a hand and wished she’d had time to run a brush through her hair.” See what I mean? He's a handsome bugger. Good story, action, a bit of scary blood and gore, and a couple of reveals at the end that give us some more insight into both Edwards and Ryan. The final struggle at High Force Waterfall is worthy of Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls . . . but I've said enough. On to the next one, Ms Ross! Thanks to Booklover Catlady Publicity for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    Wow There are not enough superlatives to do justice to this book. If the series ended here, I would not feel cheated, but knowing there are at least another 5 books published at this point. I know there is still a lot of fantastic stories to come. There is further development in the relationships and more background detail on DCI Ryan. Going to take a break from the series, but I will be back.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate~Bibliophile Book Club

    If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve read and loved the DCI Ryan series, so I was thrilled when Louise said I could read an ARC of High Force. I had been eagerly awaiting book 5 since I closed the last page of Angel to be honest so it was a real treat to be able to get back into the series. High Force picks up immediately after Angel finishes. I had told myself I’ll just read the first few pages and then I’ll come back to it… I had it finished the following day, it was UNPUTDO If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve read and loved the DCI Ryan series, so I was thrilled when Louise said I could read an ARC of High Force. I had been eagerly awaiting book 5 since I closed the last page of Angel to be honest so it was a real treat to be able to get back into the series. High Force picks up immediately after Angel finishes. I had told myself I’ll just read the first few pages and then I’ll come back to it… I had it finished the following day, it was UNPUTDOWNABLE. When you read series, if you enjoy them, you find yourself becoming invested in the characters. Well I do anyway, and the DCI Ryan series is no different. I just had to keep reading to find out what happened. The Hacker is back, and this time it’s personal. After his escape from prison he is gunning for Ryan. To make things even worse, he has kidnapped one of Ryan’s detectives. What follows is possibly the most tense and action-packed installment in the series so far. I say so far because there has to be more!!! I don’t like doing plot summaries, as well you all know by now. What I will say though, is that High Force is definitely my favourite of all the DCI Ryan books, by a mile. It has an excellent plot, a twisted antagonist and a superb cast of characters. If you haven’t picked up these books by now, what are you waiting for?! Highly, HIGHLY recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    5 Words: Crime, family, murder, games, superiority. This book picked up right where Angel left off. In the last book there was a definite shift of focus towards Henderson and I was glad to see that continue. She is a fiercely strong character. Unlike the previous books, High Force was much more thriller than mystery. Coming in to the story the reader already knows whodunnit and there's only the question of why to keep wondering about. But this is fast paced and gripping, and I did not 5 Words: Crime, family, murder, games, superiority. This book picked up right where Angel left off. In the last book there was a definite shift of focus towards Henderson and I was glad to see that continue. She is a fiercely strong character. Unlike the previous books, High Force was much more thriller than mystery. Coming in to the story the reader already knows whodunnit and there's only the question of why to keep wondering about. But this is fast paced and gripping, and I did not want to put it down. I couldn't help but race to the end. It is obvious as you read that the author knows the region. Living in the North East myself, I love the familiar landscape described within the passages. I love how I can recognise where the author is describing, I can plot everything out in my head. I quite liked the ambiguous ending, it was almost like a whodunnit in itself. I feel like this book wrapped everything up, tied up all the loose ends. It almost feels like a proper ending, and if the series were to end here I'd be happy with the ending (but definitely unhappy at no more DCI Ryan). If it were the end of Ryan's story, I'd love to see the story continue on with Fiona Henderson, because she definitely deserves a story (or 10) of her own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    G.J.

    I really enjoyed the fifth novel in this series, I think L.J.Ross has improved quite a bit since her first novel. The characters come very much to life ( though Ryan still strikes me as a bit too good to be true ! ) The Hacker returns, and McKenzie’s life is on the line.. plenty of action, tension and strong women !

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews

    The DCI Ryan series of books by LJ Ross is absolutely one of my favourite. I read, enjoyed and above all LOVED each and every one of them. So, I was ecstatic when the author announced the publication of her fifth instalment, 'High Force'. Now that I've read it, I find myself gobsmacked again and wondering how this author manages to write such brilliant, entertaining books time and time again. 'High Force' can be read as a standalone, but since the story picks up exactly where the prev The DCI Ryan series of books by LJ Ross is absolutely one of my favourite. I read, enjoyed and above all LOVED each and every one of them. So, I was ecstatic when the author announced the publication of her fifth instalment, 'High Force'. Now that I've read it, I find myself gobsmacked again and wondering how this author manages to write such brilliant, entertaining books time and time again. 'High Force' can be read as a standalone, but since the story picks up exactly where the previous book has left us, I would recommend reading 'Angel' first (which btw is just fantastic and one of my top reads of 2016). "It feels like she's dead already." The vicious serial killer known as The Hacker has been mentioned to some extent in all books in the series, but in High Force he's given central stage - he's on the loose and as bloodthirsty as ever. He's just kidnapped DI Denise MacKenzie from her home. Knowing that her life is in grave danger, Ryan and his team members, especially Phillips, are desperate to find and save her from the monster's clutches. The Hacker is hell bent on exacting vengeance on Ryan, but not before pushing him to his limit and shedding more innocent blood. The clock is ticking... will they make it on time to apprehend The Hacker and save Denise? Thanks to the author's superb writing and excellent characterisation, this suspenseful book kept me on edge at all times. The murder scenes are quite gruesome and require a strong stomach. The author did a great job in portraying and building Denise's distress and hopelessness and the team's anguish and desperation in locating her before it's too late. Balancing evil and darkness in this book are the author's vivid beautiful scenery descriptions which made me feel as if I were there, travelling through the beautiful Northumbrian countryside, with its lush green valleys and wooded dells. I actually had to google and learn more about the beautiful areas described such as High Force waterfall which I had never heard of! At the end, following a breathtaking finale, the author leaves the reader with one or two questions in mind. Hmmm... will I find the answers in the next book? I'm dying with curiosity... Needless to say I highly recommend this book and the whole series. They're all gripping, suspenseful, well-written books. With thanks to the author for a review copy of this fab book which I voluntarily accepted to read and review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Another well written installment of the DCI Ryan series, I found this equally interesting and hard to enjoy. This was darker than the previous books since a major secondary character (sorry, I couldn't resist using that oxymoron) is at the mercy of a crazy killer's whims. Seeing Phillips suffering and in anguish for the duration of the book was heart wrenching. But as much as this was difficult to read, it was also very satisfying. Anna kicked butt in this book. Seeing her take an active, albeit Another well written installment of the DCI Ryan series, I found this equally interesting and hard to enjoy. This was darker than the previous books since a major secondary character (sorry, I couldn't resist using that oxymoron) is at the mercy of a crazy killer's whims. Seeing Phillips suffering and in anguish for the duration of the book was heart wrenching. But as much as this was difficult to read, it was also very satisfying. Anna kicked butt in this book. Seeing her take an active, albeit unofficial and unsanctioned, role in the investigation was great. I love that she wasn't just a simpering miss, languishing at home without her heroic fiance. The romance, while understated, was still sweet, sincere, and mature. I loved how the MCs loved and took care of one another and am looking forward to reading the next book of the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trish R.

