Christmas is here! I hope you are all having a fantastic time celebrating and taking some time off. I also hope you are reading a lot. But Christmas can also be the time to binge-watch some TV after long days spent with relatives, friends, and beloved ones. I am an advocate for reading as much as possible, but sometimes it is not the right time to go back to bed alone and read, or we do not have the energy or simply we do not want to! So, in the spirit of Christmas and keeping things bookish, here are 3 crime fiction television shows that will make of yours a bloody Christmas!
Based on John E. Douglas’ successful book of the same title and based on the author’s personal experience, Netflix’s latest success follows FBI’s Special Agent Holden Ford (super cute Jonathan Groff) as he becomes interested in what we now know as forensic psychology and profiling in the late 1970’s. As you can imagine, his supervisors are not very happy to have one of their best negotiators interview the country’s most dangerous and violent criminals asking them about their sexual preferences, their pleasure, and their views on women. However, as results start to emerge, Holden gets the attention of the Behavioral Science Unit’s chief Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and together they manage to catch the interest of Dr. Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), an academic psychologist. What started as a hobbie for Holden soon develops into a scientific research aiming to label and define the crime in which one or more people kill more than three victims in a short period of time. Or, as we like to call it: Serial murders.
The Sinner (Netflix)
I am currently watching this show and I love it. The series – which are an adaptation of Petra Hammesfahr‘s 1999 novel with the same title – follow Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel), a young mother and wife who kills an unknown man during a day spent at the beach with her family. After police arrive to the scene, she quickly accepts the responsibility for what she has done and pleads guilty. But why? The show is a character study of a woman whose life is more complicated than the tale of a Millennial housewife and mother gone mad. Cora’s case comes just in the right moment for Detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) who – like the good, tortured cop with a dark secret and an unsatisfied domestic life that he is – becomes obsessed with her. He suspects Cora did not suffer a psychotic crisis and he will not stop until he learns the truth.
Alias Grace (Netflix)
2017 was the year of The Handmaid’s Tale and everyone became obsessed with the HBO series starring Elizabeth Moss. But there is more to Atwood than The Hanmdaid’s Tale. Alias Grace is, I think, Atwood’s best novel by far. Inspired by real events, the novel follows Grace Marks as she is accused and condemned by the murder of her employees when a psychologist takes an interest in her case. This would just be another crime television show were it not because it is set in the 19th century. A masterpiece on subjectivity and unreliable narrators, this novel explores how women have been reified by psychology and male doctors in general. But more importantly, Alias Grace is a character study on feminine criminality and the role that female characters have traditionally played in crime fiction.
Will you be watching anything special? Don’t forget to comment below – no spoilers please!