Friday, September 19, 2014

The dead lie down (Sophie Hannah 2)

I wrote about discovering crime novelist Sophie Hannah just over a year ago. A few weeks ago, I decided to give her books another chance, chose a book at random then reread 'The truth teller's lie'. It was quite good, although my opinions as noted in the earlier blog haven't changed: I don't like the chapter division, I don't like the characters and the police don't seem to detect anything professionally.

I saw a few days ago that another book had been dramatised and would be shown on television, using the same cast. This was broadcast last night, and with no preconceptions, I watched - and generally enjoyed - "The dead lie down". I am always going to be pleased by anything in which Olivia Williams appears so I suppose I am somewhat biased. But my wife joined me after I had watched the first half hour on my own and she stayed till the end, meaning that the programme was good, even without the presence of Ms Williams.

On the detection level, the entire case seemed to hang around fingerprints on a letter and some CCTV footage. On a personal level, it was exceedingly unclear what the relationship between DS Zailer (Williams) and DC Waterhouse (Darren Boyd) was supposed to be; it was totally clear that Zailer was extremely jealous of a relationship (which was probably imaginary) between Waterhouse and a female DC ... but how this resulted in Zailer bedding Waterhouse overnight is beyond me.

I suppose that I'll read this book next and discover that everything has been changed, apart from the names. I admire someone who can take a book which might not be too well written and turn it into a coherent television script.


After dragging myself through two chapters of the book, I can safely say that everything has been changed except for the names of the participants.

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