Dark Game

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Pub Date 29 Jan 2018 | Archive Date 02 Feb 2018

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Description

Kelly’s gut turned over as she realised the danger she was in. She heard no sirens. She knew that she was simply collateral. To these men who made a lot of money from the suffering of others, they’d have no problem snuffing her out.


After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home turf in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies.


Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…


Don’t miss this taut and gripping debut from a crime writer to watch. Perfect for fans for Carol Dwyer, Patricia Gibney and Angela Marsons.

Kelly’s gut turned over as she realised the danger she was in. She heard no sirens. She knew that she was simply collateral. To these men who made a lot of money from the suffering of others, they’d...


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ISBN 9781788630153
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Average rating from 223 members


Featured Reviews

Dark Game Rachel Lynch 2017 has seen the publication of some fantastic psychological thrillers, and if this book is anything to go by 2018 is going to see even more. Kelly Porter is a 36-year-old DI in Cumbria; but that was not where she started her Police career, she has recently moved home from the Met, and she brings with her all the experience of an officer who has served time on an MIT in London. However; she is not like most protagonists in this situation, she actively tries to not come across as the big-city-girl and is very easy to like. She is struggling with living at home with mom, and having an over-bearing sister living nearby, but as far as her job goes, she’s good and she just lets her professionalism speak for itself. To start with she is given cold cases to review whilst she is mentored by her predecessor before he moves on to his new job. So, when she digs into the case of a girl who was murdered after being kidnapped during a family outing, and there appears to be a link to a current crime, she is soon thrown into the thick of a serious investigation and takes over as the SIO. Amongst the small towns of the Lake District there is a growing community of immigrant workers. Amongst these workers are a community of illegal workers held against their will and forced into prostitution and drug abuse. When one of the local businessmen dies whilst engaging the services of one of these sex workers it starts a chain reaction that uncovers layers of evil that unfortunately do not only exist in fiction. The young girls forced into working as prostitutes; the human trafficking that gets them into the country, the vicious gangs that are responsible for the trafficking. Then there’s the other crimes that the gangs bring with them. Dog fighting, humans forced into fighting, rape and murder. This book holds no punches, and certainly has no filters, as it follows Kelly Porters investigation into an ever increasingly serious criminal investigation. Each new chapter holds another revelation, some of which I didn’t see coming; each of which seems to get more violent as the higher ranking criminals realise that Porter is working her way up the food-chain and is getting close to them. People who read this blog regularly will know that I place a lot on reality. Rachel Lynch has done her research. The story is frighteningly realistic; the crimes, as they take place are described brilliantly. The crime scenes, and the effect they have on the Police, are stunningly written. The chain of events that transcribe the investigation are logical with no big leaps of faith. In fact, the way the investigation opens up, and the processes the officers go through, are perfectly written. I hope this is the first of a series. If it is, the next one can’t come soon enough. Published by Canelo Publishing date: 29th January 2018.

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A rare 5* review from me. A fast paced, complex and absorbing storyline with intriguing characters and solid conclusion. I look forward to the next instalment.

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I haven’t read any of this author before so was keen to give it a try. I have to say I really enjoyed it, a great storyline with plenty of twists and turns and characters you can really relate to. It had a good ending and I look forward to the next instalment.

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Thank you netgalley for the advanced copy of this book. I loved it. As soon as I noticed that this is set in a cumbria I wanted to read it as it’s where I live!! I really enjoyed knowing exactly where everything was taking place, really helps you picture the story! I also really like kellys character and I’m hoping this is going to be another of my favourite detective series. I read this all at once and couldn’t put it down! Definitely would recommend to anyone! Going to look out for more from this author!

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What a fantastic read! I loved this book, the characters were interesting and likable and I can't wait for book 2! The plot was exciting and full of emotion and twists, it was just a really great book that I throughly enjoyed.

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Exciting police procedural. Connecting a cold case to a present case involving a major crime operation -step by step. The heroine was all business with little time for romance. Great start to a new series.

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Dark Game from Rachel Lynch is her first Crime Novel and I enjoyed it very much. D I Kelly Porter after leaving the Met, transferred back to her old home town in Cumbria. Where her father served in the force all his life. So, she has a lot to live up too. She returns, to live temporarily with her Mother and also to support her after her dad passing. And back to her sister Nikki. She is first given a cold case of a child abducted and murdered years ago. When a new case comes in that has some connections to the cold case that she is working on. Where a child is abandoned in the Dales. They eventually find the mother and it turns out that she is an illegal immigrant. The case develops into one of people trafficking, money laundering and prostitution. This story gripped me from the start, starting from a simmer to a boil. I thought that the characters in the story where very well developed. Not only how she described the traffickers Marko and Curtis and Darren well but, the characters of her Mother and her sister Nikki and the sibling rivalry between them. I thought the police procedures was well researched too. I will be looking forward to see what Rachel Lynch as next in store. Thank you Netgalley and Canelo for a copy of this book.

