One Guilty Deed

 

 

 

 


Cast
Nathaniel Parker .... Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers
Catherine Russell…. Helen Lynley
Paul Hickey .... Lafferty
Gabrielle Palmer.....Tess Pollard
Stuart Laing.....Daniel Gill
David Hepple.....Roger Pollard
Zig Byfield.....Frankie Baker
Diana Payan.....Maureen
Valerie Lilley.....Pat McRae
Ian Burfield.....DS Hansford
Michael McStay.....Will McRae
Shaun Parkes.....DC Winston Nkata
Michele Moran.....Receptionist
Brett Fancy.....Barry Warren
Tom Georgeson.....Michael Shand
Abby Rakic-Platt.....Nicky Warren
Esther Hall.....Carly Baker
James Bird.....Martin McRae
Rupert Procter.....Simon Henshaw
Steve Edwin.....Uniformed Officer
Deborah Sheridan Taylor.....Erika Pollard
Paul Ryan.....Yellowcoat compere
Jodi Albert.....Sally

Directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett
Written by Mark Greig based on the characters by Elizabeth George
Premiered on TV 2 Charlie Denmark May 26, 2006
First UK Broadcast on BBC One Scotland July 25, 2006

Plot

This episode is set by the seaside, to be more exact in a family seaside town where Havers used to spend her summer holidays with her family while her little brother was still alive. Her childhood memories will help our duo to solve this one. But let's start with the beginning. The first victim was a key witness against Michael Shand, a London mobster who's in the focus of Lynley's and Havers' latest enquiries. Roger Pollard was in a witness protection program - now with him killed just shortly before he would testify against his former boss Lynley's without a clue how to nail Shand.

He decides to take over the investigation of the murder by the seaside. Pollard's young daughter Erika had been killed a few months earlier by - as we suspect rightfully - one of his criminal enemies. Now Lynley and Havers will have to spend a few days down by the seaside with absolutely no free hotel rooms due to a huge conference and just one camping caravan left for the both of them. Lafferty drops in to do the autopsy - he finds out that Pollard wasn't shot as Lynley suspected, he was hit on the head and someone tried to make it look like an execution afterwards by shooting a dead man.

On the first evening Lynley and Havers explore the splendid offerings of the camping ground with Lynley not feeling too comfortable there. As it turns out, Pollard was a local boy who left the area years ago. The local police knew him as a trouble maker and no one was actually unhappy when he left for good. Lynley doesn't quite get the idea of Pollard returning to his old home while he should have tried to hide.

While searching through Pollards hideout, Havers find a post-receipt. It is addressed to a family McRae. The local police are searching for a possible killer by trying to find out who was making inquiries on Pollard. Lynley and Havers also get to know Frankie Baker a stoic local fisherman and father to Carly Baker, a young woman who's making her living at the camping site. Havers thinks she knows Carly from years back when she was staying with her family for one summer there.

The search for the assassin proves to be successful. They have a description of the man who's also known to the local police. Frankie Baker who denied to have known Pollard finally admits that he knew him as a young man and that he convinced him to leave the place. He also tells them about Danny Gill, now a successful local restaurant owner. Who also has ambitious plans to open a casino. Lynley asks him who his investors are, Gill drops some red herrings and refuses to tell. Lynley and Havers still have no clue what drove Pollard back home after so many years.

That evening Lynley returns to London and Havers tries to befriend Carly Baker who's living in one of the Caravans. Over a cup of coffee, Carly tells Havers about a ghost, a story as she insists that is told to the kids to make their stay more interesting. But, as she continues to speak, we'll learn that the ghost had a real background: 25 years ago a young boy drowned in the marsh. His name was Martin McRae. Havers is a bit startled since the name on Pollard's receipt read McRae. Havers and Carly go out to have a drink together.

Lynley pays a visit to Pollard's widow, who seems to be quite controlled. She says that her estranged husband got what he was heading for: the bullet. She says that she knew he was a criminal, she can't forgive him the death of their only child. She says that she had no idea where he hid before he was killed.

Ever since Lynley and Havers moved in their caravan, a teenage girl follows them around an observes them. Her name is Niki Warren. She's also living at the caravan site. She's very reluctant to talk to Havers although she's trying her best to get it out of her what's so interesting about them to follow her the way she does.

