Dead End — Book Review

Written by Rachel Lynch and published in 2018, this detective-mystery story takes place in a forestry region of the UK.

‘Dead End’ by Rachel Lynch

Story

This story takes place in modern day England. An earl by the name of Xavier has supposedly committed suicide in his mansion at Wasdale Hall for no discernible reason whatsoever. He was around 90 years of age and was living a good life, so this was a shock to his grandson, Zachary. His employees Linda and Brian saw this coming, but Zachary simply can not believe it.

At the same time, a pair of girls appear to have gone missing in an area not too far away from Wasdale Hall. This was not an immediate concern as their last known location is a popular hiking trail and people go missing all the time, only to return later unharmed. After an extended period of no contact, an investigation is ensured.

The main detective is DI Kelly. She graduated in London before travelling back to her place of birth as a qualified member of the force. She is supported by Johnny, who is part of the local rescue group within the vicinity of the trail. They have a strong and loving relationship.

As DI Kelly heads deep into the rabbit hole, there are more questions than answers. Are they alive? Who kidnapped them? Why did a life-loving Earl commit suicide? What is the link between the two seemingly discernible events, if any?

Characters

This book has three central characters, aside Earl Xavier, of which the story of the plot revolves around:

  • DI Kelly — She is the lead detective behind the investigation. It is her responsibility to connect all the pieces of the puzzle.
  • Johnny — He is part of the trail rescue group and is typically escorted by a chopper. The lead detective is his girlfriend.
  • Zachary — Grandson of his great Earl, Zac is a late teenager who is polite to others and respects his employees.
Eva-Lotta runs into the criminal by AncientKing

There are also some minor characters who have influences in regards to the development of the plot or the lead characters themselves:

  • Brian — He was a gardener of Wasdale Hall under the employment of the Earl. He is physically quite strong.
  • Linda — She is the caretaker of Wasdale Hall and has personally known the Earl for a long time. She is a kind-hearted woman.
  • Dominic — Son of Linda, he is totally opposite of Linda. He once almost drowned Zachary when they were both boys.
  • Ted — The local mortuary man. He works at the morgue and regularly conducts autopsies. He has a good connection with Kelly.
  • Wendy — Mother of Kelly. Sometimes, Kelly likes her whereas other times she finds her annoying.
  • Nikki — Sister of Kelly. She is suffering from PTSD. I found her annoying.

World-Building

In this particular book, the story largely takes place in a forest region somewhere at the countryside within England. There is a popular hiking trail of which the town is known for, but the society itself appears to be largely gloomy and just passing along through the winds of time. The society feels generic and boring. Nothing really spectacular.

Hiking Trail by Daniel RESPAUD

As a whole, there isn’t much to say in this category. This specific section is mainly for my fantasy book or period piece reviews.

Franchise

During the writing of this article, I realised this book was actually a part of the Kelly Porter series. Each book is a new detective mystery being investigated by the same detective. As of now, there are a total of 8 books. They are, in chronological order, as follows:

  • Dark Game — Opening up a cold case.
  • Deep Fear — Gruesome and symbolic murder outside a church.
  • Dead End — Suicide investigation (this article).
  • Bitter Edge — A girl intentionally walks off a cliff.
  • Bold Lies — Murder at the Lake District and a double assassination at London.
  • Blood Rites — Missing girl, possibly part of a cult.
  • Little Doubt — Daylight murder of a rich and well-known woman.
  • Lost Cause — Icy remains of a woman discovered. Possible serial killer.
Rachel Lynch’s DI Kelly Porter Book Series

Critique

As a whole, this book was an enjoyable read. In the beginning, there might have been some pacing issues initially, so it took me a while to get into the book. It was similar to the reading of T. F. Muir’s Dead Catch. Once the murder is investigated and the story is established, the book hooked me into the journey via the detective. From a little over the halfway point of the book, it was simply a straight read to the finish line. Not in one sitting, but in quick successions.

Other than the pacing, I did not have any significant issues with the books. I did feel like certain social elements were forced into the book, which is typically expected of in this current time period. That’s why I prefer more classic literature. Also, I think the character of Nikki were a waste of pages. I did not see the purpose of having her around and she does not contribute much to the story. A lot of trees were sacrificed just to write pages for Nikki.

As a whole, the mystery was a thrill and this book was definitely worth the read.

Afterwords

I would definitely recommend this book for people who want to a read a simple detective story and are not expecting anything of a fantasy nature. It was realistic within the modern confinements and there wasn’t anything fantastical about it. It was not overtly complex. It was a simple break from my usual fantasy reads and it was definitely worth it. I will also consider the rest of the series.

Alternatively, if somebody wants to read something more complex, there are definitely options out there…

Disclaimer

This following statement discloses the presence of affiliated links in accordance with the Medium guidelines.

Writer. Reader of Novels. Video Gamer. Documentary Watcher. Tech nerd.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store