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DI Kelly Foster leaves the Met for a position in the Cumbria constabulary in her home town where her father had served his whole career. The move is not so much by choice but of necessity. Her old boss and lover didn’t support her in a controversial case and she’s pretty much being frozen out by her former colleagues. She ends up moving in with her sick mother who has been looked after by Kelly’s older sister. Kelly starts reading up on cold cases to familiarize herself with her new job. She becomes fascinated by a case where a young girl was abducted and consequently killed but it has been years and the case has grown cold a long time ago. The more DI Foster learns about the case the more involved it gets and she and her team soon find themselves embroiled in money laundering, trafficking of people who are just trying to find a place to live far away from their native countries. The book seems to have been greatly researched and you find yourself caring very much for the victims. There are several gruesome scenes such as people being iincited to fight to the death for their survival. I sincerely loved the book and received it from #NetGalley for my unbiased review. I would strongly recommend this book and would gladly have paid for it. I can’t wait for more books from Rachel Lynch.

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I would like to thank Netgalley and Canelo for an advance copy of Dark Game, the first novel in a projected series to feature DI Kelly Porter of the Cumbrian Police. After a public relations disaster at the Met requires a scapegoat Kelly takes the brunt of it and decides to move home to Cumbria. She is settling into her new job, looking at the cold case murder of 10 year old Lottie Davies from five years ago when she is asked to investigate the case of a foreign woman found close to death who had apparently abandoned her newborn son. With all this on her plate she wonders if it wise to take on more work and look into the death of Colin Day, a well known local figure, but she's new and has to show willing. What she uncovers in these investigations is the meat of the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed Dark Game which is a twisty thriller with developments in every chapter. It held my interest throughout and is one of those books I wanted to get back to as soon as possible. I admire the way Ms Lynch manages to draw the various threads and investigations together into a cohesive whole. It is crammed with plot developments so there is never a dull moment. It does mean, however, that some elements are dealt with more summarily than others. Obviously there is an element of coincidence in the one detective investigating so many linked crimes but it's not striking and did not detract in the slightest from my enjoyment of the novel. I think in this respect the setting helps as it's fairly rural and doesn't have too many detectives. It makes a change as a reader to get away from the bright lights of the big cities. I like Kelly as a protagonist. She is a fairly standard fictional detective. Scapegoated and betrayed by her former boss/lover she returns home to lick her wounds and is soon making her mark. She is smart, feisty and dedicated with strong urge to lock up the bad guys and protect the innocent. Great stuff. Her relationship with her sister is standout. They can't meet without arguing as her sister is so negative and martyred. There is a reality to it that makes me wonder. I assume that jealousy is at the root of it but look forward to seeing more of this fractured relationship and where Ms Lynch will take it. Dark Game is a good start to a new series and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

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Dark Game by author Rachel Lynch is an intensely written crime thriller set in the Lake District of Cumbria. DI Kelly Porter is caught up with investigating the abduction and brutal death of little Lottie Davis. But there are also paths of underlying crime which all leads back to Colon Day, a respected businessman who died of a heart attack while at a local hotel. I would have liked to have learned more about the main character, Kelly before the intertwined plots of the savage crimes became so prominent. I won't post spoilers, but this book will enlighten the reader about how widespread the use of young women by the criminal element which preys on the illegal immigrants and underprivileged. Once the teenaged girls and young women are trapped into a life of servitude by mobsters and sex traders, they are used and then killed when their bodies can not withstand the abuse any longer. Not only the women but men who owe debts which can not be repaid are made to fight until death for the sport of others. There are some scenes in the book which were very brutal and explicit. Personally, I don't usually choose to read books with so much graphic violence. But the skill of the authors' writing is very good! **Adult /Violent Content**

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I would like to thank Canelo and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Dark Game’ by Rachel Lynch in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. After working for the Met, DI Kelly Porter returns to her home town to work for the Cumbria Constabulary. Whilst in charge of a cold case, that of the rape and murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davis five years before, Kelly is also investigating the death in a hotel bedroom of local businessman Colin Day, and as she finds evidence of illegal workers and prostitution she puts her own life in danger. I’ve enjoyed reading this crime thriller which has been well-written with a bloodthirsty and often gruesome plot. There’s lots of action and an exciting ending that kept me glued to my seat. This novel is well worth reading and I can recommend it.

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There were a number of reasons I wanted to read this.... Firstly, it sounded exciting and the synopsis really made me hit that download button rapidly! Secondly, the setting is pretty close to where I live -just across the border in Northumberland so this appealed to me a lot. Some of the best series' are those that are set in places I know well and love. E.g. The Scottish Highlands, Outer Hebrides. Thirdly, I KNOW WHERE SHE IS by S.B. CAVES, my first ever Canelo novel impressed me so much that I have been keeping my eyes open for another great sounding thriller from them and here it is. Let me say, this hit the mark exceptionally well for me. It has everything you want or need in a thriller - fab setting, plenty of twists in the tale and well structured and written. I throroughly enjoyed this ride and I hope there are many more to come like this from Canelo in the future, I have high expectations due to these two amazing thrillers that have definitely blown my mind. Also, consider I KNOW WHERE SHE IS if you love dark, disturbing crime novels Highly recommended. Thank you Canelo for the ARC, this is my honest opinion.

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I’m ready for book 2 As this is labelled DI Kelly Porter book 1 we are presumably getting at least one more which is good news as there is definitely more mileage in the character. I really liked her to the point that I’m even willing to overlook a fairly reckless decision she made. Oh and don’t get me started on her relationship with her sister!! This book has triggered a desire to visit the Lake District and I just hope I don’t encounter such seedy characters as described in it. A strong opener to this series and I will be keen to read more.

