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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?


The play being performed is "The Importance of Being Ernest" by Oscar Wilde. 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

Minor spoilers - Which Lynley characters are NOT in the movie.
5 August 2005 | by SteveDirSee all my reviews

A good movie but somewhat of a disappointment for fans of the book. I understand a screenwriter has to make major changes in order to fit a full-length novel into a 90-minute TV show – but I was still think that deleting major characters makes it a different story. No Simon St. James, no Deborah, no Cotter – so we had to have Lynley engaged to Helen instead and made Sidney Lynley's COUSIN? I guess a lot of the changes were due to changing the chronology of Lynley's stories. This was the fourth book published, but the whole book was a flashback to before Lynley even worked with Havers. Now the TV episode was the ninth installment and set right in line with others.

Enough whining. The movie was very good, well acted, the plot points all tied together well. Sharon Small was excellent as a guest at the Lynley mansion completely out of her element. I would have really loved it if I hadn't read the book.

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