True Detective (2014– )
56 user 36 critic

The Western Book of the Dead 

A bizarre murder brings together three police officers and a career criminal in the corrupt city of Vinci, California.


Justin Lin


Nic Pizzolatto (created by), Nic Pizzolatto




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Detective Ray Velcoro
Rachel McAdams ... Detective Ani Bezzerides
Taylor Kitsch ... Officer Paul Woodrugh
Kelly Reilly ... Jordan Semyon
Vince Vaughn ... Frank Semyon
Ritchie Coster ... Mayor Austin Chessani
David Morse ... Eliot Bezzerides
Christopher James Baker ... Blake Churchman
Chris Kerson ... Nails
Ronnie Gene Blevins ... Stan
Andy Mackenzie ... Ivar
Timothy V. Murphy ... Osip Agronov
Leven Rambin ... Athena Bezzerides
W. Earl Brown ... Detective Teague Dixon
Afemo Omilami ... Police Chief Holloway


Det. Ray Velcoro works for the city of Vinci, California and has been on a downward spiral for years. He's divorced, drinks too much and has a violent temper. He's also in the pocket of local gangster Frank Semyon who years before provided the identity of the man who raped Velcoro's wife. He does odd jobs for Semyon, such as beating up a reporter who recently wrote a series on organized crime. Velcoro latest case is to locate City Manager Ben Caspere who hasn't been seen for several days. Sheriff's Det. Ani Bezzerides is good at her job but is estranged from her sister Athena - who does live cam porn - and her father who is now a new age guru of sorts. California Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh learns that he's been put on administrative leave after a young woman falsely claims he solicited sex to let her go free. These three police officers come together late one night when a man is found sitting on a park bench, dead. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The name "Ani Bezzerides" is clearly a pun on the name of noted crime writer A.I. Bezzerides (in other words, A and I Bezzerides). See more »


When Ray is asked what Vinci is, he says, "A city, supposebly". See more »


Frank Semyon: Never do anything out of hunger. Even eating.
See more »


All the Gold in California
Performed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
See more »

User Reviews

Why this series is going into the history books
24 June 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

Every now and then a series comes along that breaks the mould. Breaking Bad. Buffy. Utopia (the UK version). Deadwood.

This is one for the record books.

Police procedurals are old. Really old. They pre-date TV. Sherlock Holmes was a police procedural. For all I know Roman and Greek writers did them as well. They are old.

Even the CSI series (brilliant BTW) often hailed as a breakthrough moment for the genre was merely a twist on the old formula.

I think TRUE DETECTIVE has broken new ground.

The producers have somehow melded a police story with a horror story. I base this conclusion not merely on the astonishing evolution of the story arcs in Season 1, but on the background music in this first episode of Season 2. Drum beats. Suspense.

Almost counter-intuitive. We know that not much is going to happen because this is the first episode and there are pieces on the chess board to set up, but the writers are telegraphing by the camera angles (massive and unusual wide angle shots, subliminally suggesting that the scope of the story is more than it seems) and also by the sound track, what is yet to come.

The hallmark of this series is that the pace can change -- and often does -- at a moment's notice. This is is a police tale with a pulse. Anything can happen.

The horror of course comes not from traditional monsters but rather the hidden, invisible ones. The ones you walk with on the street. The ones you greet at work. The ones that look normal on the surface but are monsters deep inside.

Historical. Great series.

36 of 62 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 56 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed