In the second three part Above Suspicion story that is The Red Dahlia rising DC Anna Travis is once again teamed with DCI James Langton in another unmissable but occasionally downright gruesome murder mystery. It begins with the discovery of the body of a young woman by the Thames River found in a style that seems to echo the famous unsolved 1947 Los Angeles murder case that was dubbed the Black Dahlia by the press.
Langton insists on a press embargo on the horrific nature of the injuries, but a cleaned-up photograph of the girl is issued to aid identification. The move pays off when Sharon Bilkin contacts Travis after recognising the victim as her flatmate, Louise Pennel. Louise had recently been seen in the company of a tall man in his fifties who had greying dark hair and was wearing a long, black coat. Travis races to stay one step ahead of the killer, using the original case as a sort of instruction manual, but a one night stand with journalist Richard Reynolds threatens to derail the investigation when the shocking details of the murder make headlines in every newspaper.
Langton is livid at Travis’s naivety and orders her to stay off the case. However, the pair are forced to pull together to stop the depraved copycat killer before he strikes again.
Above Suspicion is definitely one of the best crime dramas on the box, it’s the kind of thing that la Plante excels at however it is unneccessarily graphic. You don’t need to see so much detail when it comes to the victims, too much is sometimes too much you know.
UK | ITV1 Network
RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes | NUMBER OF EPISODES: 3 | AIRDATES: 4 – 6 January 2010
WRITER: Lynda La Plante | DIRECTOR: Gillies MacKinnon
Above Suspicion: The Red Dahlia
KELLY REILLY as DC Anna Travis
CIARAN HINDS as DCI James Langton
NADIA CAMERON-BLAKEY as Commander Jane Leigh
SHAUN DINGWALL as DI Mike Lewis
HOLLIDAY GRAINGER as Sharon Bilkin
MICHELLE HOLMES as DC Barbara Maddox
CELYN JONES as DS Paul Barolli
SYLVIA SYMS as Mrs Hedges
SIMON WILLIAMS as Charles Wickenham
EDWARD MacLIAM as Richard Reynolds
AMANDA LAWRENCE as DC Joan Faukland
TY GLASER as Louis Pennel
HANNAH MURRAY as Emily Wickenham
EDWARD BENNETT as Edward Wickenham