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Thorne: Scaredycat Is Nothing to Be Scared Of

A mere week has passed since DI Tom Thorne (David Morrissey) solved the case of a serial killer who paralysed a victim so she was trapped in her own body. Now (this Sunday at 9pm) he's on the case of two more murders in the second thorne adaptation, scaredycat.

This time, a prostitute and young mum are both strangled to death on the same day. At first, the evidence suggests their deaths are unrelated, but this is a TV show and things are always more complicated than they initially appear.

As viewers we're more clued in than the police, but know-it-all Thorne makes sure his detective friends are quick to catch up with our force-fed information. It's quick-paced in the crime-solving stakes, but can drag in the smaller personal life scenes.

The rift between old friends Thorne and Phil Hendricks (Aidan Gillen), formed in the first adaptation of Mark Billingham's “Sleepyhead” novel, is reiterated on a number of occasions without adding any substance to this series' main storyline. Strangely, there's no mention of the relationship between Thorne and the doctor (Californication's Natascha McElhone), with whom he had a fling either. Instead we're introduced to our next Hollywood pedigree: Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh. Her part, as another detective on the murder squad, doesn't leave any lasting impressions in this episode, but a generous teaser for future episodes suggests her character will perk up.

The episode's director (Poppy Shakespeare's Benjamin Ross) has worked hard to simultaneously tense your senses, making scaredycat just as stunning as sleepyhead. In previous episodes, you could hear the thoughts of a mute victim; in this part of the franchise, you can (it’s insinuated) hear the accelerating thud of Thorne's heartbeat. It's intricate details like these--rather than the actual script--that makes thorne such a pleasure to watch.

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