Hollyoaks – Who killed Rayne?

Hollyoaks spoilers follow.

Hollyoaks kicked off a major whodunnit mystery this week, after scheming influencer Rayne Royce was found dead in the swimming pool.

Rayne was killed off in the closing moments of the show's hour-long special, which was released on Channel 4's streaming service on Monday evening (September 25).

Her grisly death came after Rayne's twisted nature was finally exposed to everyone during the luxury villa party that she'd arranged to impress the producers of reality series Love Cave.

With several characters now in the frame, we take a look at the current suspects.

1. Romeo Nightingale

owen warner as romeo nightingale in hollyoaks
Ray Burmiston - Lime Pictures

Romeo is currently one of the main suspects, having spent the past few months in a toxic relationship with influencer Rayne.

Their partnership took a disturbing turn recently due to Rayne's controlling and abusive behaviour, placing Romeo boldly in the limelight when a murder investigation begins following Rayne's death.

Romeo's possible guilt here is questionable due to the nature of his reaction upon finding Rayne's body, but could this just have been a red herring? The cast seem to think so...

"I think is the person at the top of the list, deep down in my heart, is Romeo," Malique Thompson-Dwyer (Prince) said.

Owen Warner – who plays Romeo – also weighed in on the theory that Romeo could be the killer, saying: "Romeo has got so many motives, he’s been in a pretty horrible relationship for a while and he’s not been aware of it. He has been getting emotionally manipulated, physically abused, emotionally abused."

2. Lacey Lloyd

lacey, hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

She has always been Rayne's biggest supporter but that all started to change when Lacey finally had her eyes opened to her best friend's true colours prior to her death.

Lacey had her world turned upside down when she realised that Rayne had lied about Brent's 'death' earlier this week.

Lacey will be acting strangely next week, sparking suspicion from girlfriend Nadira, but is she hiding a guilty murder secret – or something else?

"I think Lacey felt really frustrated by Rayne", Annabelle Davis – who plays Lacey – said. "I think it is absolutely awful what Rayne has put her through. She has been manipulated for years and didn’t even realise it. I think that she has really lost her friend in that. Even though she comes across really calm and collected, I think she could snap."

Owen has also highlighted Lacey as one to watch, saying: "I think that it's Lacey. When you think about it, Rayne for so long has lied to her about Brent being dead. She has been living with this trauma for so long. It's got to be her. I reckon she did it."

3. Prince McQueen

prince mcqueen in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Prince fell victim to one of Rayne's cruelest lies earlier this year, when she lied that he'd assaulted her after a night out.

Prince has also become increasingly concerned for his best friend Romeo, and the distance Rayne has created between them, placing him firmly at the top of the suspect list.

Malique said: "Obviously with him being best mates with Romeo, she kind of brought him away from that relationship that they’ve got together.

"She accused Prince of sexually assaulting her, and Prince actually started to believe it, but then it turns out that she’s a liar. Prince isn’t capable of doing those kinds of things, but because he is so innocent, he started believing the lies which created all this conflict."

4. Peri Lomax

embargo 05092023 peri lomax in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Peri is another one high up on our list, with a plethora of reasons to bump off her naughty nemesis.

Peri played an integral role in Rayne's downfall during her final hours alive, but was she responsible for killing her too?

"Peri’s motive to kill Rayne is that she just knows she is a liar", says Ruby O'Donnell, who plays her.

"I think Peri has been in Hollyoaks long enough to know when somebody is a bad person, she has met many of them. And obviously she wants to protect Romeo now that Juliet is gone, she knows that Rayne is just a bad egg. She really doesn’t like her."

5. Zoe Anderson

embargo 19092023 zoe anderson and lizzie chen williams in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

While we can't see the level-headed detective bumping off Rayne in a fit of rage, stranger things have certainly happened in Hollyoaks.

And Garcia Brown, who plays Zoe, reckons her alterego's loyalty to boyfriend Hunter could drive her to kill….

