When Whicher offers to help a country lady find her niece, he's drawn into a disturbing case of murder which brings him up against wealthy and powerful figures and throws him into conflict with his former police colleagues.
A divorce case involving a landowner and his young wife spirals into something darker, drawing Whicher into the heart of the English countryside where he uncovers the most disturbing and destructive of secrets.
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Whicher,retired from the police after his failure to solve the Road Hill House case,encounters Susan Spencer in a rough tavern,seeking her niece Mary,who came to London to find Stephen Gann,father of her baby. Soon afterwards Mary is found slain and the child missing and Whicher offers to help Susan find the killer. The baby is located at a home for unwed mothers,run by Reverend Marlow,who believes Mary went after Stephen,who rejected her. Whicher learns that Stephen's father was hung for murdering Susan's father though Mary knew nothing about it. Stephen and an opportunistic thief are the main murder suspects but Stephen convinces Whicher that he was the intended victim as he was about to hear important news from his grandfather Joshua,now in an insane asylum. Whicher inveigles his way into the asylum to speak to Joshua and,in solving the case,uncovers dark secrets in the Gann and Spencer families as well as betrayal by a corrupt policeman. Written by
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A bit of a strange one, this. It's a sequel to the ITV production of THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER: THE MURDER AT ROAD HILL HOUSE, which was in turn based on a book documenting a true-life murder case from the 19th century. THE MURDER IN ANGEL LANE has the same character this time investigating a fictional murder case in Victorian London. I suspect it was made to cash in on BBC1's successful RIPPER STREET, although this is a one-off drama.
The best thing about the production is Paddy Considine, who returns as Mr Whicher; older, wiser perhaps, and certainly more embittered. Considine gives a finely-judged and mature turn as Whicher, and he certainly holds the attention whenever he's on screen. It's a shame, then, that the rest of the story is so hackneyed and done-to-death.
The plot involves the murder of a young girl, seemingly robbed and killed on the street by a stranger. Inevitably, it transpires that the story runs much deeper than that, with all kinds of skeletons lurking in cupboards and mixed-up family secrets to complicate matters. It's passable fare, but there's nothing that hasn't been done before here, and better too.
The thing that most interested me was the cast; there are lots of half-familiar faces , and most of the actors give performances that are interesting at the very least. Ironically, the least interesting of the bunch is the most prominent, flavour-of-the-month Olivia Colman, who seems to give the same wide-eyed angsty turn in everything I've seen her in.
Still, with Considine steering the investigation it could be a lot worse, and it'll do as an adequate time-filler until RIPPER STREET comes back next year.
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