Thursday, October 13, 2016

Life's too short to drink bad coffee

DS Eve Winter is juggling many roles in the Australian police drama Winter.  Not only is she investigating numerous murders, but she has a very complicated relationship with her sister.  Add to all this a busy romantic life, and some unwelcome attention from “Professional Standards” (the Australian equivalent to “Internal Affairs”) and you’d be forgiven for thinking she would be somewhat stressed out.  However, Eve remains driven, focused, and impeccably dressed throughout her many trials!  Now available from Acorn Media, Winter: The Complete Series is 7 episodes of gritty Australian drama set in and around a gorgeous Sydney backdrop.

The series Winter begins with a pilot episode that finds Eve (played by Rebecca Gibney) no longer actively working with the police, but instead working on policy issues from an office.  That is until her old lover and partner Lachlan McKenzie asks for her help in investigating the disappearance of a young woman, Becky Ryan.  While searching for her, the graves of 5 missing women are found in a field.  Becky isn’t among them, but the fact the women are all found at the same location points to a serial killer.  Eve is drawn back into the world of investigation and there is no shortage of suspects.  Becky’s parents own a bakery, and it seems as if Becky was quite friendly with Damien, who worked there.  Several people
reported seeing Becky talking to Damien the night she disappeared.   Then there is the usual assortment of odd people and troublemakers who populate the small town of Mingara.  It turns out that another girl went missing at the same time as Becky, so could it be possible that several killers are at work?

After solving the mystery in the Pilot episodes, Eve returns in a 6-part mystery that begins with the death of Karly Johansson.  Karly is a young mother who lives with her husband and parents in a beautiful house overlooking the ocean in Sydney.  The story begins with Karly being stabbed and chased by a mysterious attacker outside her home.  She is eventually forced over the cliff and falls to her death.  On the same evening, a young woman is gravely injured in a hit and run accident in the city.  Both women had the same unusual tattoo on their wrists.  Is it a coincidence that someone apparently tried to kill them both on the same evening?

Eve is back investigating the crimes, and this time she has additional complications because two other cases are possibly connected to the murder.  Lachlan McKenzie is back, and he’s convinced that there is a connection between the murdered woman and the death 8 years previously of Janet Pagent.  Janet was the counsellor at a high school who was murdered.  Lachlan has always believed her husband, Paul (a groundskeeper at the school) was to blame, but he never had enough evidence to arrest him.  He’s more than happy to try to connect Paul Pagent to these new crimes.  At the same time, the federal police are involved in the case of the young woman injured in the car accident.  Her name is Indiana Hope, and she is the major witness in an upcoming case involving human trafficking.  The main federal agent, Jake Harris, is only interested in making sure Indiana shows up to testify in his case.  He’s not concerned with solving the murder of Karly or even allowing Eve or her team to question Indiana.  It turns out that Indiana and Karly were foster sisters 8 years ago, so Eve believes there must be a connection in the crimes.  Once an attempt is made on Indiana’s life by a mysterious man in the hospital, Indiana goes on the run and there are frantic attempts to locate her.  Things become even more complicated when it is discovered that Indiana is actually the daughter of the politically powerful DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions), which brings unwanted publicity to the case.

On the personal side, Eve is unwilling to rekindle her relationship with Lachlan, but as she’s working alongside Jake, they become romantically involved.  At the same time, Eve’s psychologist sister Melanie doesn’t seem too concerned when her 14 year old son is caught with drugs.  Eve uses an inside tip to keep her nephew from being caught up in a drug sting, something that comes back to haunt her when the Professional Standards department begins investigating Lachlan for his handling of the Paul Pagent case. As Eve doggedly tries to track down Indiana and solve the murder of Karly, she becomes convinced that there is a “mole” operating inside the police department.  On one occasion when the police are on the trail of Indiana, the mysterious assassin shows up at the same time.  Someone must be feeding information from the police to the criminals.  So who can Eve trust?

I enjoyed the lovely views of Sydney and the glimpses of the ocean that popped up in the background frequently.  The Johansson home, with its wall of windows overlooking the ocean, was a breathtaking setting for many scenes.  It was never really explained how Eve came back to full-time policing after the events of the Pilot episodes, but we can only assume the thrill of the chase was more exciting that all those meetings and paperwork she was dealing with in the policy department!  I got a bit tired of everyone chasing after the sullen, uncooperative Indiana, but otherwise, it was fun seeing Eve and company trying to unravel the mystery of who would want to kill a suburban mother of two.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Winter: The Complete Series from Acorn Media in exchange for this review


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