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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Superior Adaptation...

Author: heckchap from ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
13 April 2003

Although many of the Inspector Lynley episodes are -- how can I say this? -- generally sluggish, in this one, writer Kate Wood injected real pathos and genuine moments of humor and chemistry between the detective duo of Lynley and Havers, making it an above-average entry to the series. I hope the BBC feel fit to hire her for future episodes.

The real standout in this episode is Neve McIntosh, genuinely moving in the role of Olivia...keep an eye on her performances in the future.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Edgy characters make interesting background for murder...

Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
25 December 2007

NATHANIEL PARKER and SHARON SMALL are not exactly a plausible pair as detectives, but the script makes use of their odd personality quirks and provides a few moments of genuine humor. The plot concerns the death of a young cricket player and the assorted characters who had something to do with his rather unhappy past.

The performances are all first rate, especially NEVE McINTOSH as Olivia, a young woman who holds the secret to what really happened when the man was murdered. NATHANIEL PARKER lends his strong presence to the role of Inspector Lynley and is believable as a man determined to get to the bottom of a messy murder.

All the red herrings are nicely planted. Well done in good British style.

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very good

Author: blanche-2 from United States
6 December 2012

Nathaniel Parker and Sharon Small star as Inspector Lynley and his associate Barbara Havers in "Playing for the Ashes," the first episode in the second year of this popular series.

Having seen many of the later episodes, I found the relationship between Lynley and Havers more genial and lighthearted, with Lynley in a better mood than he is later on when all his real problems with Helen start. Here, they're just in the predating stage and he doesn't realize what he's in for yet. Never liked that character.

The two are called upon to investigate the death of a cricket champion, beloved by many both personally and professionally. There's his foster mother (Phyllis Logan of "Lovejoy"), his ex-wife, his manager, and his foster mother's daughter Olivia (Neve McIntosh), all of whom adored him. Olivia is mixed up with an animal rights group whose m.o. is similar to the way the cricket player was murdered.

As usual, there are personal issues for both the detectives: Lynley and his attempts to draw Helen into a relationship, and Havers has moved into a new place.

Very good episode.

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