    Awesome! So, 5th book in the series and they just get better and better but I hated it because book 4 was a cliffhanger and I read it 9/2/16 and had to wait all this time to read the next. That wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t read 50 or 60 books in between then and now. That’s why I hate cliffhangers and I wouldn’t have read book 4 if I’d known it was one. However, I’m glad I did read this. It was awesome. Although, Keir is just so sick and what he does to people is beyond g Awesome! So, 5th book in the series and they just get better and better but I hated it because book 4 was a cliffhanger and I read it 9/2/16 and had to wait all this time to read the next. That wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t read 50 or 60 books in between then and now. That’s why I hate cliffhangers and I wouldn’t have read book 4 if I’d known it was one. However, I’m glad I did read this. It was awesome. Although, Keir is just so sick and what he does to people is beyond gruesome. And I doubt it has to be described in such detail. Poor MacKenzie was his prisoner through the whole book and he just loved to play with her. He didn’t rape her or anything like that but every time you turned around he reminded her he could kill her any time he wanted to. And once he let her escape, only to be watching her from the roof with a rifle aimed at her. He loved his mind games. Here’s my only problem with the book: A word was found on Beth’s palm that said “Invictus.” When Lowerson asks what it meant the BOOK said “unvanquished,” but the READER said “I remain.” And that happened 3 times. Then when “Maneo” was written in with the entrails of 2 victims in was READ as “unvanquished” but the BOOK said “I remain.” The whole thing was crazy and needs to be fixed. As with every book I loved the secondary characters: Anna, Lowerson, Phillips, and MacKenzie. They were all terrific. WOW! What an ending! I loved it! With 3 guns aimed you just don't know who it was that pulled the trigger, or if that all did at once. Spectacular ending. There was no sex in this book but the romantic feelings between Ryan and Anna was so sweet. And the F-bomb was used 2 times. As to the narrator: Jonathan Keeble was wonderful. His voices from book to book are exactly the same, Ryan’s was sexy as hell and Phillips’s was gruff and raspy and Lowerson sounded as young as he was supposed to and Keir Edwards sounded as crazy as he was supposed to be. And he read with great emotion, too. And the women sounded just as they should.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joanne Robertson

    This is fast becoming such a favourite series of mine that I couldn’t wait to read this fifth addition, especially as I only read the 4th book Angel a couple of weeks ago. And as Angel left me with such a craving for more, High Force was hardly on my kindle when it shot to the top of my TBR folder! So The Hacker is back on the loose and this time he is taking no prisoners, well actually, the main problem here is that he is!!! He has kidnapped DI Denise MacKenzie and the team are up ag This is fast becoming such a favourite series of mine that I couldn’t wait to read this fifth addition, especially as I only read the 4th book Angel a couple of weeks ago. And as Angel left me with such a craving for more, High Force was hardly on my kindle when it shot to the top of my TBR folder! So The Hacker is back on the loose and this time he is taking no prisoners, well actually, the main problem here is that he is!!! He has kidnapped DI Denise MacKenzie and the team are up against the clock to try and save her-if she’s still alive. Denise has been a favourite character of mine so it definitely raised my adrenaline levels having her put in such a scary and dangerous position but while we see her strength of character developing, we see Frank start to fall apart. Will the decisions he makes have fatal consequences? And if so, who for? I found the plotting here scarily fast and the thrill of solving the case more enjoyable than usual as well. We discover more about Keir Edwards at the same time as the team do so there were a couple of times when I was terrified for Anna! She fitted the bill of The Hackers favourite prey plus what a way to further destroy Ryan if she did become the next victim! My heart was in my mouth on more than one occasion! I have so much admiration for Louise Ross as she has kept this series fresh and intriguing whilst stopping it from becoming repetitive. Her plot twists still shock me as do the unique and graphically described crime scenes. The countryside settings are so picture perfect, it’s such a beautiful area of the country, that it really contrasts with the evil hidden away from DCI Ryan in the picturesque towns and villages. And I’m sure other fans of the series will agree that looking forward to the locations used by this author is just as important as the characters and the crimes they have to solve. A fine addition to the series and a huge thanks to L.J Ross for providing my review copy of High Force.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow! What a thrilling read this was. The DCI Ryan series is one very much of mystery but this book definitely had more of a darker edge to it. I was well and truly gripped. What a story line. The Hacker is a truly sick and twisted individual and I was desperate for Ryan and his team to catch him and put a stop to atrocious killings he was performing. The fact that he had taken one of the police’s own made it even more urgent. My heart went out to poor Denise who Wow! What a thrilling read this was. The DCI Ryan series is one very much of mystery but this book definitely had more of a darker edge to it. I was well and truly gripped. What a story line. The Hacker is a truly sick and twisted individual and I was desperate for Ryan and his team to catch him and put a stop to atrocious killings he was performing. The fact that he had taken one of the police’s own made it even more urgent. My heart went out to poor Denise who was being held in the Hackers clutches. You could very much feel the fear and emotions that she was gong through. The way that the Hacker tries to break her down was horrible to read and I was willing all my strength to her to try and stay strong. Poor Ryan just never seems to have an easy time of it. The Hacker escaping brings back a lot of memories that he would rather forget about and the fact that he is trying to play with Ryan and mess with his mind also is making it harder for Ryan to keep a clear head. Even though I have enjoyed all the books in this series, I have to say that High Force for me is the best one so far. I loved the added darkness and edge to this one and it really does make for an edge of your seat read. The speed at which the story picks up towards the end was just breath taking as I literally was holding my breath to see how it was all going to end. All I will say the is the whole climax was worthy of a standing ovation. Brilliant! My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Southwell

