Cover Image: Dark Game

Dark Game

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Member Reviews

I really like this book.  UK crime books are really common, but this stands out from the crowd.  Everyone loves a good under-dog story, and Kelly is definitely that.  Well-written, exceptionally planned and all round good.
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Although this is a typical police procedural novel, it's fast paced and compelling, as the threads of three different cases are woven together for one compelling crisis. It's not the type of book that keeps you guesses - for the most part, it's pretty obvious who did what. But the characters are well drawn and the ending leaves you wanting more.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series.
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This excellent thriller exhausted me. I had many matchstick moments, desperately trying to keep awake late at night to read on and desperately wishing my eyes would read the words as quickly as the action was unfolding!

After being let down in the Met, by a colleague, D.I. Kelly Porter returns to her roots in the Lake District and transfers to the Cumbrian police force. If she thought crimes were going to be a bit milder here, she finds she’s very much mistaken. She reopens an old case…a distressing one involving the murder of a young child and at the same time investigates when a local businessman is found dead in a nearby hotel. Lottie’s case is heartbreaking but requires closure, especially for the mother, and the other is seemingly straightforward. But as Kelly digs into evidence in both cases, she discovers that crimes in Cumbria can be as far removed from mild than she ever imagined.

This is an exceptionally well crafted plot...and extremely well characterised…from the devious, hideously perverted, amoral, seedy characters, to the innocent, virtuous and law-abiding. Whilst the criminals in this story are very likely not going to be seen again, Lynch left plenty of scope for further development of Kelly and her team in further stories. Don’t get me wrong…that doesn’t mean it was lacking in this one!

A terrific, gripping, fast-paced thriller…I sincerely hoped this was going to be the start of a long line of DI Kelly Porter instalments, so I was ecstatic to find I could pre-order the next one, due later this year.  A very very easy decision!
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Thank you to netgalley and Canelo for this arc in exchange for my honest review. 

DI Kelly Porter has left MIT in London to return home to look after her widowed mother and take up in the local force in Cumbria. She is investigating a cold case on the death of a young girl which links to a large trafficking ring. 

Oh wow, this was such a brilliant read, so gritty and I had already cast the actors in my head (which is my favourite trick on books I can imagine on screen!) damn school run is stopping me from starting book 2 immediately
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I thought this book, the first in what I believe will be a  series of books about DI Kelly Porter, had its good points, but also, at times, some things that affected my overall enjoyment of the book. The storyline was good and was topical but I just felt that there were some things in the story (particularly ones where the Police didn't do things they should have done) that let the book down. There were points in the book where I just felt that things had become over-complicated and these detracted from the overall enjoyment. As a first in the series, I think things are promising for DI Kelly Porter now we've got to know a bit more about her and look forward to the other books in the series.
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This review is also posted in my blog :

Thank you to Canelo and Net Galley for a free copy of this book in trade for an honest review.

Wow, just an interesting read with a plot so twisty that makes you want to wonder whether the events are possible, but indeed somehow it is. I love this book for its complexity yet straightforwardness at the same time. The complexity of revealing an old case (the murder of Lottie Davies) and unraveling the ring of prostitutes/pedophiles that involved a number of prominent business men from this city. The straightforwardness of a good police work, a no nonsense attitude towards such a complicated case.

The story at first seems a bit meek. Kelly Porter is trying to unravel the murder of Lottie Davies. At the same time, there’s a business man, Colin Day is found dead in a hotel room. What follow is two cases that running in tandem at the same time and at one point crossed path. 

This story also highlighted the story of human trafficking and slavery. How some immigrants are trying to get better life in the UK, but instead got tricked and separated upon arrival. It’s a sad and horrible truth to read because human trafficking and slavery is still a problem in our modern world. It’s a scary thing to be within the prostitution ring without any choice of running away.

The characters have a strong attitude. Kelly Porter as a police is very straightforward and strong. Like the police team work in the story too. Gabriella as part of the story main character has a keen eye and courage. This is no weepy story, no drama.

The end is quite surprising but revealing. In the end, it’s like the story good guys win, bad guys lost. I think I would love to read another series from DI Kelly Porter again in the future.

