“The Dublin Murders” is a crime drama currently available on STARZ and made in conjunction with BBC One. It’s based on “In The Woods” and “The Likeness,” novels by Tana French, a US ex-pat living in Ireland, who has been dubbed the “First Lady of Irish Crime” by the Independent.
The series consists of eight episodes and wastes little time getting to the point. In the first episode, detectives Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene) and Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) are dispatched to the woods, where the body of a 13-year-old girl has been found. This would be disturbing enough in its own right, but the area where the body is located was also the site of two murders in the 1980s.
Much of the story is told in a mixture of flashbacks and present-day sequences, leaving the viewer to piece together not only the contemporary murder but the original ones that took place decades before. The story is doled out in such a way that the viewer thinks things are headed in one direction, only to have the rug pulled out from under them.
The narrative itself takes its sweet time to unfold. The pacing could undoubtedly be described as “leisurely,” but it’s never dull, and there’s always the sense that something is coming up just around the corner, and whatever it is, it’s not going to be pretty.
If there’s any complaint to be had with “The Dublin Murders,” it would be its relentlessly grim tone. While this is appropriate for a story about dead children, the show could stand to have at least one or two laughs during an episode. Despite this, the lack of humor doesn’t interfere with the storytelling, and once you’re fully wrapped up in the story, occasional comic relief is something you’re not likely to miss.