Which new tv detectives?

There’s a fun article in next week’s (5-11 July) issue of Radio Times, in which Alison Graham takes the shortlist for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and wonders which would translate best to television.

The shortlist is as follows:

‘Dying Fall’ by Elly Griffiths (about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway, who sounds rather like a Vera Stanhope clone);

‘The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter’ by Malcolm Mackay (hardboiled novel about a gangland hit);

‘The Red Road’ by Denise Mina (Glasgow-set tale of murder and child abuse);

‘Eleven Days’ by Stav Sherez (chalk-and-cheese cops solve a murder in a convent);

‘The Chessmen’ by Peter May (the third in his Isle of Lewis based crime series); and

‘Rubbernecker’ by Belinda Bauer (psychological thriller involving Asperger’s syndrome medical student).

Ms Graham’s vote for the best translation to Sunday night telly is for either May’s Fin Macleod or Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway. My own favourite would also be Peter May, both because the first book in the series was an absolute cracker, and because the Isle of Lewis would be an amazing place to film a tv series. Think Ann Cleeves’ Shetland only bleaker!

As for the books, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read any of them, but I hope to put that right during the year.


4 thoughts on “Which new tv detectives?

  1. Interesting question about adaptation for TV, Tess. I would actually love to see Elly Griffith’s work brought to screen. Bit then, I’m biased; I really like her series.

    • I’ve yet to read any of her work (no time, no time!) but it certainly sounded as though it would work well on telly. I just wonder if it would be a bit too similar to Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series? Then again, my own choice of Peter May might be too close to Ann Cleeves’ Shetland. I could certainly see Dougie Henshall as Fin Macleod!

      • I know what you mean about time, Tess. I never have enough of it to read what I want. Having read both Cleeves and Griffiths, I honestly don’t see them as too similar to both be adapted. There are some resemblances of course, but in my opinion, the two women are different enough to make for different reading experiences. And about Douglas Henshall? I can see it.

      • That’s good to know – and I suppose the whole forensic archaeology thing is quite different from Vera Stanhope’s slightly more traditional detective role.

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