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A debut novel that is highly gritty and suspenseful. D. I. Kelly Porter has returned to her home town after a long stint working in the Met in London. She's come back thinking the pace would slow down only to find herself involved in a high profile case that seems to be deepening by the minute. This is a great example of the crime genre. A story that is both gripping and believable, with characters that really draw you in to the tale. I read it from beginning to end in less than two days asking the question not who but how. This one comes highly recommended from me!

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I absolutely loved this read which I raced through and plucky DI Kelly Porter. Roll on Book 2. DI Kelly Porter had to leave the Met and decided to return to Cumbria. She's living temporarily with her mum until she finds a place of her own. Her sister Nikki is the thorn in her side, they've never got on and some things never change. She fits in to the new team easily - everyone is so friendly and accommodating. She's thrown in when the current DI leaves and finds herself with several cases which seem to be connected. She starts work on a cold case of the brutal murder and abduction of ten year old Lottie Davies. The cases alongside regard an illegal immigrant and her baby and a robbery. It's a fast paced read and I absolutely loved the character of DI Kelly Porter.

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An exciting and very clever police procedural story. A likeable detective with a lot to investigate! Kept me turning the pages.

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It’s been over four decades since rowing as part of a team from Wray Castle across Windermere to Ambleside. Seemingly a lot has changed. Gone is the Kendal mint cake, sturdy boots and woollen socks, replaced by enslavement, drugs, prostitution and murder. Well that’s the intrigue behind Dark Game. This novel doesn’t have pace, it has acceleration like a Saturn 5 rocket! It seriously damaged my sleep, I couldn’t put it down. David Baldacci, Lee Child et al need to up their game. Rachel Lynch is a great writer and I am glad I finished the book as I now need to sleep.

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This is a cut above most police procedurals. Three interlinked cases, including the topical people trafficking. A strong and likeable main character in Kelly, and a decent annoying hate figure in her sister! Nearly, but not quite, spoiled by the common 'wait for back up' moment. I will definitely look out for further books by this author.

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This is a real don't want to put down, fast paced page-turner. The plot is very complex with a combined current case and a cold case involving an abducted and murdered young girl in a red dress (see cover). This is set in the Lake District where a 30+ female DI has returned to her roots after a few years working for the Met. The author has obviously done extensive research into police procedures, autopsy and money laundering activities. Not for the squeamish though.

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The first book in a new police procedural series and very enjoyable it is too! DI Kelly Porter has left the Met after a bad experience and has returned to her native Cumbria. Her first case involves people trafficking, the sex trade, money laundering and quite an array of unsavoury characters. Well-written and involving, I look forward to more from this promising series.

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I was intrigued by the cover and blurb for this book, although the author was not a name that I recognised. I was completely drawn into this book from the first chapter. The main character, Kelly, has a convincing back story and it feels as if there have been previous books featuring her, which I shall go hunting for. In this novel, Ms Lynch portrays a world that one has heard about sufficiently that the story has a ring of truth about it and is set in a countryside environment where it feels all the more shocking. The criminals were identified due to good police work and a dollop of luck and no artistic license was used to help out, so at no stage did the story line not compromised. The story developed at a reasonable pace and made putting it down at night a hard job to do. The good guys did not get it all their own way and it feels like there are enough loose ends that at least one more book will follow. With this novel, Ms Rachel Lynch has earned herself another reader. Treat yourself and join us.

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DI Kelly Porter has returned to her childhood home in the Lake District after a scandal forced her out of the Met in London. She begins to work on 3 seemingly different cases but as she investigates further oils they be linked in someway? These people are dangerous and will stop at nothing to get what they want. This is the start of a new series featuring a tough female cop. She is somebody who won't let things go, and is not afraid to push the boundaries. A great character and makes for a fast read. This story is dark and intriguing. Thanks to Canelo via NetGalley for a copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest opinions.

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I really enjoyed this book, I felt that the author allowed the plot to move forward quickly without trying to explain too much about the main characters. Sometimes with crime or psychological thriller there is just too much narration and exploring the whys and wherefores of the main character's thoughts, and not enough police work or action. I liked the style in this novel, which had just the right amount of exposition and explanation for me. Although I found some of the interactions between Kelly and her sister quite irritating, and felt it could have moved along nicely without all that squabbling, I wonder if maybe this will become important in future novels featuring this protagonist. I would like to read more about Kelly and see where her new life in the Lakes takes her. This particular plot line was very interesting and relevant, and did leave me wanting to know more about how some of the characters would move on. That for me is always a sign of good writing, when I wish to keep going to know more.

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Not a book for the faint hearted but if you are after a gritty, hard hitting action packed up tempo book don't look.any further. Thoroughly enjoyed.

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Dark Game by Rachel Lynch is the first of the DI Kelly Porter series and what a great forts book it is,a brilliant read with a complex plot line.Looking forward to the next in the series.

