Picks of the week: Line Of Duty and The Dry

9:32:00 AM

Line of Duty review ending

Nothing better than having enemies, at least that is what Katherine Hepburn once said. While I can't be bothered with them (who has the time and energy?) I do enjoy my fictional characters having to fend off as many as possible.
Secrets and enemies it's what makes suspense go round.
If I had to describe my first pick of the week.. let see...A bunch of corrupt, conniving cops going at each other. Imagine The Wire with all the actors using their original British accents, add bit of The Shield's insanity, lots of 24 backstabbing, a few The Departed-like double lives, set it in the Midlands, and there you have it: Line of Duty.
I'd missed out the first time around, but we binged on the first three seasons on holiday. We just started season four with Thandie Newton, and it seems even more bonkers.
I don't want to give too much away, the surprises keep coming, with spoilers galore in the first episodes alone. It focuses on the AC12 department, the British equivalent of Internal Affairs,  tasked with chasing bent coppers. After three seasons it has me convinced that British cops are royally messed up (my husband keeps sending me articles confirming my bias!)
Lots of fine performances, Lennie James in season one, Keeley Hawes is great in season two as a laconic cop, who is involved in the murder of a witness protection asset, and Vicky McLure, Martin Compston, and Andrew Dunbar are the perfect trio of 'good' guys.
As I said this show is truly bonkers, shocking and addictive...

One of my favorite movies is Jean de Fleurette where a city dweller, Gerard Depardieu, moves to the French countryside to try his hand at farming, only to be driven to insanity and death by a bunch of chauvinist close-minded farmers led by Daniel Auteuil. It's a harrowing tale that stays with you. It captures perfectly the suspicion towards outsiders ruling and ruining small communities and the paranoia moving in such places induces. The high school cafetaria scenario, on a slighter larger scale, not belonging, being ousted from society, everyone knows the drill. The Dry by Jane Harper reminded me of that movie, Federal agent Aaron Falk goes back to his hometown, Kiewarra from Melbourne, after his childhood friend Luke kills his wife and kid and commits suicide.
'It's the drought. ' the townspeople offer, the long dry spell that has Kiewarra, this harsh rural place,  in its grip. Aaron is not so sure. And he still owns his friend, who twenty years ago provided him with an alibi for the time of death of the girl they used to hang out with.
The townspeople haven't forgotten his involvement and re convinced Aaron had something to do with the girls' death, and are not shy in letting him know, threatening him at every turn. But Aaron indebted to his friend, and convinced he would never commit such an awful act of killing the wife and kid he seemed to love, starts investigating anyway, helped by a local cop.
Its a great read. Stark, brutal, and perfect in this season of natural disaster we seem to be having. It is  tense, maddening and describes growing up in such a place with great empathy. The ending is satisfying and sad. Reese Witherspoon has bought the rights, that's all the incentive you need to grab a copy.

Now I have to run, we are moving this weekend, but I also wanted to recommend American Vandal on Netflix...

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