Thursday, 7 March 2019

Blog Tour || Bitter Edge by Rachel Lynch - Book Review [AD | Gifted]*.

*I received this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. 

I'm very excited to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for Rachel Lynch's newest book, Bitter Edge. Having read some of her DI Kelly Porter series before, I was keen to see how this one compared - and spoiler: it did not disappoint!


DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won't back down...

When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there's no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team's cases converge on the girl's school, a new, darker story emerges. One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his - no matter the cost.

Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter's night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly's world can ever truly be safe.

Don't miss this gripping crime thriller featuring a phenomenal detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

About The Author

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.

My Review

When a local girl jumps to her death from a cliff, everyone is convinced that it is a tragic and horrific suicide. But when the investigation leads back to the girl's school, it becomes clear that all is not well in the picturesque, rural community. Accusations have been made about a popular teacher, there is a pattern of troubled teens, and within days a schoolgirl has gone missing. With unsavoury characters lurking in the background, it is clear that there is a dark reality behind the quiet cosiness of life in the Lakes...

I was delighted to get to grips with another DI Kelly Porter novel, having previously reviewed the first - Dark Game - and third - Dead End (I somehow managed to miss the second novel, Deep Fear). Kelly Porter is my kind of lead character; she is headstrong, determined and relentless in her pursuit of the truth and of justice. She is hard-working and effective, and at this stage, she feels more like a friend than a character! I highly enjoy the way Rachel Lynch writes these books, as the detail of the procedural part of police work is something that fascinates me. Seeing the steps a detective would take to solve numerous cases at once is very engaging and kept me willing Kelly on.

Rachel Lynch's talent has never been in doubt, but for me, this is the best book of hers that I have read. It deals with some very difficult topics, including suicide, drug abuse and child abduction, but never strays into being gratuitous or goes too far. I've mentioned it before while reviewing her novels, but her ability to weave together seemingly separate plotlines into a satisfying, believable narrative is incredible. As the majority of central characters are exposed fairly early on in her books, I'm always trying to fit events together to get 'the answer', but her writing keeps me on the edge of my seat continuously (also I'm always wrong). This book also felt like it had a few more twists than the previous two I'd read, which I really enjoyed. While this is a standalone novel, I would recommend starting with at least the first book, Dark Game, in order to fully understand some of the characters and their motives in Bitter Edge.

It felt almost reassuring to settle back into the Cumbrian surroundings. Rachel Lynch is clearly very familiar with the place, and the way she describes the location is inviting and appealing. This choice of charming, pleasant scenery makes the perfect juxtaposition to the brutality and harshness of the crimes that take place there. It is much more shocking to read about such events in such a beautiful location, which is a fantastic USP for this series. 

This book is oftentimes bleak and full of despair, but it balances out the heaviness of some of the topics with the inclusion of plotlines around Kelly's personal relationships. Kelly's relationship with her parents is a central point in this book, alongside her relationship with her partner Johnny and his daughter Josie. I really loved this - it brought levity to the novel and allowed me to catch my breath a bit, as well as explaining a huge amount of what has shaped Kelly's character. The only thing I missed was that her sister, Nikki, who had been such a central inclusion in previous novels, was barely mentioned in this one. I'm hoping there is more to come between these siblings, particularly in light of the shape of their family by the end of the book.

Overall, I loved Bitter Edge. It is sometimes bleak in topics covered, but it is highly engaging, completely gripping, very well written and exciting to read. This is a tangle of plotlines you'll be delighted to get lost in!

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting Bitter Edge on this tour!

Huge thank you to Ellie at Canelo Publishing for providing me with this copy.

*I received this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. 

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