Sat. Oct 23rd, 2021

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“The person in the body bag is me,” the voice-over announces. Charly Hendricks was stabbed to death on the floor of her rental house on a remote Scottish island. Suspects include her elusive landlord Tony the tax collector, the rogue postmaster Jean, the real handyman Hamish, and anyone associated with the shady developers hoping to build an eco-spa on this idyllic spot.

The premise of this six-part reality show is intriguing: in set, four sets of amateur killers work to solve a murder mystery created by crime writer Ian Rankin, under the supervision of a team of real detectives who perform poorly, one by one will eliminate. one. This creates a strange clash of registers. “If you let me down once, I can not trust you again,” said former Chief Inspector Parm Sandhu, as if addressing a particularly dim hopeful hopeful. Dragons’ Den. The detectives who supervise are uniformly strict and authoritative. Get up as they enter the room! Address them as Madam and Sir!

The teams easily fall into types, Andrew and Nick are the confident ones. Andrew’s grandfather and father were detectives: “Genetics indicate it was in my blood.” Mature ladies, Caroline and Chrissie, make bankers in the way everyone underestimated Miss Marple. Richmond and Sarah look by far the best equipped pair, harmless but bald; Sarah even studied criminology. But the London party girls Dot and Rox are the nicest. “Wow, look at the cows!” is their response upon arrival.

The first task, the investigation of the crime scene, does not meet Mrs’ approval. “Get your game!” The victim attended a crisis meeting at the bar the night she died, where she was skeptical about the spa plans. Some of the residents would sell land to the developers. Tony, Jean, Hamish and the rest are all actors, giving an enhanced flavor to their police interviews. Shifty Alicia, who works for the developers, found the body. Freddy, a Glasgow resident, has a bandage around his wrist. Andrew and Nick quickly learn not to ask ‘closed’ questions, and move on to a clever ‘What’s going through your mind?’ The teams put together their murder walls under supervision.

So far, the mystery is rather murky than exciting, but Rankin has probably anticipated a few twists and turns. Story control will be the key with this quirky mix of the spontaneous and the pre-planned. Dot and Rox are a gift in this regard. While Hamish his gloomy unwillingness to reveal anything stubbornly pantomime, who could have predicted their reaction? “I quite like him!”

★★★ ☆☆

Available on Channel 4 from 5 October at 21:30

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