Thrilled to be hosting the DEAD END by Rachel Lynch blog tour today! I have an awesome guest post and just want to than Ellie at Canelo for inviting me to take part! A bit about the author and this book first!
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.
About the Book
When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.
At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.
Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate…
Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.
We were lucky enough to visit the Lakes again this summer, and this time we stayed in the small town of Keswick, cradled in the northern fells. I challenge anyone not to be overwhelmed with the town’s charm and warmth. It’s the starting point for most of the northern walks, including the awesome summits of Skiddaw and Blencathra- geologically the oldest mountains in the National Park. From the top of these beauties, you can survey the whole county to the south, and on a clear day, you can look west towards the Isle of Man and east to Yorkshire.
I try and go once a year, not just because I love it, and I want my children to love it, but to research new ideas. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit the same places, I always get inspiration from them. A trip to Whinlatter Forest inspired the next instalment in the Kelly Porter series. Its eerie, abandoned atmosphere lends itself perfectly to Kelly’s next case, and the nearby town of Keswick provides a new backdrop.
But back to Dead End! I could spend days driving around the Lakes, following Kelly as she divides her time between Wasdale Hall and Howtown. They are on opposite sides of Lake Ullswater, and some of the most stunning scenery in the whole National Park can be had here. I love that Johnny and Kelly live here and they have all this on their doorstep, but, lurking beneath, is a backdrop deliciously suited to the dark underbelly of crime. Campsites, stately homes, and high end hotels; they are all superb settings for secrets.
We hired a small dinghy on a rainy day and chugged all the way from Glenridding to Howtown. Half way down the lake, the weather changed and dark storm clouds exploded above us. We turned off the engine and huddled in the cabin as the boat rocked in the unexpected waves. We were the only ones on the whole lake at this point. It was a memorable trip. Half an hour later, the sun came out once more and we dropped the boat off and drove to a pebble beach. The same is true on the fells, and this is why most people find themselves in difficulty; the weather changes so quickly, it’s like being at sea. That’s one reason why Johnny’s job is so important, I knew I wanted to have a mountain rescue volunteer from the beginning, and I love how Johnny’s character has developed over the three books. There’s more of him to come!
Another day, we walked up Aira Force (Deep Fear) and carried on to the summit of Gowbarrow. It’s a gorgeous fell, but I suggested it for the view over to the other side of the lake: a place very special to me: Place Fell. From Gowbarrow, the size and majesty of Place Fell can be best appreciated. It’s a place important in Deep Fear but more so in Dead End. From the north looking across the lake, it looks huge and foreboding and perfect for the two girls, Sophie and Hannah, to wander off.
Gowbarrow is also where deer hunting and forestry would have bolstered the coffers of the fictional Earl of Lowesdale in Dead End. It is surrounded by forest and bracken, as well as farm land, and I can see the Earl taking young Zac across the lake that day, where they picnicked and Zac asked about his mother.
A kayaking adventure also had to be undertaken to satisfy the demands of two young children, and it’s only when you venture alone into the centre of one of the larger lakes, like Ullswater, that the stillness, solitude and detachment really hit you. The sound of just water lapping on the side of a canoe, and of the paddle plopping into the water, present an opportunity for separation that only in the mind of a crime writer would turn out to be another case for Kelly Porter…
Thanks so much to Rachel Lynch for stopping by my blog and sharing this fantastic post. You really get a feel for the sense of place between fiction and reality. Make sure to follow the rest of the tour here: