In The Blink Of An Eye

 

 

 

 

Cast
Nathaniel Parker .... Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers
Catherine Russell…. Helen Lynley
Paul Hickey .... Lafferty
Shaun Parkes ….DSC Winston Nkata
Richard Copestake .... Peter Rooker
Virginia Thompson .... Policewoman
Charlotte Alam .... Nurse
Nicolas Hewetson .... Medie
Glen Davies .... Brendan McGuire
Ania Sowinski .... Nina Delic
Indira Varma .... Melissa Booth
Gary Mackay .... David
Danny Webb .... Eddie Price
Mark Womack .... Michael Wren
Phoebe Thomas .... Claire Simmons
Serge Soric .... Andrej Pavletic
Amy Bayless .... Sarah Pavletic
Elliott Jordan .... Luke Barnes
Nick Sampson .... Lawyer
Celine Mitchell .... Young Nina
Adam J Brown .... Mahir

Directed by Brian Kelly
Written by Ed Whitmore and Suzie Smith based on the characters by Elizabeth George
Premiered on TV 2 Charlie Denmark June 9, 2006
First UK Broadcast on BBC One Scotland August 8, 2006

Plot

Peter Rooker, a former war photographer is shot in execution style in Soho. The owner of a nearby pub says that he hasn't known nor recognised the victim and that his CCTV camera (which actually should have monitored the killing in the backstreet of his pub) isn't working. The search for his killer starts in the victim's home which obviously has just been broken into and where Winston is confronted with a seemingly traumatized young woman who's threatening with a gun. While she's trying to flee she almost shots him. Winston is lucky to survive this assault.

While the team is searching through Rooker's apartment they find a picture of that woman they suppose is his girlfriend. Havers also finds hints in his diary for an appointment with Melissa Booth, a tabloid editor. Lynley has a talk with her and confronts her with the fact that an editor wouldn't normally meet up with a paparazzo. She agrees and admits that Rooker has been her first big love. He changed over the years and they split-up. Rooker was a war-photographer at that time. When he came back from Bosnia he decided to become a paparazzo. He wasn't a good one, but Melissa bought his pictures because she felt obliged to help her old friend. She denies having had an affair with him. Her marriage to Eddie Price, a tabloid newspaper mogul, was too important for her.

Eddie Price stumbles into that conversation making some remarks about Rooker, saying that he was an alcoholic. Price's face shows signs of a fight. Meanwhile Havers is having a talk with Rooker's best mate, Michael Wren, who owns a club which isn't too far away from the scene of the crime. Wren confirms that Rooker had been visiting him, but that he left over half an hour before he was shot. He denies knowing his supposed girlfriend from the picture and he says that nothing of importance was discussed that evening. Rooker's girlfriend worked for Wren, but she failed to turn up for the last few days. Wren alleges that he doesn't have the surname nor the address of his former employee. Havers puts a bit of pressure on Wren and finds out that her name is Nina, that she's from Bosnia and that Rooker actually wasn't her lover but her guardian.

Lynley tries to tease out some info from Price, about his bruise and how he got it. Price belittles Lynley's theory that he's the jealous husband who was trying to kill his rival. He stresses that Melissa Booth was a true wife and that there's absolutely no doubt that she didn't have an affair with Rooker.

As Winston looks through Rooker's picture collection, he finds explicit pictures of Melissa Booth. Rooker and her had an affair at least 15 days ago. They also find evidence that Rooker paid for a flat in Camden - as it turns out it was Nina's flat. While they are searching through Nina's rooms they meet a friend of Nina, Claire Simmons, who's staying at her place. She says that she hadn't seen Nina for several nights and that her boyfriend's name is Michael and that he's running a club in Soho. Havers draws the conclusion that this must be Michael Wren. She also informs Lynley and Havers that Nina's pregnant. They decide to have Nina's apartment shadowed.

Wren is yet again being interrogated by Havers and Lynley. He admits that he is the father of Nina's child. She also stole his gun. Wren is still unable to tell why Nina left all of the sudden - he denies that Nina or he got anything to do with Rooker's death. He even has an alibi for the time Rooker was killed. He promises to inform Lynley should Nina turn up.

Winston comes up with new info. Rooker had scribbled a car license number in his diary. This car belongs to a private chauffeur agency which is run by Andrej Pavletic who's major client is Eddie Price. Wren comes to Nina's flat and takes Claire Simmons with him. She's carrying a huge bag with her. Havers follows the duo to a church where she confronts Claire. She admits that she was trying to help Nina who apparently is too scared to show up.

Andrej Pavletic says that doesn't know Rooker, but he drives a lot for Price. He's a bit reluctant to talk at first but then he admits that Price had a row with Rooker the night before he died and that Price's bruise has its origin there.

The intruder of Rooker's flat is being arrested and he starts to talk. Luke Barnes was engaged by Price to get some evidence of his wife's infidelity. He managed to steal tapes Rooker made of his dates with Melissa. Lynley confronts Price with the new proof. The only problem is: Price has an alibi for the night of the murder. Even Melissa backs him up. With no key suspect left, Lynley is absolutely clueless.

The following day Wren meets with Nina. Since he's been followed Lynley and Havers finally can get hold of her. She's reluctant to talk about what she's so frightened of. Lynley decides to ask Helen for help. Finally Nina starts to describe what happened to her and her family years ago back in Bosnia. Andrej Pavletic was one of the men who shot her entire family, he was a Serbian militia. Rooker was the photographer who tried to take pictures of what was happening but decided that it was more important to save that girl from the killers.

Lynley arrests Andrej Pavletic, but there's absolutely nothing that they could actually charge him with. They've got no evidence, just Nina's testimony. They must let him go. Nina is devastated and Helen promises to take care of the disturbed young woman. Meanwhile a new evidence turns up: a video tape of Rooker's killing which was being recorded: Andrej Pavletic shot Rooker.

During the last dramatic minutes we see Pavletic leaving the building, Nina following him and threatening him with a gun. Lynley tries to talk to Nina and explain to her that they now have enough evidence to nail Pavletic. Helen also intervenes, trying to move between Nina and Pavletic. Nina is too labile to take control of the whole situation and shoots Helen.

The last few scenes show Helen's funeral and Lynley and Havers sitting together on a park-bench, overlooking London.

Review

The last one in this season is a very strong episode. The crime story is very much in the foreground and despite a drastic turn in the plot (there's a fierce change of suspects) it all sums up to an almost calm story, but never a dull one. The acting is superb and the flashback scenes which describe Nina's torments with her past are accurate but never too gruesome to watch.

What I liked a great deal were the really wonderful banters between Lynley and Helen. I wish there had been more like that earlier on, Helen would have been such a nicer character. Also the last saddening scenes are very contained, not at all synthetic or too heavily charged with emotions. Don't get me wrong, especially Nat had very strong moments here and he did good, no excellent. The camera angle and the way the scenes were arranged make it very clear what's going on inside of Lynley and of Havers. A strong end note and arguably a reconciliatory one, too.

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