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A Suitable Vengeance 

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | Episode aired 24 March 2003
Tommy and Helen go to his family estate for their engagement party, but long-hidden family secrets and a murder in the extended family disrupt the celebration.


Edward Bennett


Elizabeth George (novel), Valerie Windsor (screenplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Egan ... Dr. Trenarrow
Karl Picton Karl Picton ... Dying Patient
Gail Kemp Gail Kemp ... Nurse
Nathaniel Parker ... Thomas Lynley
Lesley Vickerage ... Helen Clyde
Gabrielle Drake ... Lady Asherton
John Duttine ... John Penellin
Mali Harries Mali Harries ... Nancy
Sharon Small ... Barbara Havers
Dominic Mafham ... Justin Brooke
Claire Cox ... Sidney
Oliver Dimsdale ... Mark Penellin
Olivia Poulet ... Sasha
Matthew Goode ... Peter Lynley
Luke Healy ... Jack


It's a tension filled weekend for Tommy Lynley when he and Helen go the family estate to hold their engagement party. Tommy is estranged from his mother owing to the time he found her in bed with their family physician, Dr. Trenarrow, while his father was dying of cancer in the next room. He's on less than good terms as well with his brother Peter who feels that Tommy abandoned him when their father died. When Mick Cambrey is found dead in his shop in the village, the police arrest his father-in-law John Penellin, the Lynleys long-time estate manager. Lynley and Havers soon determine that the death is related to drug smuggling. When one of the weekend guests, Justin Brooke, is found dead on the estate, they realize something other than heroin was being smuggled. Written by garykmcd

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Not Rated


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Release Date:

24 March 2003 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Peter proposes the toast he calls Helen "The face that launched a thousand... etc." The quotation is from Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, and refers to Helen of Troy as "The face that launched a thousand ships, and burned the topless towers of Ilium." See more »


When the murderer commits suicide by injecting strychnine, he/she dies within a few minutes and remains quite calm, just keeling over at the desk. In reality, strychnine poisoning causes violent spasms and the backbone to arch continually within ten or twenty minutes. The body would also show signs of great trauma. See more »

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User Reviews

Lynley and Helen go to his family estate
24 November 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Lynley and Helen (Nathanial Parker and Lesley Vickerage) travel to Lynley's family estate for their engagement party in "A Suitable Vengeance," from season 2 of the popular series. It's not the high old time one would have hoped for.

Lynley doesn't want much to do with his mother, Lady Ashton (Gabrielle Drake) and he soon confesses his reason to Helen, and it has to do with his father's doctor (Peter Egan). Lynley's brother Peter (Matthew Goode) is angry with his older brother because he thinks he abandoned the family after their father's death. Havers (Sharon Small) arrives for the party and feels out of place amidst the luxury. She's soon needed - the estate manager, John Penellin, is arrested for the murder of his son-in-law, who owned a shop with his daughter in the village.

That's the first death - others follow, as well as the surfacing of a big problem of Peter's.

Havers and Lynley decide Penellin's son-in-law must have been smuggling drugs, but then it becomes apparent that the problem goes deeper than that.

Excellent mystery, quite sad, and calling for a lot of emotion from Nathaniel Parker, who is more than up to it. Matthew Goode has since become a more prominent actor -- this is one of his first appearances. Sharon Small is lovely support as Havers, putting up, as does Helen, with Lynley's sometimes ill humor. He's pretty tense here, and with good reason. As I've often said, I could do without Vickerage's Helen. Not her fault - I just always feel like Lynley could have done better.

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