I wanted to have a break between the first and second season of The Killing because of how intense it is to watch. But eventually, having the DVD sitting next to me was too much to bear and I weakened.

At the beginning of series two, I missed centain characters a lot, namely Troels Hartmen and Pernille Larsen. The Killing writers like to run a political thread through each series and the character of Thomas Buch was not nearly as commanding as Troels. In fact, it took until the last few epsidoes for me to be properly hooked into to the political thread.

Not so, the crime investigation. Lund is as brilliant as ever and I can’t get enough of her character. I can’t think of another instance in television where a female is protrayed as so uncompromising and focussed and good at what they do (The Closer is along those lines but not nearly as powerful as this). There is not a moment when you are not in Lund’s corner, helping her unravel the dirty threads, going head to head with the bureacracy, fighting mediocrity, and struggling to keep her emotional life in tact. Yet, at no time does she lose her female essence. I totally applaud the writers and the actor, Sofie Grabol, for creating a heroine with such strength, courage and intelligence.

The plotting in series 2 is probably tighter than series one, and never at any stage was I actually sure who the killer was – that is, until the last epsisode. As a crime writer of sorts, I’m fascinated by how well they constantly confuse the reader with false leads, dead ends and by witholding information. It’s a mesmeric dance, driven by a strong protagonist.

As I said, the character Thomas Buch did not work his way under my skin like Troels Hartmen did, but the political thread was certainly a bleak look at the inner workings of politics.

The thread concerning the accused soldier Jens Peter Raben and his wife, was nicely handled and again it’s impossible not to be on the side of this badly wronged soldier. Until, of coure the final revelations which leaves the viewer a little numb and conflicted. (I can’t talk any more about it, for fear of ruining the story for you).

It was pleasing to see Lund’s boss, Lennart Brix, better developed in series two. He is the man charged with managing Lund’s obsessive brilliance and is constantly torn between trusting her, and reeling her in when she oversteps the line. All this is further coloured by the affair he’s having with one of his female superiors – the woman charged with liaising between him and the government.

I can’t wait for series 3 to become available. Sophie Grabol as Sarah Lund is firmly my number one girl, sliding Holly Hunter as Grace Hannadarko into runner up.

Get the Danish version of the series and enjoy TV storytelling at it’s best.

Well crime drama doesn’t get much better than The Killing aka by its Danish title Fobrydelsen. I started watching it a while back with my husband and he found it slow, so I never even got to finish episode one. When I sat down with it the second time, I watched it alone and didn’t have to worry about anyone else enjoying it!

It is a slowly told story but the power of the series is in that drawn-out pacing. Each of the twenty episodes depicts 24 hrs in the investigation of the murder of a young woman named Nanna Birk Larsen.

Without excpetion, it is incredibly well cast. However, my favourite performances were from Sofie GråbølSøren MallingLars Mikkelsen and Ann Eleonora Jørgensen. Sofie (obsessed and clever Detective Sarah Lund) and Lars (obsessed and clever politican Troels Hartman) are outstanding.

Set in Copenhagen in winter, the backdrop to the story is relentlessly grey and miserable.The city’s mood combines with the detailed, complex narrative to draw the viewer deep into Lund’s gloomy hunt. After watching each episode, I had that sensation of really having to shake off the fictional world to re-enter the real one.

I was thrilled by the brilliantly portrayed character of detective Sarah Lund who becomes so immersed in the chase that her personal life totally unravels. Her obsession makes her unpredictable and she risks everything to find the answer. There was something very realistic about the dialogue and the dynamics of the relationships (even taking into account that some of the translation was obviously a bit naf).

The Killing also brings an added dimension to TV crime by the fact that it gives weight to the lives of the victim’s family after the crime, as well as the actual investigation. This works to invest the viewer in their loss and makes the journey even more immersive. Several false leads are pursued, and each one of them feels totally credible. The story cleverly circles back on itself, and details are rehashed. A second layer of story is splashed across the top as Lund tries to tie in a previous murder, and Troels, negotiates the dirty world of politics, while trying to maintain some personal integrity and minimise the damage Nanna’s murder has had on him and his election campaign.

Engrossing, believable and grim. Lund triumphs but at what cost?

Highly Recommended (and thanks to Peri Wilson for suggesting it while we were on book tour together). I have series 2 ready to go, (which I’ve heard is even better) but I’m holding off until I can settle in and enjoy it without interruption.

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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