Lynley back in London is confronting Shand during a meeting with his associates. He accuses him of having something to do with the killing of Pollard and that the victim told Lynley something about his business. He also finds a brochure of Gill's restaurant at Shand's place. He assumes that Gill's investor is Shand.

Havers has more strange encounters with the ghost - or is she just having funny ideas? Her watch breaks and when she gets back in the caravan, she finds that the watch isn't lying where she has left it. When she looks outside, one of the windows is shod and the word "kids" is written on it in huge letters. She thinks that she hears something outside and tries to follow a shadow which disappears into the marshes. Back in the caravan Lynley's waiting for her and almost scares her to death. She tells him about Martin and his death, Lynley of course makes fun of her idea that this ghost story could have anything to do with their murder case.

The following day Havers and Lynley look up the local archive only to find two hints: Gill's investor is Shand and Martin McRae's death was treated as an accident. They really don't get much further that day and in the evening while discussing the ghost theory again, suddenly there's a power failure. They hear a voice outside calling for help and while trying to find someone out there, they stumble over Niki who's lying there unconscious - she's been using drugs. In the hospital the local police officer tells Lynley about the drug problem they have at the camping site. He doesn't have any clue where the stuff comes from but he says that the place is flooded with drugs. The interrogation of Niki's father and Carly really don't help much, so Lynley and Havers decide to search their own caravan since Carly told Niki that this one is haunted. Lynley finds drugs under the caravan. They suspect that Carly deliberately tried to keep Niki away from that caravan with that story.

Our duo tries to confront Gill with the drug story and with their idea that Shand is his investor. Gill denies everything, so it's time to talk to Shand directly. Lynley nails him only with the help of Winston's research: he finds the definite proof for Shands business relations to Gill.

Havers meanwhile pays the McRaes a visit. This is a strange meeting. Mr. McRae tells Havers that Pollard has been trying to talk to them about Martin, but this topic was so unsettling that there wasn't a real meeting. Up in Martin's old room Havers finds a broken watch - just like her own the strap had to be renewed.

Back by the seaside, Danny Gill has been killed, Lynley and Havers are at the crime scene just right on time. They are able to see the killer driving off, but they are unable to catch him. Again, this killing seems to be related to Shand, but the killing itself wasn't a professional's job. Shortly after this the police manages to catch the supposed killer, who unfortunately admits that he had the assignment to kill, but that someone beat him to it twice. Both men were dead before he even arrived at the crime scenes. But: Frankie Baker has been observed by the hit man: he's the one who's smuggling the drugs and hides them at the camping site. Baker confesses and he tells Lynley about the night before Pollard left 25 years ago. Pollard was Carly's idea of a perfect match and she'd do anything for him. Baker says that something terrible happened that night and that Pollard was to blame for it all.

Havers and Carly meanwhile go out onto the marshlands and Carly starts to talk. It becomes clear that Pollard made her lead Martin out there and leave him alone - this was meant as a joke, but turned out to end in a catastrophe. Carly who's clearly very much out of her head now, confesses that she killed both men. Suddenly she feels that she gave away a long-hidden secret, attacks Havers with a stone and runs off into the night. Lynley who seemed to have heard the story from Carly's father during his interrogation, follows them with the help of Niki and is able to find Havers lying on the ground, bleeding. We see Carly in the dark trying to follow the shape of a young boy.

The next morning, Carly is found dead in the marshland. Lynley and Havers are back at the McRaes who finally received their package from Pollard. In it is the old newspaper article with Martin's accident and a note saying "sorry". Underneath that Lynley finds all the evidence he needs to nail Shand.

Review

This second episode is very cleverly written. It interweaves at least four narratives and is also big fun to watch. The ghost story starts as a children's joke and turns out to become really hauntingly scary. Havers is back in her child-days, reminiscing and finding out that there were happy memories to her family, too, not just the bad ones. Lynley is completely displaced in that camping / caravan site and it is a hoot to watch him driving with his Bristol 410 there - which is consequently getting a huge (expensive) scratch all over the door. Nice banters between Lynley and Havers, a good storyline and a strange lonely and sad mood of decay over the supposedly happy seaside park make a lovely episode which I am sure you gonna watch more than once to get all the atmosphere that's in this one.

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