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Karen Pirie

Lauren Lyle stars as Karen Pirie in ITV cold case murder drama, based on acclaimed author Val McDermid’s The Distant Echo and adapted by Emer Kenny.

Outlander star Lauren Lyle takes the lead role of Karen Pirie in a new ITV drama series from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, World Productions.

True to Val McDermid’s iconic character, DS Karen Pirie is a young and fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and tenacious desire for the truth.

Adapted by Emer Kenny (Harlots, Save Me Too) who will also take the role of Karen’s friend River Wilde, Karen Pirie also stars Chris Jenks (Sex Education) as Jason ‘The Mint’ Murray and Zach Wyatt (Blithe Spirit) as DS Phil Parhatka. 

The series is based on Val McDermid’s first Karen Pirie novel The Distant Echo, and in the first episode Karen is tasked with reopening an historic murder investigation that has been the subject of a provocative true crime podcast.

When teenager Rosie Duff (Anna Russell-Martin, Casualty) was found brutally murdered in the Scottish university town of St Andrews in 1996, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who were discovered at the scene of the crime, claiming to have found her body; Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz (Jhon Lumsden, Pancake) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh, Besa) and Alex Gilbey (BuomTihngang, Death In Paradise). But with a lack of forensic evidence, no charges were brought and the police investigation floundered.

Twenty-five years on, someone appears to be willing to risk everything to keep the secrets surrounding the case hidden. Do the three men know more than they previously revealed?