Bestselling crime author LJ Ross’s seventh DCI Ryan crime thriller has catapulted straight to the top of the Amazon book charts within hours of going on sale.

It’s the second time in a row a DCI Ryan book has shot to the top of the Amazon charts on pre-orders alone.

But whereas Cragside took two days to reach the number one spot, Dark Skies had achieved the feat in just a matter of hours of being made available on pre-release.

Fans of LJ Ross and her fictional crime busting creation, DCI Ryan, began snapping up copies of Dark Skies as soon as it went on sale in the early hours of Hallowe’en, even though they won’t be able to read it until December 10 when it will be published in both e-book and print format.

Last night Northumberland-born LJ said she was thrilled Dark Skies had proved so popular with readers.

“It’s incredible to have had such an overwhelmingly positive response from loyal readers who have been waiting since July for the next DCI Ryan instalment.

“Even after six DCI Ryan novels, it’s always an anxious moment when you push the button to release your book. I never take anything for granted.

“I am incredibly proud and humbled all at once by the amazing reaction to Dark Skies. Writing can be a very lonely and isolating experience. To know as an author that your work is loved and appreciated is beyond words.”

LJ – real name Louise – has sold more than 1.3m copies of her DCI Ryan books since the first, Holy Island, was published in January 2015.  She hit the headlines when it knocked Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train off the number one spot on the Amazon charts.

The pre-release of Dark Skies means all seven DCI Ryan stories are now riding high in the Amazon book charts.

A proud North Eastener, LJ has deliberately set all her DCI Ryan novels in the region. Holy Island was followed by Sycamore Gap, Heavenfield, Angel, High Force, and Cragside.

Dark Skies is based in Kielder and promises to be one of DCI Ryan’s most dangerous cases to date.

One fateful night, three friends embark on a secret camping trip, but only two return home. Thirty years later, the body of a teenage boy rises from the depths of England’s biggest reservoir and threatens to expose a killer who has lain dormant – until now.

DCI Ryan faces danger from all sides. In the depths of Kielder Forest a murderer who has escaped justice will do anything to protect the secrets of the past. Meanwhile, an old foe has taken over as DCI Ryan’s boss, and is determined to destroy the charismatic detective.

LJ said: “Dark Skies takes its name from Kielder’s international gold standard dark sky status. I hope

The book will throw the spotlight on what a magical and unique place Kielder is. I love North East England, and I want my readers to as well.”

LJ worked as a regulatory lawyer in London before turning her hand to writing post-mortem fiction in her late 20s while pregnant with her first child.

She was offered a traditional publishing deal, but decided to take charge of her own career and go down the self-publishing route instead.