Garcia said: "Because Zoe is with Hunter, Rayne has done some really bad things to Hunter, someone she really cares about and is practically in love with now. If she did have a motive to kill Rayne it was to protect the ones that she loves."

6. Hunter McQueen

prince mcqueen and hunter mcqueen in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Like Zoe, we can't see Hunter as a killer on an ordinary day. But given this is no ordinary situation, could Hunter have snapped in a moment of madness?

"I wouldn’t say he personally has a motive", said Theo Graham, who plays Hunter. " But I do think that a lot has happened so everything that Rayne accuses Prince of and everything that she did to Hunter.

"I think that would be his motive, helping out his brother, exposing Rayne for abusing Romeo."

7. Lizzie Chen-Williams

maxine minniver and lizzie chen williams in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Like everyone else at the party, Lizzie has also found herself on the receiving end of Rayne's nasty streak in recent weeks.

Most recently, Lizzie's brother Sam was forced out of the village (he'll be back) thanks to Rayne's devious antics. But is this enough to drive her to kill?

Lily Best – who plays Lizzie – said: "Lizzie’s motive is that Rayne has not been very nice to her and her friends"

"But mainly because her brother Sam left because Rayne lied and set him up, and Lizzie really struggled to believe him. They had a huge argument where he left, so now Lizzie is without Sam because of Rayne."

8. Nadira Valli

ashling o'shea as nadira valli in hollyoaks
Ray Burmiston - Lime Pictures

Nadira is another one who found herself falling victim to Rayne's scheming in the weeks leading up to her death.

Rayne manipulated Nadira into securing a holding deposit for the very house she met her maker in, leaving Nadira's new job on the line. There's also a chance that Nadira's relationship with Lacey, who was left devastated over Rayne's lies, could have prompted her to react.

Nadira certainly appeared the most composed in the moments after Rayne's body was found, but could that be a red herring?

Ashling O'Shea, who plays Nadira, said: "Rayne manipulated her into securing that by telling her no money would actually come out of the account, so Nadira used the company card from her new job. But Rayne, shock horror, lied and the money did come out.

"She is now at risk of losing her job and facing criminal charges. Rayne is also threatening to tell everyone that she stole the money. It's bad."

9. Phoenix Hathaway

phoenix, hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Phoenix might be the wild card in the murder mystery, but Tylan Grant, who plays him, reckons his character could have his reasons.

"I think that where Phoenix’s is at in his journey, is very much representative of the polar opposite of everything Rayne represents," Tylan said. "In the way that Rayne is very focused on the validation of others and is in the limelight of people who build her up to be who she is.

"Phoenix, on the other hand, he is very much his own person and doesn’t need to impress others. He is very much a free agent in being himself and navigating life authentically.

"I think that Rayne is the person who would use Phoenix as being a pawn in her game, and I don’t think that Phoenix is very interested in being content for others to just enjoy."

10. Faye Fuller

faye, hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

If we are honest, something has felt off about Rayne's agent Faye ever since she first arrived on our screens.

Casting The Traitors star Maddy Smedley in the role of the shifty social media manager was a stroke of genius, but could Hollyoaks take it one step further and have a faithful be the murderer here?

"I think Faye could have killed Rayne," Maddy said. "You know that saying that ‘every review is a good review’. She’s very much like Del Boy, Deborah Meaden – any article is a great article so bring it on.

"But I don’t think that she is as cutthroat to actually kill. Her name is ‘Faye Fuller’ and its got faithful. I think she is a faithful so I’d say deep down she wouldn’t want to kill one of her clients because that would be a bit brutal."

11. Brent

jesse fox as brent in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Brent's reappearance was the catalyst to Rayne's world crumbling, after she'd led everyone to believe he'd taken his own life.

Brent has spent the last few weeks holding Peri hostage, under instruction from Rayne, and was clearly under the misguided illusion that they'd be able to have a happily ever after.

He is currently the number one suspect in the police investigation, and was arrested in today's episode (September 27), but have they got the right person?

From Monday, September 25, Hollyoaks will stream first online via Channel 4 each weekday. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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