    This, the fifth in the Ryan series is full of surprises and is the best to date. The whole of the North East's police force are on the lookout for Keir Edwards, aka the Hacker He escaped from the roof of his prison, via helicopter. Who organised and paid for it? Once Ryan's hears that his nemesis has escaped, his nightmare begins. He was responsible for the death of his sister so it is very personal. As soon as the news breaks, it becomes obvious that one of their own is mi This, the fifth in the Ryan series is full of surprises and is the best to date. The whole of the North East's police force are on the lookout for Keir Edwards, aka the Hacker He escaped from the roof of his prison, via helicopter. Who organised and paid for it? Once Ryan's hears that his nemesis has escaped, his nightmare begins. He was responsible for the death of his sister so it is very personal. As soon as the news breaks, it becomes obvious that one of their own is missing. DI Denise McKenzie, much-admired colleague and the love of DS Frank Phillip's life. It doesn't take Denise long to work out what is happening and who he is. She worked in the prison undercover for a while and was called Ruth. Her relationship and job has now made her a prime target for Edwards. Edwards is supremely confident which is why he can move about without drawing attention to himself. He cruises in a bar on a Student's Night and 15-year-old Beth Finnegan was his next victim. The race was on. Ryan and his team worked through the night to establish how he had escaped and who was helping him. His solicitor? She was already suspended from work on other charges. Frank decides to investigate on his own and pounds down the doors of a business owned my one of the Moffa businessmen. He feels that they may know more than they are letting on. Two more murders. By frantically digging through Edward's past, they find he changed his name at aged 16. Why and who paid for him to go to boarding school. It all starts to make sense. All the main characters are brilliant as ever and the evil from Edwards is well executed. This fast paced plot keeps you gripped until the end. I loved it. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased. My thanks to Booklover Catlady for this opportunity.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Wadsworth

    High Force is large waterfall in Northumbria. There is a smaller one which I believe is called Low Force, and they are a natural beauty spot in the Northumbrian countryside. As a staunch southerner, and proud Bristolian, I am really very keen to move to Northumbria and walk these hills and dales. I may take myself off on holiday (alone) to visit one day. Anyway, we left DCI Maxwell Finlay-Ryan at the end of Angel, having solved the case of the murdered women but with DI Denise MacKenzie having b High Force is large waterfall in Northumbria. There is a smaller one which I believe is called Low Force, and they are a natural beauty spot in the Northumbrian countryside. As a staunch southerner, and proud Bristolian, I am really very keen to move to Northumbria and walk these hills and dales. I may take myself off on holiday (alone) to visit one day. Anyway, we left DCI Maxwell Finlay-Ryan at the end of Angel, having solved the case of the murdered women but with DI Denise MacKenzie having been kidnapped by The Hacker, AKA Kier Edwards, one time doctor, killer, madman. High Force starts a week later. Phillips, love of MacKenzie's life, is going a bit mad. He's gone to his old boxing gym, and Ryan finds him there, early one morning. He's knocked most people out and he's going at the next when Ryan rocks up, puts on his gloves and smacks him one. Phillips accepts that he isn't helping anyone like this, and allows Ryan to take him back to the office. They set up a new operation and they get cracking on trying to work out what has happened to Mack, where is she. Edwards is keeping her locked away in a little old cottage on the hillside and he drops in and out, when he's not in the city killing women. He sets fire to Anna's cottage (and the writing here is brilliant because it really reads like she's there, there are two scenes taking place at the same time and you think she's in her bathroom with him downstairs, it's really quite scary) and swaggers about the city pretending to Ryan. But Ryan works it all out. He works out where MacKenzie is and he goes to get her. MacKenzie however is not a woman to be trifled with and she gets out on her own, knocking Edwards out in the meantime. She legs it into the woods, badly injured but refusing to go down. There's an epic battle between Edwards and Ryan right at the top of the waterfall. One falls... Phillips holds MacKenzie in his arms and all is right with the world. I promptly spent my last fiver on Cragside (book 6) because who needs to eat? 5 stars. Obvs.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shell Baker

