Book Review: Rachel Lynch – Dead End (DI Kelly Porter book 3)

DI Kelly Porter returns in the third installment of this gripping Cumbria police mystery.

I massively enjoyed the first two of this ongoing series, ‘Dark Game’ and ‘Deep Fear’, as I got deeper and deeper into the world surrounding DI Kelly Porter. The third novel is another entertaining read, but the highlight of it for me was the continued development of the personal lives of the protagonist and those around her.

The crimes didn’t interest me quite as much as before. Maybe the girls being kidnapped and held in an unknown location was too similar to the second book for me, or I wasn’t that interested in Zachary Fitzgerald’s fishing trips. Nevertheless, they were executed and written very well and I have no complaints – even if I figured out the killer over a hundred pages before the end!

I enjoyed reading the scandalous details of what had gone on at Wasdale Hall throughout the years before Xavier, the Earl of Lowesdale’s untimely demise, along with the tragic family story which ran alongside it. I would have loved a little more development for Brian and Linda, the housekeepers, although I’m happy to live without it. I do hope that Zac maintains a background presence throughout the rest of the series – he seems a genuinely good kid and has a character which could easily be developed in the future. I think the story could have lasted another three to four chapters at the end – it does seem slightly rushed – but the main ends of the story were well wrapped up and I’m satisfied as a reader that most of my questions were answered.

As for Kelly’s personal life… I love Johnny, and I hope he continues to be shown as a sympathetic, kind character who is really her rock. The revelations surrounding her paternity are interesting too, and goes some way to explain why she has such a connection with a certain other character… Wendy didn’t feature as much this time round, and I think that’s a good thing. I find it quite funny that she’s implicated as someone who mixed in all sorts of high society because of her ex-husband’s job! I like her position as a background character who always manages to further the plot, and I know when she eventually dies, it will be a very sad moment.

All in all, this one was less hard-hitting than the last one especially, but that didn’t make it any less of a great read. The main challenge for author Rachel Lynch will be, as I race through this series, keeping the central cast occupied with things to do. Most long-running series let their protagonist’s personal lives become uneventful after a few books… although I don’t think there’s much chance of Kelly Porter’s home dramas becoming less prevalent! If anything, this book has solidified Rachel Lynch as one of my favourite authors, and Kelly Porter as one of my favourite detectives.

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