“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”Stephen King
Is that why we watch murder mysteries? Not only to test our observational and deductive skills, but to explore, process, and cope with the unthinkable horror of murder?
Last year I watched ITV’s Broadchurch because it starred David Tennant (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hamlet, Casanova, The Escape Artist, The Decoy Bride, etc. ), the murder mystery part was a lovely bonus.
No spoilers, but this British murder mystery had so many twists and turns I started to feel dizzy, and the amount of red herrings almost seemed a little fishy. By the end I thought maybe I knew who had committed the murder, but in the case of murder mysteries I’m always delighted to second-guess myself.
The murder, the unfathomable death of a child may have appeared to be the focal point of the series, but the interactions between the people of this small town where the real story.
When I heard FOX had picked up Broadchurch and were adapting it under the name of Gracepoint I was intrigued. Even more so when I heard they were bringing along one of my favourite doctors, David Tennant to reprise his role of a burned out policeman, this time with an American accent.
While I was waiting for the October 2, 2014 première I borrowed the digital copy of Broadchurch from Netgalley.com (for the low price of an honest review), written by Erin Kelly (Minotaur Books), adapted from the TV series. Thankfully just as absorbing as the series. A gripping read, full of the same tension, suspense, and the essential elements of a delicious murder mystery.
1. A murder victim.
2. Emotionally damaged sleuths; we don’t just want them to investigate murders, we want to get into their dented psyches and try to figure out what makes them so good at getting the bad guys.
3. Great plot, subplots and more subplots, the more subplottery, the better.
4. A bunch of lying suspects. Of course, usually only one of them is lying about murder, but they’re all lying to cover up their dirty little secrets.
5. A setting to die for. I want to be submerged in the setting, to feel like I’m there; whether it’s a small town, big city, boat, train, plane, or space, I want to be where the characters are.
The very first sentence transports you to the small town, “One road in, one road out. Broadchurch isn’t on the way to anywhere and you don’t go there by accident”~Erin Kelly…and you need to stay until you’ve uncovered all its murky secrets.
So, all criteria met for brilliant crime drama on any continent.
I’m glad to know series creator and writer Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who, Torchwood, United, Broadchurch) and director James Strong came across the Pond to bring Broadchurch to the coastal California town of Gracepoint (though filmed in British Columbia, Canada).
The cast looks amazing, David Tennant, now Emmett Carver (Alec Hardy in Broadchurch), joined by Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Kevin Zegers, Josh Hamilton, Michael Peña, Kendrick Sampson, Nick Nolte, Jacki Weaver, Kevin Rankin, Virginia Kull and more as family, friends, and neighbours become suspects in a horrifying crime that threatens to tear the very heart out of the sleepy little tourist town.
Also excited to know Broadcurch will be returning for a second series, with David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Arthur Darvill, Jodie Whittaker, etc. plus some exciting new add-ons.
Critical clues await those who must solve a horrifying crime, and bring peace and justice to a town torn apart.