Tuesday, July 5, 2016


James Purfoy as Will Travers.
Anthony Horowitz (Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders) wrote this five-part 2011 miniseries in which three seemingly divergent storylines eventually converge to unravel two murder cases.

William Travers (James Purefoy) is a former London-based barrister who has moved to Suffolk following a nervous breakdown incurred while working on a murder case. To his wife Jane's surprise, Will agrees to defend an old friend who has been accused of killing a young woman with whom he was having an affair. Meanwhile, Jane, who volunteers at a local youth prison, has befriended a teenage boy that shows promise as an author. She shows a partial manuscript to her former boss in the publishing business and he is equally impressed.

During a trial in Suffolk, Travers meets Detective Inspector Mark Wenborn, an unlikable cop whose questionable ethics are tolerated because he gets results. Wenborn becomes the lead investigator when an itinerant worker is found shot dead in a farmer's shack. Wenborn focuses on two critical clues: fresh tire marks near the shack and signature markings on the fatal bullet.

Of course, the viewer already knows the identity of the second murderer: Horowitz unveils that shocking revelation in the closing shot of the first episode!

Injustice isn't Horowitz's best work, but his second-best is still pretty darn good. As he did in some of his Midsomer Murders scripts, Horowitz uses flashbacks to explain the motives for the crimes. However, whereas he employed a prologue in Midsomer, he sprinkles the flashbacks throughout Injustice--allowing the viewer to piece together the puzzle gradually.

Creed-Miles as DI Wenborn.
James Purefoy commands attention as the main protagonist, but is still upstaged by Charlie Creed-Miles as DI Wenborn. The latter is not just a dirty cop; he is one of the most disgusting detectives in British television. He beats his wife, berates his black detective sergeant, insults one witness and blackmails another, cheats on his wife with a prostitute, and brutally threatens a young man. When a colleague complains about him, the assistant chief constable defends Wenborn's methods (though he likely doesn't know the extent of Wenborn's antics).

As the setting for Foyle's War proved, Anthony Horowitz likes to bend the conventions of traditional mysteries. With Injustice, his inclusion of an emotionally-fragile barrister and a crooked cop (who replaces the typical hero) makes this miniseries an intriguing outing. I also like the intersecting plots, though Horowitiz used that technique even more effectively in his earlier miniseries Collision (2009).

Grade:  B.

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