Val McDermid’s series of cold case investigations, Karen Pirie has been commissioned by ITV from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, World Productions.

“From the moment I read that Karen Pirie orders a Bacardi Breezer as her after-work drink (other brands of alco-pop are available) I knew that she was the detective for me. Val is the queen of crime for good reason and I’m honoured to be bringing her creation to a TV audience, especially for ITV which has been home to some of my favourite detective shows, from Broadchurch to Prime Suspect. Of course, I’m delighted to be working with World Productions again, who really know their way around a crime drama.” – screenwriter Emer Kenny

Adapted by Emer Kenny, Karen Pirie is based on the novel, The Distant Echo, the first in a series of best-selling novels about the young Scottish female detective set in the beautiful Scottish university town of St. Andrew’s.

Following her promotion to Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit, Karen is tasked with reopening the investigation into a murder that has been the subject of a provocative true crime podcast. When teenage barmaid Rosie Duff was stabbed to death in 1995, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who discovered her body. But despite police suspicion, the boys were never charged.

Nearly 25 years on, DS Karen Pirie is determined to uncover what happened that fateful night. When Karen uncovers flaws in the initial investigation, she finds herself in conflict with the very officers who led the original hunt for the killer.

The novels of celebrated crime writer Val McDermid have sold over 16 million copies worldwide. The Hill Jordan series of novels was adapted into Wire in the Blood starring Robson Green for ITV. Emer Kenny is a writer and actress whose credits include Harlots, Save Me and EastEnders.

“Emer has brilliantly realised Val McDermid’s iconic detective, Karen Pirie, and the rich crime stories Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit investigate. We’re thrilled to be working with Simon Heath and World Productions to bring such an exciting new series to the ITV audience.” – ITV Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair Jones

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