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This is a terrific first in a series of at least four books, see information below, and Rachel Lynch’s second book to be published. It is a gritty police procedure, well written, structured and very believable. Rachel Lynch brings together three threads from the seedy underbelly of a Cumbria she describes with a certainty which comes from knowing the area so well and builds up the tension to deliver a book which is a gripping read right to the end. With thanks to Canelo via NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in return for an honest review. Rating: 4.5* Recommended

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Not only is DI Kelly Porter dealing with a new job, she has to deal with rumors about what happened to her in 'the big city', as her new turf is the one she grew up in, with all that entails. Add to that some family dysfunction, and you've got a British police procedural with a female lead character that is so relatable, you feel like you already know her! It's hard to believe this is the first book of this new series! It feels like there have been multiple books already- that's how 'cozy' it is! Add to that a very decent murder mystery that unlocks a cold case mystery, and you have a 2-for-1 read that is a true page turner! Can't wait to read the next 2 books in the series (both to be out later this year), and you won't want to miss them wither, once you read this book!

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Wow! What a brilliant start to a new series. I highly recommend Dark Game to anyone who enjoys thrillers. Great plot and characters. Very well written, fast paced and a real page turner. I look forward to more from this promising series. Many thanks to Canelo via NetGalley for a copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest review.

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Very gory. Gratuitous violence. Good strong female lead. Nicely descriptive of its Cumbrian setting.

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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this amazing book this book touches on every depravity known to man and then some, child abduction, abuse, prostitution, trafficking, drugs, dog baiting, bare fist fighting you name it, it was in this book but the way the author wrote you just had to keep reading as you wanted and needed the good guys to come out on top and it all starts with a biggie/major from town getting his leg over with a young girl whilst on the job he has a heart attack and dies and from this event the world of marco who had built his empire came crashing down..though along the way there was plenty of action could the police unravel it quickly before more bodies pile up and along the way childhood romances that had ended bittersweet are crushed into oblivion what a book and will be keeping an eye out for more books from this author

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This book is definitely worth reading. The characterisations are excellent and the book succeeds in getting you to have a better understanding of immigrant female slavery from all sides. I did think in one or two sections early in the book that I was reading ' 50 shades of dark game' but it did fit with the story line. .So don;t miss this book. My only slight negative is the story left open another possible book on eastern European immigrants and I very much hope that Rachel produces a different theme for the next book in the series.

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Wow - this one's certainly a winner! This book has it all: great plot, superb characterisation, genuine suspense and gritty realism. "Dark Game" revolves around 36-year old DI Kelly Porter, recently transferred to Cumbria from the Met in London, with a chequered career history which has gone unexpectedly awry through no fault of her own. She is landed with three cases - two current and one a 5-year old cold case. The investigations soon reveal some common threads as the same names keep cropping up, revealing Cumbria's seedy underbelly of illegal immigrants, cash-in-hand employment, gambling and prostitution. Here's what I loved about this book: Characterisation - a wide cast of interesting and well-developed characters, ranging from nice and well-meaning to downright evil and sinister. Some of the minor characters - Kelly's mum and sister for example - provide welcome light relief. Plot - it's a great plot, hard-hitting with 'true to life' crimes. There are no punches pulled when it comes to the violence, or the bleak situation of the trafficked victims and I admit I did squirm on a few occasions. There is just the right blend of police procedure and action, and back-story for the characters. The writing: the writing is engaging, intense and interesting with just the right amount of dialogue. The characters talk like real people, have doubts and make mistakes, just like in real life. The point-of-view does change to follow several characters and sometimes the reader knows more than Kelly Porter, which makes it a very suspenseful read. So would I recommend this book? You bet! And I'll be watching out for the next in the series.

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What a brilliant story, well worth 5 stars and will keep you up all night reading this. So many things going on but D.I. Kelly Porter will keep digging to find the answers even though she will be put off many times. Moving back home to the Lake District she has something to prove and when she is assigned a couple of cases she dives straight in while also looking at a cold case. can they all be linked? Will she come out of this alive? This is a must read book.

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This is the first book i’ve read by this author and i have to say i loved it. I’ve since discovered that there will be two more books in this series which,if they are as good as this one, I can’t wait to read. DCI Kelly Porter has transferred back to her quiet hometown in Cumbria from London Met. A cold case she is reviewing bears evidence tying in with recent crimes being committed in the area that leads her to believe her hometown is a cover for more sinister international crimes on a grand scale. There is so much going on in this book - illegal workers, human trafficking, organised prostitution, child abduction and murder not to mention the sibling rivalry between Porter and her sister, Nikki the reader is kept entertained. The story is very much police procedural but very well written. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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From the get go I was enthralled in this taught, gripping crime thriller that had some amazing and deep characters and a solid, bloodthirsty plot, from the old case involving poor Lottie Davies to the new cases that are suddenly closer to home than she thought. The writing and the language kept me interested and informed throughout and Kelly was a dark but determined heroine, whose antics had me on the edge of my seat. This fast paced and exciting rollercoaster of a novel is definitely worth a read and I’m looking forward to more from this author.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the Publishers, Canelo, for this review copy given in exchange for an honest review. Detective Inspector Kelly Porter is forced to leave London and her job with the Metropolitan Police and returns to her home turf in the Lake District, working with the Cumbrian Police. Having to move back home with mum and having her sister going on at her all the time is not Kelly’s idea of fun. Despite crime in the Lakes only usually being the minor kind, she throws herself into her job. Kelly begins looking into a cold case of 10 year old Lottie Davies who was abducted and murdered some five years before. Meanwhile, a couple of cases come in of a robbery following the death of a local businessman who died whilst having sex with a prostitute and of an abandoned baby. On investigating these cases, Kelly discovers that they may all be connected and uncovers a web of people trafficking, prostitution and money laundering, all hidden within the sleepy towns of the Lake District. This is book one of the DI Kelly Porter series. This is also my first Rachel Lynch book. On first sights, this book looks a lot like many of the other female detective books that are out at the moment, and the blurb sounded similar to many others also. But do not judge a book by its cover, as I found this book fantastic! It grabbed me from the first word and I was instantly transported to the quiet little villages and towns in the Lake District where DI Kelly Porter is rattling around following her transfer from the Met, dealing with petty crimes and arguing with her sister. I absolutely loved Kelly’s character! She’s risen through the ranks to DI obviously through hard work and I kind of felt sorry for her now that she’s back at home ‘licking her wounds’ as such. She’s obviously struggling being back and is trying to fit in with the slower pace of life, feeling guilty for having a ‘flashy’ car and nice clothes. Taking a leaf out of her late father’s book, who was also a policeman, Kelly not only comes across as a ballsy and gritty character who won’t let anything go once she’s got her teeth into something but also shows her sensitive side with her handling of the victims. The book may not be an easy read for some and there may be some taboo subjects which may offend. It is about people trafficking and prostitution, so bear that in mind if that’s something you don’t like to read about. It also has some graphic descriptions of sex, violence and bad language. Personally, it didn’t bother me! I think it needed to be raw and descriptive to make the story what it was and for it to be as believable as it could be. I won’t tell you too much about the story as I wouldn’t want to spoil it. There are no big major plot twists, as you sort of know who is involved all the way through. The research that has gone into the book is immense, with very detailed descriptions about police procedures, drug use and human trafficking – well about everything really! It really made me feel that I was reading about a real life crime as opposed to a story! I loved everything about this book and was genuinely disappointed to have finished it. I would highly recommend this one!! I cannot wait until the next book in the series comes out and I can catch up with what’s going on in the Lakes!

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Tough reading in places, but this was probably down to the harrowing storyline which is frighteningly becoming a part of life, it seems, in modern Britain...people trafficking. Great read nevertheless with good characterisation throughout.

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This book is outstanding! It is the first in a hopefully long series of books that centre around D.I. Kelly Porter who has relocated from the brashness of the Met and London policing to her childhood home of the Lake District and its relative quietness ( or so she thinks!!) Firstly got to say that in some books I find the descriptions of areas and towns etc uninspiring and even boring but the author obvious love of the Lake District and Cumbria shines through and I was picturing the areas as was reading them, some from childhood memories and some just from the writing alone, wonderful scene setting, probably some of the best I have ever read.... Onto the story itself, without giving too much away it is a very tense and action packed story about people trafficking and the horrors that go with it.....at times a scary and chilling read it brilliantly portrays the evil that this trade really is and how it affects every age group, it makes harrowing reading in places and will definitely stay with you long after you finish the book It is very fast paced, tense, dramatic and seriously is a ‘page turner’, you wont be settled until you find out what happens to the characters in the book The writing is flawless,seamless and flows from page one until the final word, the characters so well written that you have an immediate picture of them in your mind I loved the little mini stories that featured as well, the rivalry between D.I. Porter and her Sister was an added bit of humour that brought a wry smile I absolutely loved this book, it’s compelling and addictive and one of the best books I have read for a long time I am not overly keen on series books but I am looking forward to book 2 already 10/10 5 stars and highly recommended

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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.

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DI Kelly Parker is transferred to the Lake District and has three major investigations to solve. I was brought up in the area and don't recognise it. In my time there were just climbers, ramblers and campers in the towns and plush hotels as well as the sailing community. I found it unsettling learning about the illegal immigrants being used and abused by pimps and money-grabbing men. Some of it was distasteful and raw. It was interesting revisiting cold cases and learning how an autopsy is performed. I hated the dog-fighting. There were a lot of interesting sub-themes like the problems of returning home after living independently, the poor relationship with Nicki and so forth. A most interesting read. Thank you to NetGalley and Canelo for giving me the opportunity to read it. I shall post this review to Amazon after publication.

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Thank you Net Galley. An interesting new series. Despite the fairly standard protagonist, the book was good reading. The author kept you hooked and turning the pages.

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A DI sent back to Cumbria. Who would have thought that Cumbria could be even more deadly than London? There are several cases linked here including the case from the past which starts it all off. I suppose tit’s a coincidence that one police officer would come across all of these cases but do you know what? it didn’t spoil anything of the story as the threads were so interesting. A case of a murdered child, a case of a woman close to death and the death of a local figure....three cases which dictate and shape the rest of the novel. Three chunks of meat if you will to get your teeth into. I think the setting really shone here as the rural countryside is not where you would expect such linked cases to happen. And it’s when the DI in question is trying to remain anonymous when this kind of spotlight is put on her. Interesting cases, perfect setting and some very complex characters. Yup, a solid read this one.

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I was soon drawn into this story. In particular I liked the use of so many real geographical locations. This helped to add a sense of reality to the story. Rachel Lynch has managed to create an interesting group of detective characters, based around DI Kelly Porter. What looks at firs to be a simple cold case police procedural novel, soon turns into something much more sinister. I found the book to have a swift pace and the story opened up several possible perpetrators for both the cold case and the current murder case. I notice that this is listed as book one. On the basis of this book I will certainly look out for other books in this series. I pass on my thanks to Netgalley and Canelo books for a copy in exchange for this review.

