High-flying financiers are being murdered and it is beginning to appear like the work of a serial killer. CID inspector Jenny Hultin puts together a team of top detectives to crack the case swiftly before there are more deaths and a national panic. One of the team, Paul Hjelm, is saved from a disciplinary hearing for shooting a hostage taker when he said he was unarmed. Together with his new colleagues he finds himself working 24 hours a day in shifts to find the killer quickly. They are ‘A Unit’ and their pursuit of the Fat Cat Killer will expose tensions within the newly-formed group and put some of them in fear of their lives. And what do the financier killings have to do with the Estonian mafia and the discovery of a dead robber in an empty bank with a dart in his eye?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rtdy8/Arne_Dahl_The_Blinded_Man_Part_1/

Misterioso Thelonious Monk started off the episode in the car as a CD playing annoyingly in the background.

We’ve come to expect quality and difference from our Scandinavian dramas but this seemed quite predictable in part one. I hope I am wrong and that all my misconceptions will be swiftly dealt with in episode 2.

At the moment however I think it was the rather odd janitor who is the person seeking revenge. Firstly, who else would have been in the bank at that time to kill the robber with a dart? When his accomplice went in there it seemed  as if the bank was deserted with no tellers. Now I suppose that it could be that they were all through the back and had decided not to turn in the person with the dart but a more likely scenario as far as I’m concerned is that the cleaner who was already aiming to kill some fat cats took an unexpected opportunity to get rid of some more scum.

The first time we saw the janitor he briefly entered and emptied bins, complaining about rubbish on the floor then asked if he should wipe the board. Now seriously, what police office cleaner would ever wipe a procedural board. We had a surreal moment where the writing seemed to disappear and then reappear when the very tired officer changed his mind. Perhaps the janitor was over at the board to see what they knew and to look for information he didn’t already have because at that point who was killed was not in line with the original expectation.

Apart from this, there were odd moments of people being attacked by police officers at the end of their tether – ironically the second one to do it had complained about the first one being allowed to join the team.

There seems to be an obsession in Scandinavian drama and novels about the link between immigration and crime. Usually the link is false but in this episode it looked very much as if the Estonian gang were to blame for what was going on.

The cutting of scenes between the crucifixion of a should-have-known-better older officer and the singing of  a beautiful latin hymn surrounded by religious iconography by a former Mr Sweden who stands head and shoulders above his fellow officers was interesting. What is it with these police dramas, doesn’t anyone wait for back up these days? And, why go to Estonia to talk in English and then go off alone to tail a suspect when you have no jurisdiction?

I do hope I’m wrong about the likely suspect. I hope it is all just a clunky red herring.

Arne Dahl

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