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.

In St Andrews, three drunken students are discovered at the scene of a murder. Young barmaid Rosie Duff has been assaulted, stabbed and left for dead. And the only suspects are the three young men now stained with her blood, claiming to have stumbled across her on the way home from a party. Twenty-five years later, Rosie’s unsolved murder has become the subject of a provocative true crime podcast and Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie is put in charge of the cold case review. But as complications within the investigation grow, it becomes increasingly apparent that Rosie harboured a long-held family secret that could potentially unlock the mysteries surrounding the case. When new evidence emerges implicating one of the students, Karen hunts down the suspect to get their version of the story.


  • Anna Russell-Martin As Rosie Duff
  • Alec Newman As Ziggy Malkiewicz Snr
  • Antony Strachan As Brian Duff Snr
  • Ariyon Bakare As Alex Gilbey Snr
  • Buom Tihngang As Alex Gilbey Jnr
  • Chris Jenks As Dc Jason Murray
  • Daniel Portman As Colin Duff Jnr
  • Emer Kenny As River Wilde
  • Gail Watson As Janice Duff
  • Gary Lamont As Paul
  • Gemma Mcelhinney As Pc Janice Hogg
  • Gerry Lynch As Colin Duff Snr
  • Gilly Gilchrist As Di Barney Maclennan
  • Imogen Mackie Walker As Dorothy Jnr
  • Jack Hesketh As Weird Mackie Jnr
  • Jhon Lumsden As Ziggy Malkiewicz Jnr
  • Josh Whitelaw As Brian Duff Jnr
  • Kevin Mains As Ds Jimmy Lawson
  • Lauren Lyle As Ds Karen Pirie
  • Layla Kirk As Iona Kaleel Jnr
  • Marnie Baxter As Lynn Mackie Snr
  • Michael Shaeffer As Weird Mackie Snr
  • Natalie Mcconnon As Tracey
  • Rakhee Thakrar As Bel Richmond
  • Rian Gordon As Donnie
  • Richard Conlon As John Stobie
  • Ron Donachie As Archie Duff
  • Steve John Shepherd As Di Simon Lees
  • Stuart Bowman As Ch Supt Lawson
  • Zach Wyatt As Ds Phil Parhatka
  • Zara Janjua As Journalist

Karen Pirie begins at 8pm on ITV.