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**BLOG TOUR** Death at Rainbow Cottage by Jo Allen

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

Deep Fear by Rachel Lynch

When the naked body of a woman is found near a Lake District church, DI Kelly Porter immediately senses that the killing seemed personal and that the perpetrator had a particular grudge. When another body is found, however, she realises that there is much more to it and that there is a serial killer on her patch. With quotes from the Lakes poets being left with the bodies, the police know that they are dealing with a particularly disturbed individual who must be stopped before the body count continues to rise.

Deep Fear is the second book to feature Kelly Porter, the first being Dark Game. In the first book, we were introduced to Kelly who, after years of working in London, had returned back home to Cumbria. She could have been forgiven for thinking that her job would now be less eventful but, as she soon found out, the Lakes contain their fair share of dubious characters. In Deep Fear, we come across one of the worst sorts – a deranged serial killer who seems keen to mete out their own version of punishment.

This is very much a police procedural and a classic serial killer hunt – something I always enjoy reading. Like many serial killers, this one soon acquires a nickname by the press, in this case, ‘The Teacher’, as they seem to want to teach their victims a lesson. Initially, the victims seem not to be connected but as Kelly digs deeper, a link is found – has she found the right one though or is someone playing an even clever game? One of the things I liked most was that, in order to find her answer, Kelly and her team use a range of techniques, relying not just upon modern forensics, but also using good old-fashioned leg work.

Whereas a lot of the lead detectives in books such as this are very damaged, I find that, although Kelly has her issues, she comes across as a very real character. Her relationship with her family is well-written – it is very easy to imagine the tension caused by the dislike her and her sister share for each other. I also like the way Kelly works – she is a fair boss who still commands respect from the rest of her team.

This is definitely emerging as a series to watch and I look forward to seeing what the Lake District has in store next for Kelly Porter.

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for the ARC.

 

Dark Game by Rachel Lynch

51iT3GkUzaL._SY346_After leaving the Met, DI Kelly Porter has returned to the area of her youth – the Lake District. In a part of the world where crime tends to be minor, the detective takes on a cold case – the abduction and murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies. Cumbria is not as quiet as it seems, however, and she soon finds herself embroiled in several cases including the death of a local businessman and human trafficking. Maybe life in the Lakes is going to prove to be just as, if not more, dangerous as London.

When I picture the Lake District, I think of beautiful landscapes, Beatrix Potter, walkers taking on the numerous mountains and a general air of peace and quiet. After reading Dark Game however, my image may just have been shattered! Who would have thought that Cumbria was such a hot bed of crime?! After returning from London, Kelly must have thought that she would have had an easier time of it, but this was definitely not to be!

Dark Game deals with some very dark subjects and, from the start, when local businessman Colin Day dies under rather bizarre circumstances, the scene is set. We soon realize that the hotel where he is staying is a front for something else and that it forms part of a much bigger criminal organisation. What follows is, at times, quite graphic but when you are dealing with prostitution, gangland crime and human trafficking, it is essential to the plot. Whilst I was reading, there were several occasions when I found myself totally despairing in how vile some humans can be, not least when illegal immigrants were being forced into fighting each other to the death.

One of the strengths of this book is the characterization. I found Kelly a likeable protagonist and felt that enough of her back story was shared to pique my interest. Like many lead detectives, she is a flawed character but I was pleased that her back story did not take precedence over the crime as this means that more can be revealed in a later book. Rachel Lynch has also done a fantastic job with how the criminals are portrayed. They were a particularly heinous lot and definitely made my skin crawl.

I really enjoyed Dark Game and think this could be the start of a fantastic new series.

With thanks to Canelo and Net Galley for my ARC.

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