DI Kelly Porter is about to discover just how dark things can get in the Lake District.
When a young woman is found unclothed, unspeaking at an ancient stone circle it’s not clear if any crime has been committed. DI Kelly Porter and her team start looking into the circumstances, but the mystery girl disappears.
Soon after, a brutal murder is committed and sinister markings at the scene indicate that the killer had a message. The investigation reveals that in the beautiful Lake District there are those who believe in ancient ways, and within those circles old resentments are spilling over into terrible violence.
Kelly has all the pieces to solve the puzzle, but to put them together she must confront a figure from her past: one who nearly destroyed all that she holds dear. Will she avoid the same fate this time, or can the killer stay one step ahead of her to the bitter end?
We are back in the beautiful Lake District with Rachel Lynch’s sixth D I Kelly Porter book. You can breathe in the air, the scenery and settle right back in with Kelly and her team along with Ted, Johnny and Josie.
We are getting to know Dan, Kate and the team more and more. We are seeing Kelly’s increasing trust in them allowing her to give them the responsibilities they should have. Not that Kelly is a sit-behind-the-desk type she gets right in there with the investigation which also means getting out and about because that’s how she thinks.
In this story there is an investigative strand that means she has to get very up close with someone from the past. I like the way Rachel Lynch allows Kelly to be quite human, you are shown feelings and trains of thought which, along with the interaction with other characters, allows a lot of procedural information to come through in a natural way.
We also have the personal side to Kelly her relationship with Johnny and his daughter Josie and with Ted. All effortlessly woven into the overall story of the investigation.
Ah, The investigation! It begins with the discovery of a young woman on Castlerigg Stone Circle she is naked and seemingly abandoned. There is no identity and she won’t or can’t speak. There is something wrong but no obvious signs of an attack. Taken to hospital Kelly goes to talk to her but she has disappeared. Concerned for her safety a missing persons case is opened. It’s difficult with so little to go on. Then Kelly is called to a murder and this takes precedence.
We are lead into the world of Panganism the murdered woman, Mary Hales, was part of such a group. They are a small group who feel their beliefs are not widely known and, perhaps, are misunderstood, stereotyped or generalised by those who do not know much about it. They disavow any association with a darker side. Nevertheless there is both a lot of personal anger and symbolism at the scene.
There is little graphic detail in the story which has murder, child abuse and animal cruelty within it. All well handled by Rachel Lynch. She includes sufficient information to get across what she needs to demonstrate the evil within the world today without giving it any kudos.
As always we get an excellent police procedural with these books but, for me, they are also a cracking good read, well paced and a fascinating story. They are set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery we are lucky enough to have in the UK and you get a great sense of place. Highlighting some of the social and political situations of the day whilst keeping focused on the main investigative story line.
There are new characters in this story including Callum and Demi Cramer who may well become a part of further books in this series? I hope so.
The D I Kelly Porter series continues to be a really good read. It really is a terrific book and series, I always look out for when the next will be published. Without any hesitation at all I highly recommend this book, indeed the whole series. I hope you will read them and agree.
With thanks to Sophie at Canelo for the exclusive access to an early copy of Blood Rites, the sixth book in the DI Kelly Porter series, via NetGalley. I had this on order but couldn’t resist this early read! Of course, I will still purchase – and receive – Blood Rites by Rachel Lynch on 30 September.
Here are links to my reviews of the previous DI Kelly Porter Books:-
Published: 30 September 2019
Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.