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A really dark and twisty read, this book gripped me from the start. I wish I'd been able to read this book in a couple of sittings, instead I read in on my daily commute and at some points struggled to keep on top of who was who and how they linked to each case. That said, one of the book's best assets is that the author successfully sets up intricate and difficult cases which are all woven together into a satisfying conclusion. DI Kelly Porter was an interesting and well developed character, I look forward to reading more in the series and would recommend to others. Thanks to NetGalley, Canello and Rachel Lynch for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A debut from Rachel Lynch this early in the year bodes well for readers. Kelly has returned to Cumbria from the Met as a Detective Inspector. For the time being she is living with her mother and trying hard not to assault her older sister who stayed close with husband and children while Kelly fled. Knowing the Lake District well I could follow the road journeys easily. Cursing the trips to Barrow in Furness which take forever. Crows may fly fourteen miles but roads add forty. I held my breath every time Kirkstone Pass was mentioned. It terrifies me. The book covers the triad of people smuggling, prostitution and drugs adding some money laundering just because. There were no Australian bar tenders...every cute holiday spot in the UK has an Australian bar tender. Maybe in the next book...I hope there is a next book. Many thanks to netgalley for this advance copy.

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Dark Game by Rachel Lynch is her first crime novel that I have read and I really enjoyed it. The story was gripping and a fast paced read. A thriller full of twists and turns which held my interest throughout. A believable story with well developed, likeable characters. Roll on book two! Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my advance copy in return for an honest review.

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A fast paced, at times grim and brutal, crime novel with a credible and feisty female detective lead character. The usually serene and beautiful Lake District contrasts with the blood and criminality portrayed in the book. I enjoyed this, but it was hard hitting and therefore sensitive readers should perhaps approach with caution. I’ll be looking out for DI Kelly Porter’s next case!

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This book follows detective Kelly Porter who returns to her native Cumbria. For a sleepy town Ambleside has a lot of dark goings on. Kelly uses her intelligence and acumen to uncover a Human trafficking ring and forced prostitution. Tense, sometimes gory but very well written!

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I had heard good things about this book and was so excited when it became available to read on netgalley. This book certainly does not disappoint. It has everything you would want in a thriller. Extremely well written with lots of twists and turns. Very complex characters who develop very well through the course of the storyline. Definitely recommend this book to others and cant wait for the next instalment.

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This is the first book in the DI Kelly Porter Series by author Rachel Lynch. Detective Inspector Kelly Porter has recently transferred back to her home town in the Lake District. She is living with her widowed Mother and this increases the daily pressures and stress she is currently enduring. Kelly is working on a cold case, the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies that shook the local community. At the same time Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes, a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. This is a gritty detective novel, with a good lead character that has plenty of opportunities to develop further in future novels. A very good read and I would recommend it. I would like to thank Net Galley and Canelo for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This is the first in a dark, gritty and twisted police procedural from Rachel Lynch featuring DI Kelly Porter, who worked at the Met in the MIT where things went belly up and her personal life experienced betrayal. She's returned home only to discover the Lake District has changed and developed a murky criminal underbelly. She is living with her mother who is hiding her serious health issues, her relationship with her sister, Nikki, is fraught and she has to a lot to live up to with her dead father's reputation as a police officer. The last thing that Kelly can expect is a quiet life as she begins to delve into a cold case where a 10 year old Lottie Davies was abducted and murdered, a crime that shocked the local community. A local businessman, Colin, is discovered dead in a hotel room, and a child is found abandoned. A search finds the mother, an illegal immigrant, in a horrific condition, close to death. In a harrowing investigation, the multiple threads begin to slowly coalesce and connect. This is story with many echoes in our contemporary world with its focus on human trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, and criminal gangs engaged in depraved activities. I loved the main character, Kelly, a dedicated and determined police officer who finds herself facing terror and deadly danger. I know the beautiful location of the Lake District, it was quite a eyeopener to see that it harbours such deeply entrenched criminal networks. This is a great introduction to this series, I am so looking forward to the next in the series! Many thanks to Canelo for an ARC.

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I really enjoy crime novels and I’m pleased to say that this one did not disappoint. It was such an easy read and I immediately warmed to the main character in the book. I think being based in the Lake District was a huge attraction for me as it is one of my favourite places to visit. The story unfolded a good pace, and although I felt it didn’t leave me desperate to read more, I still thoroughly enjoyed reading the story and I read it in less than a week - which is good for me as I have very little spare time! I wouldn’t recommend the book to any of my students, as they are only primary school age, but would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes crime novels. I would be interested to read more books featuring DI Porter should the author decide to release anymore. Overall a fab crime book that was a pleasure to read - well done!

