DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

AL­IBI, schmal­ibi. Charles Wick­en­ham is the killer. DCI James Lang­ton knows it, Jane – Com­man­der Jane Leigh – knows it, you know it.

I know it, de­spite hav­ing missed the pre­vi­ous two episodes of this show and be­ing, at this point, at the one minute forty-one sec­ond mark of the third. Some­thing about the haughty way­wick­en­ham started au­di­bly di­alling his phone when Lang­ton (Ciaran Hinds) asks him for his fin­ger­prints and his ex-wife’s de­tails.

All the de­tails he needs, as it hap­pens, are in a dossier that Jane hands him when she’s in bed with Lang­ton later. Bit un­eth­i­cal, Jane says, as she wraps up the mas­sage she’s giv­ing him.

Of course Charles Wicken- ham’s got an al­ibi. If I’m dis­sect­ing two women in a way that’s go­ing to at­tract me­dia at­ten­tion – mainly be­cause I write let­ters to a news­pa­per alert­ing them – am I go­ing to not have an al­ibi in place? Hardly.

Charles Wick­en­ham’s a doc­tor. Have you no­ticed? It’s al­ways a doc­tor when the mur­der’s been es­pe­cially hec­tic. I don’t re­ally know why,

In­ves­ti­ga­tor: Hinds and team. be­cause I don’t know that it re­quires any great med­i­cal knowl­edge to cut a body in half, drain it and tor­ture it.

The killer here is in­spired by the Black Dahlia mur­der of El­iz­a­beth Short that took place in Los An­ge­les in the ’ 40s. You’ve maybe read James Ell­roy’s book about it. Great story in his hands. Much bet­ter than this rip-off, based on Lynda La Plante’s novel.

As the cops start to dig into Wick­en­ham’s life, things be­come cloudier. Sure, he’s a vile bully on a grand scale. But his chil­dren – Jus­tine, Emily and Ed­ward – have is­sues of their own aplenty. Luck­ily the staff hate him. Plus they’re gos­sips. Above Sus­pi­cion: The Red Dahlia Chan­nel 7, 9.30pm

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