I decided recently to read more in my genre so I looked at the top 100 in romantic suspense (which is as near as I can get to defining what I write) and chose this, Holy Island from the Queen of Kindle herself, L J Ross. By chance I also then heard her interviewed on the Self Publishing Formula podcast – The Three Million Book Woman, L J Ross. She came across very well, and her rise to success, by her own admission, has been the stuff dreams are made of. However, since buying this book I have seen it, and her others, everywhere, so someone somewhere has got the marketing very, very right.
When I started reading however I did a double take and went to check the categories the book is listed in – Detective, Conspiracies and Action – Adventure – okay then, romantic suspense must be one of its smaller categories. So, onto the review.
I enjoyed the setting for this story. There is something incredibly intimate about an island, and one that gets cut off from the mainland at certain times each day lends itself to infinite possibilities for story lines.
The story itself starts with death and the discovery of the body. DCI Ryan, a character I liked very much, becomes involved, even though he is not on active duty, but because of his proximity to the scene he’s soon back in charge. I wondered for a while where the romantic element was going to come from but then the lady did indeed appear and settled in well having links with the island anyway. (I should add the sex eventually happens behind closed doors for those that like it that way.)
The bodies soon begin to mount and with them the rise in the belief that they are connected to some type of pagan ritual. Indeed, we see conversations between those involved, without ever finding out their identities, which adds to the intrigue.
This story does have a clearly defined ending, thank goodness, however, there are enough mysteries left unsolved and a delicious twist in the epilogue that will encourage you to continue on with the series if you’ve enjoyed the ride so far.
I’ve had LJ Ross on my TBCO (To Be Checked Out) pile for a while, not least because her books pop up everywhere and so she’s hard to ignore! (Cue ditto your marketing comment.) I also heard her interview and, like you, thought she came across very well. As yet I’ve not read her books but plan to give them give them a go. I liked her philosophy of wanting to write the story of how an investigation should be conducted (in the writer’s and readers’ mind), rather than too “realistic”.
But going back to your comment on categories, I’ve noticed that some books seem to have be put in categories which you’d be forgiven for thinking are rather “loose” in being attributed to that book. I was amazed to discover the other day that Cosy Mystery had sub-category of “culinary”! And while, yes, there were novels set in restaurants or about cup-cake making sleuths in the listing, it seemed that as long as there was at least one scene in the book involving food, it gave it legitimate reason for any mystery/crime book to be being included. (And with fewer books in a lesser known category, it much easier to become a “Number One Best Seller”. Not, for a moment, am I suggesting that’s why it might be placed there, you understand. )
Sadly, though, it means it’s harder for the reader to find the sort of book they want to read if they have to wade through a selection containing books which look suspiciously out of place.
Thanks for your comment, Wendy. I’ve heard that you can put your books in far more categories than the ones you choose when you load them up. Needless to say I haven’t got around to doing anything with this information but I guess others have! I do feel I need to do some background work into my keywords and categories though, although I’ve found it hard enough just to come up with the basics 😉 I hope you enjoy this series when you get to it.
Apparently you can choose up to 10 categories and ask Amazon to put your books in for you, but it’s not that easy to identify what’s available. For example, you can go down two different routes (and thereby identify two separate categories) to be in “women sleuths”, either as a sub-section of the main Mystery, thriller & crime genre, or in the Mystery, thriller & crime sub-section of Women’s Fiction. All very confusing!
Yup, I’d heard something along these lines but haven’t found the headspace to put the research in. It’s on my ‘To Do’ list, along with a load of other stuff! 😀
I love this series and have just finished listening to the dramatisation of the prequel, The Infirmary. If you enjoy that sort of thing I’d definitely recommend x
That’s great to hear, Cathy. With my TBR list I probably won’t read any further at the moment but I know this will be the first book of many for a lot of readers! x
[…] Close Cover by Lexi Blake was my next choice after reading Holy Island by L J Ross which I reviewed here, and it shows just how broad the romantic suspense genre is as it’s completely different to […]