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REVIEW: Imposter by LJ Ross

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

"The town moved together, united in its outpouring of grief. And yet, a predator roamed freely amongst them, undetected and unstoppable, at least in their own mind - which was the most dangerous place of all." (Pg. 54)

After starting LJ Ross' popular DCI Ryan series, I thought I'd give her other series a spin, starting with the first book, Imposter. This novel was shortlisted at the 2020 British Book Awards for 'Crime and Thriller Book of the Year', and I can see why!

Meet Doctor Alexander Gregory, a forensic psychologist called to a rural town in Ireland that is being torn apart by a mystery murderer. Gregory is skilled in getting into the minds of a criminal; finding out who they might be, what motivates their crimes, and who could be their next victim. But with small-town politics, hidden secrets, and little evidence, will this town be rid of their nightmare? Or will the murderer remain among them?

I just couldn't put this book down. The plot is gripping and complex, with so many twists and turns that my mouth was wide open whilst reading. My eyes couldn’t work quick enough with my brain, desperate to absorb all the information. Ross successfully plots a unique story, and I didn't manage to figure out the storyline by myself, with Ross setting up multiple possible perpetrators to get your investigative brain into.

I particularly enjoyed the psychological aspect of Imposter. Ross delves into what motivates murderers, what causes mental illnesses, and how forensic profiling works. I found it fascinating to read about and it gives the plot an even darker layer knowing that these crimes are committed in real life, with similar motivations.

The writing is everything you want in a fast-paced thriller. It is easy to get into, paints vivid pictures in the readers' mind, and allows you to form your own opinions on the storyline and characters.

LJ Ross is great at giving the reader a sense of landscape, with her DCI Ryan books set in dramatic Northumberland, and the same is found here, with a beautiful backdrop of the Irish landscape. Speaking of DCI Ryan, LJ Ross’ protagonist from her other popular series, he actually gets a mention or two in this Gregory novel! Knowing that these characters have ‘met’ each other made my literary heart very happy.

With a carefully-threaded plot, gripping writing, and a new protagonist, Imposter is one of those books with an unforgettable aftertaste that I could imagine seeing on the TV screen. I'd recommend this to any crime and thriller lover!

Thanks so much for reading!

Kate x

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