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I am so pleased that I chose to read Dark Game by Rachel Lynch following Last Cry. After reading the first couple of chapters, I knew it wasn’t another serial killer thriller, but it seemed pretty similar in the beginning. However, a few more chapters in and it became apparent that this was much more than just a detective hunting a murderer. The plot is complex and brilliant, a full 4* for the storyline. I only felt that it occasionally fell short when it came to bits of the characterisation, which I did not feel could be fully explored in some of the characters due to there being so many. Dark Game will be published by Canelo publishing on 29 January 2018. The Plot DI Kelly Porter has moved home and is working with her local police force. She has reopened a cold case when she is called in because a man has had a heart attack. She also agrees to investigate a downtrodden foreign woman who has given birth in hospital and cannot speak English. The story begins with the man dying in a hotel room during sex with a prostitute. From this, an entire operation begins to unravel; Kelly soon realises that all of her cases are connected by one person of interest. She proceeds with the investigations to tear down the lives of the dangerous criminals involved. I really enjoyed the plot; there were turns at every moment, and you could never be certain who was involved and who you could not trust. I enjoyed the exploration of Kelly’s home life and the scenes with Gabriella, who could have been an even stronger character had she been allowed to develop. The use of the third person narrator gave the reader the bird’s eye view, and built the tension, as there was nothing I could do to help. This book is an exciting, fast paced crime thriller. One part where I felt that Lynch lacked was in the fluidity between chapters. Many of the chapters are very short in this book, which towards the end became easier to read, as they were interconnected, hastening the pace. However, early on, I felt disjointed by the changes between Kelly, Gabriella, Darren and occasionally other detectives. It felt like a sloppy way to deliver the information realistically; Kelly could not be at every location to interview every source, but it could have been relayed to her in a meeting. I do understand that this was done to show the reactions of the characters, which helped me get to know them. There are a LOT of characters in this book. I feel as though some of them were used as plot devices, such as Lottie’s mother to lead Kelly to her brother, who was conveniently forgotten about later on. In this way, I feel that it would have been good to have had an ending chapter which showed the police explaining what had happened to the interested parties, as I would have liked for Lottie’s mother to get her closure. Altogether, though, I felt that Lynch did a great job getting the information to the reader, not beating around the bush or repeating scenes and conversations. This provided an enjoyable frame to read the book; you cannot read this slowly. The short chapters mean that the reader is given plenty of information and then a moment to take it all in before moving on to another element of the plot. I would recommend this book to thrill-seekers, and those who love non-gory crime thrillers. I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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An excellent well written story set in the Lake District. The storyline revolves around Kelly Porter a new DI recently returned to her hometown after working for the MET in London. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it very hard to put down.

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After a scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the Met, she returns to her home in the Lake District. Crimes in the Cumbrian constabulary tend to be of the minor sort, but Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies. Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined involving people trafficking, the sex trade, money laundering and quite an array of unsavoury characters. This is the first of a new series & a very good series opener. I look forward to reading more. I love a good thriller & this ticked all the boxes for me, a gritty storyline & plenty of suspense plus an engaging main character. My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read

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Kelly Porter has left the Met and transfers home to the Lake District, living with her mum and arguing with her sister. She is allocated a cold case - a youg girl who disappeared on a family outing and was found murdered. Then a local hotelier is found dead. A brothel industry is then discovered. Does anything link them all? This is a very cleverly written book with the story unravelling at a good pace. Some of the descriptions are quite graphic and very topical in todays world. It all comes together with an explosive ending. Look forward to reading more of this author.

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Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy of this publication. I was particularly interested in this book for two reason, firslty I love holidaying in the Lake District so know where the plot takes place and secondly because I love this genre of book.. This book grabbed me from page one and i really enjoyed it. A great debut from Ms Lynch and I look forward to reading future pub;ications featuring Kelly Porter. If they are as good as this, I could see them being made into a TV series.

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I really enjoyed reading Dark Game .It is a gritty dark police procedural story with DI Kelly Porter returning to her childhood home where she grew up to find everything has changed .She is the new kid on the block after working for the Met in London she is determined to prove herself worthy of the job .The story is fast paced reaching into the criminal world of prostitution and murder and much much more ,I thought the story was brilliantly told and can't wait to read more about DI Kelly Porter.

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This is a hard hitting gripping thriller set in the criminal underworld of the beautiful lakes. Although not always pleasant to read it is gripping from beginning to end.

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This was a great read and what I hope is the first one in a series , Kelly goes home to that Lake District after a professional scandal causes her to leave her job in the Met . I loved the unusual setting , made a change for a crime novel not to be set in a city and it was all the better for this . Unfortunately she isn't in for a quite time , she investigates a cold case of a murdered 10 year old girl , meanwhile a respected business man is found dead in a shady hotel , a baby abandoned by a mother all of these threads slowly coming together . Although a lot of the content written about is very unsavoury , dog fighting , trafficking , prostitution to name but a few I really thought it was well written and not too gruesome . All in all a brilliant read and I really warmed to Kelly .... More please !!!

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What a brilliant book this is! I could barely put it down. The plot wove together several different crimes that were interlinked and the characters were so well drawn. It was so gripping and exciting I really didn't want it to end. Even more shocking that it was set in the beautiful Lake District where you wouldn't imagine much goes on. Very excited that this is the start of a new series, can't wait to read the next one.

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The first in what I hope will be a new series featuring DI Kelly Porter who returns to her native Lake District from the Met. As she settles in she tackles cases that will make her revisit old relationships and family tensions. A great main plot with both a new and cold case to investigate and the beginnings of great sub plots in her personal life. More please!

