Dead End by Rachel Lynch
Canelo, publisher 2018
Publication date October 18, 2018
It's hard to describe how much I loved this book. It took me by surprise; I had never read any of Rachel Lynch's other novels, and didn't know what to expect.
This is a crime mystery, a 'whodunnit' and set in the lake country of Cumbria, UK. As a crime mystery it works very well, not revealing the killer until the very end of the novel. DI Kelly Porter, an ambitious and capable investigator, is charged with solving two crimes that appear unrelated at first, but then tie together later on. An Earl hangs himself, possibly an assisted suicide, and a pair of girls goes missing, seemingly due to foul play. The book takes the reader through these crimes gradually, adding in a murder, and with great investigative detail. As the book progresses it is easy to ask how these crimes are related, and eventually they are. As a reader, the author kept me guessing as to who the culprit was. I was never really sure until the very end.
The book has some of the best characterization I have ever read. The protagonist, DI Kelly Porter, is a complex character with a rich and complicated family life, a believable boyfriend, and a multilayered relationship with friends and the community. She struggles with problems in all three of these areas, and it makes her an interesting character. Other characters: the boyfriend Johnny, the son of the Earl, Zach, and others are also written in great detail.
Lynch's knowledge of autopsy and police procedure make for pleasurable reading. It's obvious that plenty of research went into writing this book and it shows in the fascinating details that make for good setting. Lynch is a British author and her choice of words and sentence structure reflect this. I recommend a kindle if you read this book; it makes looking up British words, like rota and scarpered, much easier.
I found this book utterly compelling reading, I nearly finished it in one long sitting. Highly recommended and 5/5 stars. D. Lowrey