Recommend for those who love to read about a good police work, a story with a twisty plot but still easy to follow and absolutely no weepy drama.
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This book was very good.  I enjoyed reading it.  I love the Lake District and felt amazed that anyone could think of the dark underbelly that existed in that beautiful spot.  However maybe that does happen, I do not know, but the plot was believable and interesting.
The characters were well drawn and you definitely felt threatened by them.
The life of young girls drawn into a secret life  where they do not "exist" is very worrying.
I did find that end of the story a little confusing as to what exactly happened as Kelly sorted it all out, but otherwise a good read.
I would love to read more by this author.
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What a great first outting for D.I Kelly Porter.
After leaving the Met in London Kelly moves back to her childhood home of Penrith. She thinks work will be at a slower pace out of the city but she ends up cracking one of the biggest people traffickng cases the country has ever seen. A Slovic gangster called Marco Popovic has been bringing illegals into the country in conspiracy with a father and son who own a haulage company. They are charged huge sums of money and promised new lives but the women are drugged and used as prostitutes, the men in illegal, fight to the death, boxing matches and the children sold as slaves or to peadophiles. Kelly and her team work tirelessly to figure out and bring down everyone involved.
I can't wait for the next book in this brilliant new series. Kelly Porter, I predict, is going to be as big as the likes of Jane Rizzoli and Will Trent.
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DI Kelly Porter has moved from London to the Lakes after a botched case that she took the blame for.  And as she settles in and sorts through a cold case, she comes across some details that start to link together, 
Kelly is portrayed as a strong lead which is refreshing.  The cases are difficult and a hard read, linking drugs and human trafficking.
The story was gripping and well told without being overly dramatic but following a natural unfolding.  Also included are the points of view of victims, witnesses and one of the killers, who is drawn in a little at a time from small time crook to murderer, unable to cope with more hardened gangs.
A gripping and disturbing read.
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I couldn't put this page turner down, I was hooked to read about DI Kelly Porter and her uncovering of her new case(s). Utterly addictive, great characters, well written. I look forward to reading Rachel Lynch's next offering.
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I love a good police procedural book and this did not disappoint. Very dark and sometimes very graphic but throughly enjoyed it
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Great location descriptions very much my type of book plot with twists and dark undercurrents
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Thankyou to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book for my honest review.  I have not read any books by this author so was looking forward to reading it.  I was not disappointed.  It was great and the storyline had you guessing all the time.  Just when you thought you had it another twist would come in. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next chapter in the series.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, as it held me from page first to page last. The characters that Rachel Lynch has built are totally real (foibles and all) and this gives the novel depth. Am really looking forward to book 2 to see how the stage that is The Lake District manages to support another book of this quality.
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DI Kelly Porter returns to her home turf of the Lake District after things went wrong at the Met. Getting broken in gently she starts to look into a cold case of an abducted child. Then a woman abandons a baby, she is found and brought to hospital but no one knows what language she is speaking.

Trying to get used to living back home with her widowed mother, the animosity of her sister & getting to know her new colleagues Kelly finds herself busier than ever. As the two cases collide she finds herself wondering if the quiet life she thought she was coming back to was an illusion. 

This is a fast paced police procedural with a lot of action and interesting characters. It kept me interested and I will be interested to see what her next case brings.

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this.
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I started this book and only got part of the way through before it expired; the story as far as I read it was not very interesting.
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Dark Game is an accomplished detective thriller introducing DI Kelly Porter, recently transferred from London and now based in Cumbria. The story combines a horrific cold case and a far reaching investigation discovering a web of crime, including people trafficking and murder. The writer successfully combines the tensions of police work with the lead character's complicated personal life. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys detective/crime fiction and I hope there is more to come from this author.
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First Class, Action Packed Thriller:
The first in a series of novels featuring D.I. Kelly porter, "Dark Game" is based in the Lake District.
D.I. Kelly Porter has returned home after years with the Met in London. If she expected a quieter time with the Cumbrian Constabulary, she is in for a shock. Criminality is no longer confined to the urban areas: criminal gangs are spreading their tentacles out and Ambleside is in their sights. Perhaps the gridlock of the M25 is reducing their time for crime in the South.
In essence Kelly investigates one Cold Case (the murder of a ten year old girl 5 years previously) and two current cases (the death of a local business man in what might be described as sexual circumstances, and the abandonment of a new born baby whose mother is found, but is found hard to interrogate, as Cumbrian Schools don't yet teach any Slav languages). Before long these cases cause the uncovering of crimes which have no place amid the beauty of the Lake District: prostitution, sex trafficking, money laundering, paedophilia and boxing. Boxing may not appear to be a crime, but it is when it's a fight to the death. Author Rachel Lynch, introduces some fine criminal characters: Marko and Darren. Marko is bad. Real Bad. Darren is inept, even when he's killing. 
After a hard day at the police station D. I . Porter returns home. Unfortunately she's living with her mother who treats her as though she were still a little kid. Well mothers tend to be like that. Kelly's sister, Nikki, is a real pain in the proverbial tonsils. She and Kelly may be sisters but they share nothing in common.
The novel also sports an enterprising journalist who will sink to any depth to get an exclusive.
Kelly notes how much has changed since she last lived in the area: the friends she once had have moved on, married, had kids , got divorced and now have very little in common with Kelly who remains single but has eyes for Johnny, of Local Rescue. (Mountain that is.)
This crime thriller will keep you on the edge of your bed as we find the various crimes under investigation converging and the tension mounting. With twists and turns to throw us, "Dark Game" is exceptionally well plotted and boasts some excellent characters. A great start to the series. It has a bit of everything. A great read.
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Hopefully the beginning of a series of books about a strong new detective set in the North. Great start with detective Kelly and the murky underside of the lake district.
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Fast paced police drama set in the Lake District. For the past 10 years the DI has been in London and then circumstances bring her home to the Lake District, living with her mum. The characterization is what make this book work - all the characters come to life and even the Lake District itself seems to take a persona with the village of Ambleside playing a role. 

It can get gritty at times as do most crime novels - its not cozy that's for sure.  Migrants and human trafficking are not especially new however they are current and probably form the basis of much of our policing these days. 

It is listed as book one of a series and I will be reading the next one !
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