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DI Kelly Porter has her hands full in this first book in a new police procedural series where she is working for the Cumbria Constabulary. She'd been reprimanded for being too much of a risk-taker while working in London at the Met and had come back to her childhood home feeling like a failure. There are, at her initial examination, 3 separate cases. A cold case involving a kidnapped and murdered 10-year old girl that she's asked to reopen. An abandoned baby whose hospitalized mother can't speak a word of English. And a well-known, wealthy civic leader found dead in a bed in a hotel room. Porter has a lot to prove to her new team and she leads the investigation using the skills she learned from her mentor and partner at the Met -- patience, memory, order and time. The information gleaned by Porter makes her start to believe that the cases are related as the same names keep coming up. What she uncovers through this complex police operation is an illegal prostitution and slavery ring, global money-laundering and murder. The book is very well-written and moves along quickly. The main character, Kelly Porter, is 36 years old and quite passionate about her work. She's the most fully developed as the story is told mainly from her point of view, but the secondary characters will likely be more fleshed out as the series develops. I'm eager to see what's next for her and the Constabulary team. The only thing that would have been helpful to me is a map -- as I am totally unfamiliar with the area and layout where Porter works! Seems like she had to do A LOT of driving from one place to another and the scenes were nicely described. Something that irritated me, but that is in essentially every book of this genre, is when the female detective goes in alone to a critical situation when she shouldn't and thus requires "rescue" from either a male partner or an entire police department. She should be smarter than that! But then, there wouldn't be the dramatic climax would there?! But it would be more realistic. Thank you to NetGalley and Canelo Publishers for the e-book ARC to read and review. Definitely can't wait for the second book in this series and recommend it to anyone looking for a strong female protagonist in a police procedural.

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Took a little while to get into the book, whilst some parts seemed to drag other parts were rushed when more detail could have been added. It was almost as if parts of the book had been totally cut out explaining exactly why a character behaved the wAy they did. The plot was good and the characters were believable. There was an abundance of names thrown at you during the story which got a little confusing at times. The last third of the book moved along at a fast pace and took next to no time to devour and made it unputdownable. Would recommend to friends as it’s a well written story

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What an exceptional story from Author Rachel Lynch. I'm so so glad I requested this book to review. It's gripping and definitely a page turner. Though I found some of it was rushed and it did take me a little while to get into it but by half way I was completely hooked and struggled to put the book down. All the characters are pretty complex, except DI Kelly Porter. I liked her, she was great to read and I love reading about strong woman in books! I love the different storylines within the book and how it all linked together. I love that the story included such realistic happenings too. I also liked Gabriela. She was so darn sweet that I wanted to wrap her up in cotton wall and protect her with everything I had. The bad characters were great to read as well, but I didn't like Curtis AT ALL. I'm still not 100% clear on who killer little Lottie either. Definitely following this author for future work! I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing more of DI Kelly Porter!!

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Dark Game by Rachel Lynch Canelo General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 29 Jan 2018 I am reviewing a copy of Dark Game through Canelo and Netgalley: A scandal forces DI Kelly Porter out of the met so she turns home to her families home in the Lake District. Crimes in this area seem to be minor but Kelly begins working on a Cold Case that had shocked her local community, ten year old Lottie David was abducted and brutally murdered. Kelly is also Investigating to current and seemingly straightforward cases. an illegal immigrant as well as a robbery that followed the death of a local businessman Collin Day. But things are far from straightforward and Kelly discovers criminal activity beyond anything she could have imagined. Secrets lie inside this sleepy tourist town, a Dark underworld, which is a hot bed of criminal activity. A discovery that could put Kelly’s life in Jeopardy. Will Kelly be able to survive and help to stop these crimes? Find out in Dark Game! Four out of five stars! Happy Reading

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A great start to this new crime thriller, I love the main character DI Kelly Porter, she is certainly one gutsy lady. If she thought that returning to her home patch in the Lake District was going to mean a quiet life she was very much mistaken. She soon realises that she will have to deal with some very nasty pieces of work who will stop at nothing to gain power and money, stepping on and using whoever gets in their way. This book was very nearly a five star but for me it flagged a little bit half way through and then picked up again.

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What a great start to a new series that I know I will be following. The blurb for this book says it all: “Kelly begins work on a cold case that shocked the local community – the abduction and brutal murder of ten-year-old Lottie Davies. Meanwhile, Kelly is also investigating two seemingly straightforward crimes: a case involving an illegal immigrant, and a robbery following the death of local businessman Colin Day. But evidence comes to light that reveals a web of criminal activity beyond anything Kelly imagined. Behind the veneer of sleepy, touristy towns lies a dark and dangerous underworld. As Kelly threatens to expose those with much to lose, she risks paying the ultimate price to get to the truth…” This book is gritty and is quite graphic in places especially when the people who no longer serve their purpose are ‘got rid of.’ Kelly is a likeable character and her relationship with her mother and sister is one that will sound familiar to a lot of people. She’s moved back to the Lakes for a quieter life but the cases she works on grow more and more complex and become very dangerous. This is a brilliant book and I highly recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley and Canelo for giving me the opportunity to read it.

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Sucked right in from opening. It’s a bit like a recipie with a list of ingredients for what appears to be separate dishes but will at the end all come together to make one perfectly cooked and presented dinner. Having said that some of the situations and descriptions in the book could put you off your food! Not gratuatis but I don’t think it will do much for the Lakes tourst board. A great book that stayed with me while I was waiting for the chance to read more. Excellent read! My teeth were clenched in tension towards the end. An honest review of an ARC.

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Really enjoyed this, lots of twists and turns in it. One that maintains your interest all the way through so leave time to read it reasonably quickly :-)

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