When the body of a man is found in what seems like an unprovoked attack outside the home of activist Claud Blackwell and his wife, Natalie, DCI Jude Satterthwaite wonders if the man’s personal life might hold clues as to why it happened. When a second victim is found outside Claud’s office, the Cumbrian police fear that a serial killer is targeting people because of their sexuality. What proves to be a challenging case is made trickier by the arrival of a new boss, someone who has already crossed paths with one of Jude’s team.

Death at Rainbow Cottage is the fourth in the Jude Satterthwaite series and while this could be read as a standalone, the previous books help to create an understanding of the main characters and the circumstances behind their relationships. I like Jude as a character and particularly enjoyed his interactions with his new boss. I look forward to seeing how this dynamic develops in future books, especially now she is aware that Jude knows about her past. My opinion of Jude did change, slightly, at the end of the book and, again, I look forward to seeing how this story develops in the future.

We see that what, initially, look like unmotivated attacks, are connected, but who would want to kill people who appear to offer no threat to anyone? Jo Allen provides us with several potential suspects and leaves us guessing until the end as to what their motive is. Although I was not surprised by the big reveal, I was shocked by this character’s actions leading up to it, not guessing what they would do.

One of the things I enjoy most about this series is the setting. As I am reading, I find myself visualising the long country roads and the desolate cottages – a perfect place to set a gruesome murder! My only criticism, and this is a personal view, is that I would like to read less about Ashleigh’s love of tarot. I feel that this detracts from what is a great series with engaging plots.


With thanks to Jo Allen and Rachel’s Random Resources.

Take a look at my reviews for the rest of the series:

Death By Dark Waters

Death at Eden’s End

Death on Coffin Lane