Bloodlands by Pete Travis

Bloodlands
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The lines in Tom Brannick’s comely face cut deep. For good reason. Twenty years ago this Irish detective lived through a horror: his wife’s kidnapping and disappearance. Why? An assassin named Goliath had struck. Or had he?

Old wounds are punctured when it appears—all these years later—that Goliath has returned. A powerful boss, once an IRA leader, has been kidnapped. Taped to his sunken SUV is the picture of a crane—a picture that alerts Brannick. Goliath was here.

James Nesbitt plays the lead, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Brannick. His is a familiar face—he was the father in Millions and Bofur in The Hobbit. Actress Charlene McKenna is a quiet and sympathetic force as Detective Sergeant Niamh McGovern. Their friendship is keen and worthy. Lola Petticrew portrays Brannick’s adult daughter, Izzy, with wide-eyed aplomb. Viewers might know director Pete Travis because of his clever Vantage Point that starred Dennis Quaid.

One delight of this fresh offering is its setting of Northern Ireland. The sweep of County Down, the Strangford Lough area, spreads through the scenes in its emerald beauty. Ireland isn’t only a pretty backdrop, though. The seams of peace between the Catholic and Protestant, the Irish nationalists and loyalists, are taut. Will they hold? They seem to be unraveling, especially when a chief superintendent explains why the kidnapping of Brannick’s wife was hushed these 20 years.

Adult language is prevalent. Four episodes are available on Acorn with the promise of a new season for 2022. (BBC One/Acorn)

About the Author

Cynthia Beach is a longtime English professor at Cornerstone University and author of Creative Juices, a book on writing. Her novel, The Surface of Water, will be available in September. She cofounded Breathe Christian Writers Conference and founded Breathe Deeper, A Writing Retreat. Visit her at cynthiabeach.com.

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