‘I opened this book with high expectations. They have been admirably fulfilled.  Here we have a stand alone thriller about two lonely people who pursue a relationship of monthly weekends together in remote spots.  Suddenly one of these two fails to get to the rendezvous-vous and the other realises how very limited her knowledge of her  companion is . . . Gradually the reader pieces together some of the facts as an atmosphere of rising tension envelops everything. The intelligent way Jay, Lisa and others plan their actions is enjoyable and the suspense of the tale is palpable.’


The Secret in Their Eyes

I can heartily recommend this fabulous Argentinian thriller, which is so much more than a thriller. It’s a story too of middle-aged love, deeply romantic, and a meditation on justice. It’s one of the most gripping films I’ve seen for ages. Having read so many crime novels and seen so many thrillers and film noir, I don’t often have my breath taken away by the twists and turns of the plot, but I did here. And more than that it’s the kind of film which you find yourself thinking about long after it’s finished.
While I am on the subject of DVDs we have finally reached the end of the sixth and last series of HOMICIDE. It had gone off the boil somewhat, but was still very watchable. I was sad to see it end and to say goodbye to the characters. It struck me that watching box sets is a very different experience from watching the programmes when they were first aired. When you see one episode a week and there is only one series a year you are closer to real time. In fact the series was spread over six years and six years passed in the world of Homicide. There are advantages to both.
Now there is a HOMICIDE shaped gap in our evenings and suggestions of a crime series to replace it would be very welcome. Maybe we’ll try THE WIRE again. Meanwhile we are absorbed by the Danish crime series, THE KILLING, which is showing on Saturday evenings spread over ten weeks.

Homicide: Life on the Streets

A few blogs ago I wrote about what we’d be watching now that Wallander and Dr Who have finished. We are pressing on with our American film noir season – enjoyed THIS GUN FOR HIRE based on a Graham Greene novel and starring Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake – but the other stand-bys are DVDs of HOMICIDE, for me one of the very best US crime series. I prefer it to THE WIRE.
The first series was shown in the early 1990s, but it really hasn’t dated. (It’s also terrifically good value – only £5 for the first series from Amazon).
Everything about it is good. Detective Frank Pembleton played by the wonderful Andre Braugher stands out. He is a brilliant and driven detective, but also a devoted husband and the interplay between his work and his home life is very well handled. But all the characters are well-developed and totally convincing and the acting is first-rate. The scripts are consistently excellent. I very much admire the audacity of some of the plot lines. Sometimes the detectives do not get their man and the viewer too is left dangling. In one episode that takes place on Christmas Eve not much happens.
It’s sometimes funny, often dark and unsettling, and always compelling. I love it.