THE FJÄLL­BACKA MUR­DERS

Crime Scene - - POST MORTEM - By PAUL F. COCK­BURN

Fol­low­ing the death of her par­ents in a car ac­ci­dent, au­thor Erica Falck (Claudia Galli) and her po­lice­man hus­band in­herit the parental home in the Swedish coastal town of Fjäll­backa, de­scribed by their lawyer as “Par­adise on Earth” but – as this first se­ries of TV films based on Camilla Läck­berg’s nov­els proves – es­sen­tially Swe­den’s an­swer to the county of Mid­somer when it comes to mur­ders and dark se­crets.

It is sel­dom the speed­i­est of dra­mas, but Falck’s in­ves­ti­ga­tions – a tad more muted than those en­coun­tered by that other writer-turned-de­tec­tive Jes­sica Fletcher ( Mur­der She Wrote) – are nev­er­the­less big on at­mos­phere. Not the gloom and dark­ness of typical Nordic Noir, though; direc­tors Mar­cus Ols­son, Richard Holm and Rickard Pe­tre­lius take full ad­van­tage of Fjäll­backa’s vi­brant scenery, us­ing the avail­able colour pal­ettes wisely to clearly de­fine place and time across each story.

In terms of plot twists and ideas, there’s ar­guably not very much here that’s gen­uinely ground­break­ing or sur­pris­ing, but the sto­ries’ prin­ci­pal theme – that past events and ac­tions al­ways im­pact on the present – cer­tainly lingers in the mem­ory well af­ter the end ti­tles have rolled.

Visit Fjäll­backa – lovely scenery, high body count.

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