Lifeline is an episode of series 23 that first aired on 30 December 2008. The episode had 4.8 million viewers and a 20.9% share.[1]

Plot synopsisEdit

When the body of a man is discovered in a garage with the engine of his car still running, it appears at first to be a simple case of suicide. The victim worked as a volunteer at a helpline centre dealing with potential suicide victims, and his wife is adamant that her husband would never commit suicide. But when the body of another helpline worker is found dead in a hit and run incident, it all appears to be too much of a coincidence. Meanwhile DS Jackie Reid appears to be losing it badly, as she is worried that she could be the victim of identity theft. Will the team help her to calm down? Burke, Reid, Fraser and Ross investigate the murders. Will they work together to help try and catch the killer? Jackie catches the killer at the end, but who is it and will she stay safe? She manages to contact Burke, but will he, Fraser and Ross arrive in time to save her from the killer?

Full plot synopsisEdit

Locked in his car with the engine running and the garage door shut tight, wealthy bookseller Derek McGrath is found slumped against the wheel by his devastated wife Diane. After finding a leaflet for Lifeline Central, a local helpline for those considering suicide, the Taggart team jump to the obvious conclusion about McGrath’s death - until Diane sets them straight. McGrath wasn’t interested in Lifeline Central because he needed help, he was a volunteer.

DS Reid gets out her mobile to update the boss but is faced with a recorded message: “Your account has been disconnected”. Could Reid be in some kind of money trouble?

Meanwhile, with suicide now an unlikely option, DCI Burke and DI Ross take a trip to the victim’s bookshop in search of their first lead. A packet of condoms and an empty champagne bottle suggest an affair. If Diane knew, this could be motive enough for murder.

With this in mind, the team travels to Lifeline Central in the hope they might identify McGrath’s secret lover. His fellow volunteers are stunned by the news of his death. All deny knowledge of an affair, but Ross is suspicious when one colleague, Rachel, seems more upset than the others – what is she hiding?

Reid is increasingly concerned after she is presented with a mysterious final demand for payment. If Reid’s not spending her own money who is?

As a second victim is discovered, Reid’s suspicions lead her to believe there’s a link between her situation and the case, but Burke clearly doesn’t agree. Forced to stand down from the case and the department Reid takes solace at home with a bottle of wine, but she’s not alone….


Matt Burke - Alex Norton
Jackie Reid - Blythe Duff
Robbie Ross - John Michie
Stuart Fraser - Colin McCredie


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