The best TV shows for crime fans

27 April 2016

By Pan Macmillan

From Happy Valley to Orange is the New Black, a few of our authors tell us what crime dramas they're hooked on.

Michelle Davies, author of Gone Astray


I know I’m not alone in being glued to the latest series of Happy Valley. Catherine Cawood is one of the best-drawn, most formidable female characters ever to have appeared on TV – for me, she’s even surpassed Prime Suspect’sJane Tennison. I was thrilled to see Amelia Bullmore join this series – watching re-runs of Scott & Bailey, in which she plays DCI Gill Murray, is a favourite way of mine to wile away an afternoon (some call it procrastination; I call it research). I like to think my series character, DC Maggie Neville, is cut from the same cloth as Cawood, Tennison and Murray: she might be only 28 and at the start of her career but she’s determined, intuitive and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

I’ve also finally got round to watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix and I’m pleased to say it’s every bit as good as the hype around it. On my future radar, meanwhile, is The Moorside Project, the BBC’s dramatisation of the kidnap of Shannon Matthews. The main police character is DC Christine Freeman, the Family Liaison Officer who was with Shannon’s mother Karen when she confessed to staging the abduction herself for the reward money. I’ve interviewed Christine about her life as an FLO and she’s such a character. On screen she’ll be played by Happy Valley’s Siobhan Finneran – it’s perfect casting.

Melanie Raabe, author of The Trap

TV shows I love right now are House of Cards, Mr Robot, The Americans, Fargo, GIRLS (I am a huge Lena Dunham fan!) and Better Call Saul, a Breaking Bad spin-off.(I loved Breaking Bad to death.) For laughs: Broad City, Modern Family. (I miss 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, though!)

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Gone Astray
The Trap