Dead End by Rachel Lynch is yet another incredible thriller which shows her development as an author in all thing character, plot and place. I love reading and reviewing her books as I always know that she will put together a distinct plot with brilliant new characters, while still developing her staple ones. I enjoy the fact that the stories in this series always begin with two or three open cases which somehow end up woven into one another in highly unexpected ways. Dead End by Rachel Lynch will be published on 8 October, 2018 by Canelo. I will be doing a Q&A session with Lynch as part of the blog tour on 15 October.
Dead End continues following DI Kelly Porter in her crime/thriller series. While she does her job and leads the main plot of the book in her investigations, we also see her story develop. We see the aftermath of Nikki, her sister’s prior abduction; how her mother is handling her illness and we get to enjoy the beauty that is her and Johnny’s budding relationship.
The mystery… Dead End begins with a case of two missing girls, and the case of a dead earl in his house, all in the Lake District. As always, the story not only sees Kelly’s perspective, but also looks from the eyes of the victims and other characters in order to give a brilliant view of the crime scene itself. As Kelly tracks the girls’ disappearance, similar bodies and missing persons cases appear and she begins to connect the dots. However, nothing will prepare her for the way that these cases have been intricately bound together.
Why this is a great crime novel…
Dead End by Rachel Lynch is great because it takes a few topical issues into account; inheritance and old money, abduction and sexual abuse. She takes these societal issues and presents them in a way that most people would be able to stomach. She is not explicit with language, but there is enough said so that tension is built and the reader will understand what is happening. The plot itself is pretty good, and it kept me engrossed the whole way through. The only problem I had with the overall plot was the lack of explanation for the abductions, rapes and murders of the females. I did not feel that this was properly explored.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed the storyline following the earl’s death. The strange, old money family dynamics were intriguing, and I enjoyed the chilling environment caused by Linda and Brian, encompassing Zac’s life and making the circumstances surrounding the family feel eerie throughout. The foreboding feelings Kelly appears to get from going to their estate sets up the aura for the whole novel, as matters appear to get exceedingly worse and the detectives struggle to get any closer to discovering the truth. This is accompanied by the beautiful, yet mysterious setting of the Lake District, which I felt was better described in this novel than previously, proving Lynch’s improvements as a writer.
Overall, I love Rachel Lynch’s DI Kelly Porter series so far. Dead End continues her exploration of the human psyche and the ways that things can be threaded together without any awareness. This is a gripping, stunning thriller which I would recommend to regular crime and thriller readers, especially if you love watching the progression of protagonist detectives. It also steers clear of lots of female-led crime pitfalls, such as making it too much about them being a woman, or bringing in lots of memories and life anecdotes of the protagonist. Thank you to Canelo and NetGalley for my advance review copy of the book. I look forward to my Q&A for the blog tour!