    Erm.....WOW!! This book is that fantastic I am actually lost for words, talk about blown away!! This is the fifth book in the Ryan Mysteries series. And most of you know that I am a big fan so can you imagine my excitement when I got the chance to read this. Well I couldn't wait to get stuck in. Did I mention that Angel finished on one hell of a cliffhanger?! Well High Force picks up right where Angel finished. With one electrifying start the hacker is back. After escaping prison and Erm.....WOW!! This book is that fantastic I am actually lost for words, talk about blown away!! This is the fifth book in the Ryan Mysteries series. And most of you know that I am a big fan so can you imagine my excitement when I got the chance to read this. Well I couldn't wait to get stuck in. Did I mention that Angel finished on one hell of a cliffhanger?! Well High Force picks up right where Angel finished. With one electrifying start the hacker is back. After escaping prison and kidnapping one of DCI Ryan's best detectives. Ryan's worst nightmare has just become reality. Just when I thought this series couldn't get any better, It does just that! High Force is shockingly brilliant and without a doubt the best one in the series. But then L.J Ross steps it up a notch and becomes more darker and twisted with some gruesome scenes. OMG I love it. There is something about the authors style of writing that I find totally captivating. Set in the North East with stunning descriptions of the area making me feel like I am there. A Visit to High Force water fall is definitely on my bucket list. This story is very fast paced and with out a doubt a page turner giving me a book hangover. I cannot recommend it enough, 5 massive well deserved stars from me. Thank you to LJ Ross for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    ‘The Hacker’ has escaped from the maximum security prison where DCI Ryan and the British Judicial System put him! High Force, a DCI Ryan Mystery #5, by LJ Ross main focus is Ryan’s ‘worst nightmare’. The way ‘The Hacker’ escapes wowed me as I had never heard of an escape ‘that’ way before. Ryan’s immediate thoughts are for Anna, his fianceé, as she is Keir Edwards’, ‘The Hacker’, premiere type to destroy. Plus, Edwards wants to totally decimate Ryan. Will there be a direct confrontation, Ryan ve ‘The Hacker’ has escaped from the maximum security prison where DCI Ryan and the British Judicial System put him! High Force, a DCI Ryan Mystery #5, by LJ Ross main focus is Ryan’s ‘worst nightmare’. The way ‘The Hacker’ escapes wowed me as I had never heard of an escape ‘that’ way before. Ryan’s immediate thoughts are for Anna, his fianceé, as she is Keir Edwards’, ‘The Hacker’, premiere type to destroy. Plus, Edwards wants to totally decimate Ryan. Will there be a direct confrontation, Ryan versus Edwards? As the reader is eneveloped by the story, certain events and their results are definitely a surprise! At least they were for me, a very big, totally unthought of jolt! “The clock is ticking...” A phenomenal mystery! Highly recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    mrsruthiewebb

    This book is very much ‘part 2’ of Angel so not really a stand alone story in its own right. I enjoyed the punchy drama of this follow on book but for some reason, it didn’t grip me as previous books have. A very good ending that had my heart racing and wondering if we find out who it was in the future (if you’ve read this one, you’ll know what I mean!). This book is very much ‘part 2’ of Angel so not really a stand alone story in its own right. I enjoyed the punchy drama of this follow on book but for some reason, it didn’t grip me as previous books have. ⁣ ⁣ A very good ending that had my heart racing and wondering if we find out who it was in the future (if you’ve read this one, you’ll know what I mean!).⁣ ⁣ ⁣

  16. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Number 5 of the DCI Ryan mysteries now completed. Same format - kept me page turning right up to the end. Although is Keir Edwards really dead?? Will have to read number 6 to find out!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    Love this series. Really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Oxier

    When Detective Denise Mackenzie is kidnapped by The Hacker, a serial killer that killed Ryan's sister and continues to evade capture, the team pulls out all stops to find him and bring Denise home. But Ryan knows that he's the one the killer really wants. He once put the man behind bars, outsmarted and humiliated him. Now that Keir has broken out of prison, he won't stop until he's once again caught or killed. This time Denise's life hangs in the balance. Very suspenseful. This killer When Detective Denise Mackenzie is kidnapped by The Hacker, a serial killer that killed Ryan's sister and continues to evade capture, the team pulls out all stops to find him and bring Denise home. But Ryan knows that he's the one the killer really wants. He once put the man behind bars, outsmarted and humiliated him. Now that Keir has broken out of prison, he won't stop until he's once again caught or killed. This time Denise's life hangs in the balance. Very suspenseful. This killer is about as creepy as it gets. Love this series!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    Like all fans of this series, I have been dying to finally see Ryan fight his nemesis, Keir Edwards (aka. the Hacker - this has nothing to do with computers but with his favorite method of disposing of his victims). We finally get it here and it is better than I dreamed. Ryan is always fighting for justice, but this time it's personal. At the end of the last novel we learned that Edwards had kidnapped a member of the team, so the stakes are so high that I don't know how the author will be able t Like all fans of this series, I have been dying to finally see Ryan fight his nemesis, Keir Edwards (aka. the Hacker - this has nothing to do with computers but with his favorite method of disposing of his victims). We finally get it here and it is better than I dreamed. Ryan is always fighting for justice, but this time it's personal. At the end of the last novel we learned that Edwards had kidnapped a member of the team, so the stakes are so high that I don't know how the author will be able to top this. What surprised me is the way it all went down. No spoilers, but I was expecting Ryan to single-handedly take the Hacker on and instead he takes a page out of Edwards' favorite torture device, the Beatles, and does it with a little help from his friends. And what friends. After 5 volumes, we know his team and I was cheering them on. Unlike his other adventures, this is not so much a whodunit as a manhunt for one of the baddest villains ever. Which takes me to Edwards. Much has been said about him being a reverse side to Ryan's goodness, and here we get to see this. We had met him before, but he is now untethered. These kinds of stories are only as good as their villains and in this case, he's the best. He's smart, psychotic and dangerous. Most importantly, he is alone while Ryan has loved ones. And the climatic scene that reminded me of a famous Holmes story had me screaming at my Kindle. Seriously, this is an excellent, five-star series. I can't wait to see where Ryan goes next. I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, Booklover Catlady Publicity!

