The Knife Trick
Episode number 99
ITV broadcast date 7th May 2009
Previous episode Grass
Next episode So Long Baby

The Knife Trick is an episode of series 25 which aired on the 7th of may 2009 with 4.37 million viewers and a 19.8% auidence share.


In a college lecture hall, trainee cops witness a murder when their lecturer, Alistair Matheson, is killed in a filmed knifing demonstration right in front of their eyes. Was it an accident or a well planned murder? DCI Matt Burke and his team are bought in to investigate.

As Ross and Reid examine the scene, Ross recognises one of the victim’s colleagues, Pippa Harris, who seems to be masking her grief for Matheson. What is she hiding? Were they lovers? Pippa mentions seeing a suspicious looking student emerge from the victim’s office early that morning. Does the student have something to do with the case?

Meanwhile, Fraser discovers that Michael Shearer, the lecturer who acted as the murderer in the fatal ‘demonstration’, has a daughter, Katie, who is in a coma after attempting suicide. As Reid and Fraser go to meet Shearer in the hospital, a doctor hands over Katie’s diary which Shearer had earlier tried to dispose of. Reid and Fraser are immediately suspicious - what is the significance of the coded diary? Does Shearer have something to hide?

They also discover that Shearer had asked colleague Alan Parkes to help decode the diary but Parkes refused, blaming himself for failing to save an abducted girl on a previous case, by not decoding information in time. Parkes once held a flame for Reid, so when she calls in a personal favour he finally agrees to decode the diary for police evidence.

On discovering the demonstration knife - and murder weapon - in Shearer’s office, it is revealed that it’s been tampered with. The team officially have a murder on their hands.

Is Shearer a suspect or is someone trying to frame him? Shearer has a motive - Matheson pipped him to the post in a promotion - but is it enough for murder?

As Ross investigates John Goldie – the only student not to react to the murder on the video tape – he discovers that Goldie was in a relationship with Shearer’s daughter, Katie. Could he have a motive to frame Shearer?

As all the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place, the team must untangle the web of deceit – at the heart of which lie the secrets in Katie’s diary…


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

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