CRIME DRAMA: Has flourished during lockdown.

CRIME DRAMA: Has flourished during lockdown.

WITH all the uncertainty and unpredictability of the past year, is it surprising so many of us have been drawn to TV crime drama during the lockdown in order to get away from it all? Who doesn’t like the mystery, the twists and especially the offbeat characters? Crime drama, like riding a rollercoaster, allows the viewer to be scared in a safe place. You get all the thrills of real-life but none of the, err spills.

And faced with such unpredictability we get solutions and closure. Whether it was (back in the day) Juliet Bravo, Z-Cars, The Sweeney – or the latest: Line of Duty. This series has so far opened to a few mixed reviews: for some viewers, it’s apparently “high time to lock ‘em all up and throw away the key.” Whoah!

The thing about Line of Duty, though, is its zaniness. The director plays with you, introducing characters seemingly important and then bumping them off in subsequent episodes. Red herrings are everywhere, some scenes are OTT, and you are so bombarded with acronyms it might as well have been in Morse code and you wonder how the actors can keep straight faces. (Isn’t the Dog Unit called K9?)

But it’s a change from watching TV ‘stars’ prancing around the world, people having their houses ‘done up,’ cooking and quiz shows which are fine but not all evening, every evening, due to Covid-19.

However, it’s not just crime drama that’s flourished during the lockdown. Readers have also turned in droves to crime novels to see the good guys win and lose ends tied up. Readers who write to my website tell me this is what they like about my crime thrillers – the latest ‘The Sentinel’ just published on Kindle while the earlier ‘The De Clerambault Code’ available soon in audiobook format.

All novels narrated as before by Rayner Bourton who created the role of ‘Rocky’ in the original London production of ‘The Rocky Horror Show.’ But more about Rayner in another column as I’m running out of space…

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘The Sentinel’, ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99; £0.99), Apple Books, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.  

Nora Johnson’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.