Friday, 12 October 2018

Dead End - Rachel Lynch

When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.
At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.
Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate...

Having read and loved Rachel Lynch's first two Kelly Porter books, Dark Game and Deep Fear, I was very much looking forward to diving into Dead End. We return to the glorious setting of the Lake District for this nailbiting third installment and are plunged straight into the action. DI Kelly Porter is running two cases at once in Dead End, the supposed suicide of an elderly earl, and two missing hikers who disappeared from a local campsite in the middle of the night.

The earl was elderly and the pathologist, Ted Wallis, throws the suicide verdict into doubt because of his age and other factors. Whilst Kelly is trying to work out who may have wanted the earl dead, and didn't want to wait any longer for his death, she's also trying to find out exactly what has happened to the two missing hikers. The girls were being stalked by an ex-boyfriend and staying at a campsite run by an extremely repugnant manager.

When links are made to a third missing girl, eerily similar in appearance to the other two girls, alarm bells start to ring for Kelly and her team. When bones found by a local walker come up in the investigation and a body is found in the hills it's time to admit that something sinister is going on in one of the most beautiful places to live.

The Kelly Porter series gets better with every book and this latest one is full of tension, from all directions. Kelly's home life has not improved, her sister is as bitter as ever, and her mother, recently diagnosed with cancer, is caught in the middle of the warring sisters. Her romantic life is improving in leaps and bounds though, with her relationship with Johnny, a local mountain rescue worker, one of the only things keeping her grounded. The mix of personal and work lives is partly what makes these books so readable, it's rare to hear so much about a detective's home life in a series and considering the curveball that Kelly has just been thrown I can't wait to read the next one.

Incredibly well written and detailed, Dead End paints a picture of the more sinister side of the Lakes. It's a page-turner, albeit a slow burner of one, but this ratchets up the pressure on each and every page. There are red herrings by the dozen, I defy you to work out who is ultimately responsible and get it right on the first, second, even third attempt!

If you like female-focused police procedurals where the setting is as important as the characters then do check out this series. Dark Game was a fantastic start to the series and Dead End only builds on that, to make a superbly addictive crime novel.
Dead End (Kelly Porter #3) - Rachel Lynch
Publisher - Canelo
Release date - October 8th, 2018
About The Author
Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Find Rachel on Twitter

Many thanks to Ellie & Canelo for the review copy and the invitation to take part in the blog tour.

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