Cause of Death by Peter Ritchie #BookReview

Cause of death def

What’s it about?

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.

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Hellooo gorgeous cover! It really was the cover that did it. I saw another blogger was reading this and I thought this cover was so tantalizing, I just wanted to read it without even knowing fully well what it was about!

Cause of Death took a slow start for me, especially if you are used to detectives getting involved into new cases a few pages into a novel. This was not the case as Peter Richie took its time showing first how everything works at the station where Grace finds herself on her first day and he explains where she is coming from and why she had no choice but to ask for a transfer. It wasn’t always easy for me to understand the language and references to the situation in Northern Ireland being a foreign reader (I’d never heard of ‘peelers’ before just to name one) but I do now! It did stump my enjoyment a little bit though that I wasn’t in on the lingo.

The writer, Mr. Peter Ritchie, is a retired senior police officer and his extensive expertise is dripping from the pages. It feels like he was there, like this is all very authentic. Cause of Death reads like a true crime novel, a police procedural turned real. It was interesting to see the interaction between detectives Grace, Mick and O’Connor, the politics in the office and outside. I really liked old-school copper Mick with a drinking problem but who got results nonetheless.

If you like to read a ‘true to life’ detective novel you might want to check this one out. Personally, I think I like the more romanticized versions, but don’t let that stop you!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


18 thoughts on “Cause of Death by Peter Ritchie #BookReview

  1. So… what’s the ‘peelers’?
    There so much ‘local’ lingo and strangely, my colleague is Welsh and every time I go off using Irish lingo and phrases, she’s like- what’s that mean?! 😀 haha…’peelers’ I have not heard of yet…
    The cover does look cool though…sinister-cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Urban Dictonary told me: Peeler or Peelers is Irish slang used mainly in the north but some places in south to. A Peeler is a police officer, cop, pig, whatever you want to call them.. I guess it has its charm too using the slang of the region and it can add to the setting but I assumed everyone would know what it would mean and I was the only one not in the loop. Oof for not being the only one 🙂


    • Yes for crime novels this one scores pretty high :-). It’s not a bad novel per se but it seriously differs from the rest and I’m so stuck in the usual routines, it’s hard to appreciate something that doesn’t follow the same path. I think it’s just ME and others could probably enjoy this one more.


  2. I like that you were honest about this one. I do love the sound of an author who knows what it’s like on the field and succeeds in using that to his advantage to write a crime novel. But man.. the lingo thing might annoy me a little too, especially if it blocks me too often from having a fluent reading experience. It reminds me of books that write things in another language but never translate them for readers to understand, for example… Great review, Inge! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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