BECK VOL­UME 2

NORDIC NOIR & BE­YOND Out Now

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

Pathol­o­gist Gu­nilla Urst (Anu Sin­isalo) tells Martin Beck (Peter Haber), “A per­son doesn’t have to be evil just be­cause they do evil things”. That re­flects the sub­tle philo­soph­i­cal ma­tu­rity that ex­em­pli­fies the ap­proach of this Swedish de­tec­tive drama.

Pack­aged for the UK as the sec­ond vol­ume of the Beck se­ries, these lat­est four tele­vi­sion films (episodes 31 to 34 in a run stretch­ing back to 1997) pro­vide am­ple sup­port for the show’s con­tin­ued suc­cess, even if “The Last Day” — in some re­spects the most pre­dictable of the four — toys with the idea of the tit­u­lar Martin Beck re­tir­ing.

The main story arc across these four episodes of Beck is the ef­fec­tive writin­gout of the show’s long-term prin­ci­pal sidekick, Gun­vald Lars­son (Mikael Pers­brandt), and the es­tab­lish­ment of his suc­ces­sor, Steinar Hov­land. The lat­ter, played by the might­ily-bearded Kristofer Hivju, may be a self­de­scribed “troll” but he quickly proves to be a like­able, te­na­cious and, as one of his su­pe­ri­ors soon dis­cov­ers, a very loyal col­league.

From the mur­der of an in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist to some his­tor­i­cal po­lice cor­rup­tion, Martin Beck and his team of of­fi­cers con­tinue to suc­cess­fully cast light upon the shad­ows of hu­man be­hav­iour.

Beck has a new sidekick, Hov­land ( be­low, with beard).

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