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Murder mystery set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

11th October 2019

The Infirmary by L J Ross, murder mystery set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Murder mystery set in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The very successful DCI Ryan murder mystery series has been around for a couple of years now and The Infirmary is the prequel. Here the reader fondly encounters some of the characters who appear throughout the series as they start out. It is fun to know what the future holds!

The novel opens in the Summer of 2014 as the police are in hot pursuit of John Dobbs, up the northern granite tower of the Tyne Bridge. DCI Sharon Cooper has had her eye on him for the very gruesome murder of Isobel Harris, just a couple of weeks ago. Yet Cooper is not in on the chase and once Dobbs jumps to his death in the Tyne, she is still nowhere to be found. It dawns on DCI Maxwell Finlay-Ryan and DS Frank Phillips that something terrible has happened to her and they hurry to her home where they find her slain and carefully and surgically butchered. The MO is similar to the death that Isobel Harris suffered. Dobbs, at the time of the murder, however, was under very close police surveillance and it becomes clear that he cannot have been the perpetrator.

It would appear that there is an astute and cunning mass murderer with medical expertise on the loose……. whilst they deliberate whether it is a male or female killer, we, the readers, already know a little more than the investigating team. We root for them to get the clues in place so that they can prevent any further murders which we know are in the planning stage! Soon, the newspapers get their hands on the story and the term “The Hacker” is born. This is a character who dogs DCI Ryan in the subsequent storylines. But this person is no butcher, no bumbling moron. The Hacker has guile and a bit of expertise in surgical procedures and Ryan encounters more murder and mayhem on the streets of Newcastle as the novel comes to a thundering climax.

The author moves her characters around the city… from Fenwick’s beauty department to Tynemouth and there is even a notable side trip to the picturesque village of Wylam, which is the birthplace of George Stephenson, nestled on the banks of the Tyne. The Victoria Tunnel also gets a look-in, a newly opened attraction in the city. So the DCI Ryan series is excellent for exploring the North East through the eyes of this author! This is a top series that goes from strength to strength and not to be missed if you are a fan of the murder mystery genre.

This is no. 11 in the series, a prequel, so it is a good place to start. The next book in the series is Holy Island.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Murder mystery set in and around NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE from TripFiction on Vimeo.

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