My review of series one can be found here.
In all honesty, I remember very little about the Sophie Hannah book this was adapted from, despite enjoying it so much! That meant that I again came into watching this with something of a fresh mind but it also means I can't point out discrepancies between the book and adaptation. No matter - this stood up well as a piece of drama in its own right once more.
Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd return as DS Charlie Zailer and DC Simon Waterhouse. Charlie's new acquaintance, Ruth (Eva Birthistle), mentions that 'a friend's' partner has claimed to have hurt someone in the past. Charlie's astute enough to know Ruth's talking about herself and stubborn enough to check out the man she thinks she's talking about - Ruth's husband, Jason. Unfortunately, when she pokes around Jason's house she finds his dead body there and a murder investigation begins. Prime suspects are Ruth and her new partner, Aidan (Theo James), a talented pianist but with the mysterious past he half-confided in Ruth.
I won't, of course, ruin the ending. However, I will say the whole arc was masterfully put together. One particular aspect that shone for me was the use of music - linked primarily to Aidan's piano skills - which provided the backdrop to some of the tense moments throughout the two episodes. I also appreciated seeing some of the lost sets from The Bill being used again, though it did make me miss it more. There were some moments that deliberated detached from reality - as Ruth watched the world go by in the police station for instance - but they were sparse and worked when used.
And what about the personal relationship between Charlie and Simon? Well, it certainly moved on a bit. Both parties experienced a bit of jealousy, Charlie when Simon seemed overly interested in DC Amber Williams (Christina Chong) and Simon in his roundabout way at various points. As I noticed in the first two-parter, Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd have a definite connection as Charlie and Simon. It's a partnership that works, even if Charlie - and the viewer - want to bash his head against a brick wall on occasion. I think it's difficult to sympathise with Simon as much as you do in the books because Charlie's viewpoint is the predominant one. That said, more scenes focused on Simon would be scenes of no movement. Boyd plays him to perfection, hovering just on the boundary between genius and irritant.
There was tension simmering throughout this one - both crime related and personal - and I'm already hungry for more. I do hope ITV don't disappoint me...again.