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Gilchrist

    Another humdinger from this author, the fifth book in the series. A series that goes from strength to strength. All the loose ends from “Angel” are tidied up nicely in this book. This book is full of tension and many moments you have to hold your breath and take a step back., A fast paced story that keeps you reading to the last page, some gruesome parts, but that is what serial killers do. This will be a hard act for the author to repeat, but no doubt she will take on the challenge.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert Crouch

    With Denise Mackenzie held captive by ‘The Hacker’, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The need to find him before he kills again is palpable in every chapter. And it couldn’t get more personal. With pressure from the media and the top brass, Ryan and Philips must set aside their pain and fears to hunt down The Hacker, who has seemingly disappeared without trace. It’s fascinating to follow the trail of breadcrumbs that offers little hope at first. But the desperation and anxiet With Denise Mackenzie held captive by ‘The Hacker’, the stakes couldn’t be higher. The need to find him before he kills again is palpable in every chapter. And it couldn’t get more personal. With pressure from the media and the top brass, Ryan and Philips must set aside their pain and fears to hunt down The Hacker, who has seemingly disappeared without trace. It’s fascinating to follow the trail of breadcrumbs that offers little hope at first. But the desperation and anxieties reveal the true depth of the friendships and respect the key players have for one another. The occasional glimpses into Ryan’s past also offer details that helped me understand him and what drove him to become a detective. These small details revealed the intensity of his beliefs and principles, which made him an even more engaging character to root for. And as for the climax - let me just say that I couldn’t put the story down until the last breathless words were read and digested. Talk about tense and exciting ... I was exhausted, but exhilarated. The series grows better and stronger with every book, revealing a writer at the top of her game. But please read them in order to get the most out of these wonderful novels.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    WOW! L J Ross has done it again! This is another gripping read in this awesome series. I know I've said it before, but honestly this series just gets better and better. I think it's partly due to getting to know some of the characters more and more as the series progresses, making each book almost feel like catching up with old friends. High Force picks up where Angel (book 4) left off. There was no way I could not read this book immediately after finishing Angel and, OH. MY. GOODNESS, what a st WOW! L J Ross has done it again! This is another gripping read in this awesome series. I know I've said it before, but honestly this series just gets better and better. I think it's partly due to getting to know some of the characters more and more as the series progresses, making each book almost feel like catching up with old friends. High Force picks up where Angel (book 4) left off. There was no way I could not read this book immediately after finishing Angel and, OH. MY. GOODNESS, what a start to a book. Needless to say I was totally hooked from the very first page. The Hacker has escaped from prison and has kidnapped one of DCI Ryan's best detectives. She isn't his typical type, but he is determined to seek revenge on Ryan for putting him away and plans to hit him where he knows it will hurt most. He is free and whilst he plays his games with DCI Ryan, biding his time, he finds himself bored and looking for someone to satisfy his needs. Now, more than ever, the team need to find him and put him back behind bars before he can destroy any more lives. High Force was particularly terrifying for me, having a sixteen year old daughter. It doesn't even bare thinking about. I could feel the raw emotion of the team when a young victim is found. I know this is fiction, but I take my hat off to anyone who has to deal with these kind of things as part of their job. I know murder isn't pretty, but this one is particularly horrific and absolutely heartbreaking. Brilliantly written, as is the whole series so far. It's everything you could want in a murder mystery. LOVED it! Make sure you read them all, if you haven't already. I highly recommend! I will now be starting Book 6! https://chataboutbooks.wordpress.com/...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Louise McAuliffe

    4.5 stars- the best one yet! I’m working my way slowly through the L.J Ross series after being directed to the DCI Ryan books by a friend. Book one I wasn’t overly impressed by, but the series has thankfully got better and better! Needless to say there were no dull moments in High Force. I love the way the author makes the characters so likeable and the dialogue still so humorous in amongst the major abduction/murder plot strands. The shining light and central strength of these books is Northumb 4.5 stars- the best one yet! I’m working my way slowly through the L.J Ross series after being directed to the DCI Ryan books by a friend. Book one I wasn’t overly impressed by, but the series has thankfully got better and better! Needless to say there were no dull moments in High Force. I love the way the author makes the characters so likeable and the dialogue still so humorous in amongst the major abduction/murder plot strands. The shining light and central strength of these books is Northumberland itself. Knowing a bit about this part of the UK makes me feel a greater connection to the books. It really does help that the author knows her settings. Despite the plot, it should force the reader to want to visit the different locations! 👍

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna ~ The Romance Cover

    This is such an addictive series and the fact that I am devouring an audible a day is testament to how well penned this series is. With each instalment you can see the growth in the authors writing and each book is more detailed, twisty and unpredictable. I adore the characters in this series, both primary and secondary and the author really brings these characters to life with just the right amount of private versus professional life. Another author to add to my crime thriller auto-b This is such an addictive series and the fact that I am devouring an audible a day is testament to how well penned this series is. With each instalment you can see the growth in the authors writing and each book is more detailed, twisty and unpredictable. I adore the characters in this series, both primary and secondary and the author really brings these characters to life with just the right amount of private versus professional life. Another author to add to my crime thriller auto-buys.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rod

    L.j Ross has shown us through the DCI mysteries that she can keep us on our toes with ever new release High Force is a real stand out I felt it is really a good Idea to read the series from the start i feel i couldn't recommend this series more

  26. 5 out of 5

    kanmani

    good one

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Another great one in the series !

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Ryles

    The most eagerly awaited sequel to Angel is here and I for one could not wait to read High Force. It had no sooner dropped on my kindle than I had read and devoured it, reading way past my bedtime but powerless to prevent myself from reading just one more chapter. High Force picks up seamlessly where Angel left off, and if you've read Angel you'll know just what a jaw-dropping cliffhanger of an ending us Ryan fans were left with. Keir Edwards, aka 'The Hacker', returns to haunt Ryan a The most eagerly awaited sequel to Angel is here and I for one could not wait to read High Force. It had no sooner dropped on my kindle than I had read and devoured it, reading way past my bedtime but powerless to prevent myself from reading just one more chapter. High Force picks up seamlessly where Angel left off, and if you've read Angel you'll know just what a jaw-dropping cliffhanger of an ending us Ryan fans were left with. Keir Edwards, aka 'The Hacker', returns to haunt Ryan after his escape from prison and continues his personal vendetta against Ryan by kidnapping one of his colleagues. In a game of cat and mouse, Ryan and the team investigate every possible lead in order to rescue their friend and colleague. With an ultimatum from The Hacker, they have a race against time to find his location before he claims another victim, one they care a lot about. LJ Ross has another North East adventure in this amazing series, with some of my favourite local attractions featuring in High Force. There's High Force itself, although unlike the other books in the series it only features in the last quarter of the book. High Force is a spectacular waterfall in Teesdale where the River Tees plunges over the famous 295 million year old Whin Sill. I was also delighted to see Blanchland featuring in the book; it's one of my favourite villages to visit and I have been known to have a pint or two in The Lord Crewe Arms with its famous priest hole hidden within the fireplace of the adjoining hotel. Even though I know the locations well, they are so vividly described that even people who have never visited the area will be able to create an accurate mental picture. Although each DCI Ryan novel could be read as a standalone, you would get the best Ryan experience by reading them in order. The characters become so familiar that you know everything about them and you care what happens to them. I would absolutely love to see the DCI Ryan series picked up for TV to bring these fictional characters to life, as I have to keep reminding myself that they're not real...but they are real in my head. High Force is another outstanding book in the DCI Ryan series penned by the super-talented LJ Ross. Be warned before you read it: it is covered in virtual superglue so once you pick it up, it is impossible to put down. It felt like a few loose ends were tidied up in High Force but there are too many DCI Ryan fans (yes, we're all a bit in love with him) for this to be his last outing. Thankfully, LJ Ross shows no signs of stopping here (I hope) and manages to churn out her books in quick succession without scrimping on quality. Miss this series and you will regret it. All of us book bloggers cannot be wrong (we never are). I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Neats

    When I finished reading Angel back in September of last year I was left on tenterhooks by the author LJ Ross. That book ended with the mother of all cliffhangers so I was thrilled to be asked to read and review copy of High Force, book 5 in the outstanding DCI Ryan Mysteries series. As High Force picks up where Angel finishes it's difficult to know where to start my review as you might not be up to speed with the series and I'd hate to ruin it for you, so I'll tread carefully.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Roche

    Full review to follow.

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