The seed of cunning

 

 

 

 

 

Cast
Nathaniel Parker .... Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley
Sharon Small .... Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers
Roger Allam .... Simon Featherstonehaugh
John Standing .... Black Rod
Clive Merrison .... Geoffrey Cramond
Claudie Blakley .... Laetitia Gane
Richard Henders .... Tim Sadler
Gawn Grainger .... David Thompson
Matilda Ziegler .... Christine Miller
Tony Haygarth .... Bob Tamworth
Danny Babington .... SOCO Officer
Sophie Bould .... Penny
Janet Dale .... Marie Ramsey
Kevin Dignam .... Owen
Garrick Hagon .... Joseph Frady
Paul Hickey .... Lafferty
Christine Kavanagh .... Pippa Featherstonehaugh
Pieter Lawman .... Technician
David Mallinson .... Peter Bellamy
James Pearse .... Eric Ramsey
Bohdan Poraj .... Martin (as Bo Poraj)
Hugh Sachs .... Steve
Glyn Williams .... Digicam Man

Directed by Jeremy Silbertson
Written by Mark Greig, based on the characters by Elizabeth George
First Broadcast on BBC One March 31, 2005

Plot

Things are getting political this time. Lynley and Havers are being called to the Thames to get a first impression of a murder victim, that obviously had been tied up and beaten to death and then been thrown into the river. Eric Ramsey was a doorkeeper at the House of Lords with gambling debts. His wife isn't of much help in the investigation, so Lynley and Havers decide to start to ask questions in the House of Lords. Lynley meets some old acquaintance there, like Lord Featherstonehaugh and his wife who turns out to be a friend of Helen. And he doesn't seem to like the whole atmosphere that's surrounding this place.

They are interviewing other doorkeepers, clerks, lawyers and they finally find a trail that might lead them to the right conclusion: a part of an important test report on a missile system had mysteriously disappeared. Suddenly one of the victims older friends (a clerk at the House of Lords) is being murdered the same way Ramsey was killed. Lynley and Havers suspect that both murders must be related to those missing documents, but they also notice that they are being monitored by somebody else, who obviously wants to know all about what's going on in the investigation. The find the right clue to this riddle they have to find out who could possible have benefited from the suppression of those papers. There's just one conclusion: follow the money! As they continue to ask uninvited questions, Lynley meets the House of Lords Lawyer, Christine Miller, who's helping him in finding the right conclusions to this riddle. There's an American company competing with a European company and the report wasn't favourable for the American system. That's the reason why the pages had to disappear and that's the clue to solving the question who's committed the crime. We also do meet a lobbyist Laetitia Gane, a former anti globalisation activist and ex-prostitute. Ramsey was one of her former punters. Now she's trying to convince the committee, that her American Company is the better choice for England in the long run.

As things continue, Lynley and Havers finally seemed to have found the connection: Ramsey was blackmailing Laetitia with her past and the peculated papers. She was unable to pay him off so, she asked someone to kill him. The missing pages turn up and they finally seemed to have found the clue. As a matter of fact, a young clerk, Black Rod, confesses to have murdered both men. As Lynley and Havers are trying to arrest him, he gets killed by false policemen almost under their hands. Lynley is sure that his old school foe, Lord Featherstonehaugh, was the one that triggered all three killings. In a last attempt, Lynley tries to get a confession out of his Lordship, but he and his American industrialist friend remain cold as ice. Lynley is unable to prove that they were in any way connected to the crimes.

Review

 

This is the first instalment with a political conspiracy theory involved, leaving the typical cosy mystery narration type behind for the first time. A lot of changes can be observed in this one: Havers is finally trying to start something like a social life, dating men (which isn't exactly favoured by Lynley) and flirting with men. Lynley finds an interesting new lady in his life, but seems to be too much involved with the case to really seriously start to think about a romance. Also quite new to the series: Lynley doesn't get the mastermind behind the killings nailed down. A frustrating plot which easily could be developed in the next series and which makes a perfect prelude for the last episode in this series. Lynley's seemingly natural calm ways and good manners decline increasingly.

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