This Thing of Darkness (BBC Radio Drama)

By Lucia Haynes

7 episodes, 45 minutes each is an investment and it wasn’t altogether clear from the blurb exactly what this was. I listened to everything else I had lined up before tackling it.

David Grant (Robin Laing) has been accused of the murder of his 19 year old son Jamie. Dr Alex Bridges (Lolita Chakrabarti) is the psychiatrist assigned by his lawyers to assess the state of his mind at the time of the crime. David denies committing the crime which, as Alex points out, makes her job a little difficult. As the story unfolds Alex is our guide (through monologues) to the  process that’s going on as their conversations progress. We spend time with David’s wife Laura (Shauna McDonald) and his daughter Hannah (Jessica Hardwick) as they try to come to terms with losing Jamie and the possibility that David is the killer.

Is David the killer and if so, why? If not, who (and, again, why)?

This is an insightful, compelling, sometimes truly shocking, listen. I suppose it sits somewhere in the realms of crime or psychological thriller but I don’t think it’s quite like anything I’ve come across before. This is radio at its best. The writing is well paced, the acting is utterly convincing, the technical production is spot on. 7 episodes at 45 minutes gives just the right time to tell the story and tell it well and, yes, it was well worth the investment in time.

Into radio and books, even better when they come together in BBC radio drama adaptations. Mostly thrillers and crime drama from Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie to Kathy Reichs and many others.

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Posted in Crime and Detective Fiction

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