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Cause of Death

Cause of Death

by Peter Ritchie

Black & White Publishing

General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 14 Sep 2017


Cause of Death introduces DCI Grace Macallan, a compelling investigator with integrity and an uncommon mix of instinct and humanity. A talented officer in Northern Ireland, Macallan leaves under a cloud after testifying against a fellow officer responsible for the death of a suspect. With a background in investigations and covert operations and an otherwise sterling record, her only choice is to move to the mainland. Assigned to the newly formed Lothian & Borders Major Crime Team as it’s second in command, and paired with a streetwise detective, Grace’s career is back on track. But it’s given a major challenge as an attack on a prostitute becomes one of a series of violent murders. If they can’t find the killer quickly, someone is going to take a fall.

Cause of Death stands strong as a one off, but I hope it will be the start of a series as Peter Richie’s heroine is a fascinating mix of determination and vulnerability. Her capability and her willingness to go against the grain makes her friends as well as enemies in a world where getting results and playing politics is often more important than the truth. Cause of Death focuses predominantly on the central characters, the investigators and the victims. It’s the people that matter, far more than the culprit. I look forward to seeing where Peter Richie takes DCI Grace Macallan, and I think other readers will feel the same.

4 / 5

I received a copy of Cause of Death from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review



DCI Grace Macallan’s career has hit a serious roadblock. When a covert police operation in Northern Ireland goes badly wrong, she’s faced with a painful decision – lie to save a young officer's career or tell the truth and ruin her own reputation. For Grace, there can be only one answer.

Reassigned to the newly formed Lothian & Borders Major Crime Team, Grace Macallan is forced to rebuild her career and her reputation. But when a brutal attack on a prostitute turns into a series of murders, the Major Crime Team is under serious pressure. The tabloid headlines are lurid and the team badly needs a result.

With a new life to build in a new city, a new boss as smooth as an 18-year-old malt and a very high profile lawyer as the chief suspect, Grace soon begins to wonder if telling the truth is always the right thing to do.

What people are saying about Cause of Death:

"A first-rate police procedural by someone who evidently knows what he’s talking about."


"Audacious, Ritchie's street talk sizzles with wit and invention. Cause Of Death is engaging, eventful and original."


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