Thursday, 27 October 2011

The House of Silk, The Silence

• Next week's Book at Bedtime on BBC Radio 4 is The House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz's 'missing' Sherlock Holmes case, read by Derek Jacobi (weeknights, 10.45pm). Dr Watson wrote the case up but considered it too shocking to be published in Holmes's lifetime. Only now can the full story be told…

• I should thank the folk at Soda Pictures for sending me a copy of the new German crime movie The Silence (above). I was completely locked into the pace and mood of this unsettling story of two abductions of adolescent girls that occur 23 years apart, and the shattering impact these crimes have on the police and community of a town. A retired police inspector, Krischan Mittich, is convinced there is a connection between the crimes, but he is shunned by the officer in charge. This time he is determined to find the man responsible. The film moves slowly and averts its eyes from the horror of the crimes, but it is compelling, and director/writer Baran Bo Odar gives the film a distinctive, almost abstract look. Like the original version of The Killing, the film doesn't revolve around car chases and gun fights, and it's not a whodunit. It's about the characters. The relationships between the killers – one reluctant, one lonely – the grieving parents, and the detectives with their smug, incompetent boss, are all superbly depicted. And the whole story reaches a shattering but believable climax. It's a terrific debut feature from the director, with fine performances from some leading European actors – Ulrich Thomsen, Sebastian Blomberg, Katrin Sass. ★★★★★

• Latest viewing figures show the Philip Glenister thriller on BBC1, Hidden, catching a very decent 5.5m viewers on Thursday nights. That's not far behind Spooks (5.27m). It's the final episode tonight, and I think Glenister is superb in what has been one of 2011's best thrillers.