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Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Sinner season one: Wild, Unconventional, Irresistible Mystery

My wife spotted an admiring review of The Sinner, which just began its second season on the USA Network.   Before watching that, we binge watched the first season on Netflix.  Herewith my review - and then in my next post, a review of The Sinner 2.1.

The Sinner (season one) is a police detective mystery like nothing I've seen before on television.  A seemingly happy woman, married and with a young child, stabs to death a guy on the beach, in front of everyone.   Cora, brilliantly played by Jessica Biel, knows that she did this, but hasn't really a clue as to why.  Clearly, she was the furthest thing from happy.  Fortunately for her, Detective Harry Ambrose, takes an interest in her case.

Bill Pullman does a great job playing Harry, a sort of modern-day Columbo, with the some same schlepish qualities as Columbo, and certainly as smart, but endowed with dark past that, as far we know, Columbo didn't have.  Against all odds, Harry pursues the case and discovers why Cora did what she did.

The burden of the story was enormous - how can someone, who we saw with our own eyes brutally murder a guy who was posing no immediate threat to anyone, have any justification for doing this? But the first season pays off amply and in full at the end, as the complicated motive and all the moving parts fit into place.  The result leaves of us wanting more of this indefatigable detective.

The name Sinner is no accident, since a crucial part of Cora's story is why she was motivated to take her sickly sister out of their house, with a mother whose religious bent crippled rather than supported her daughters.   The locale - the Kingston area of New York - also worked well for the ambience.  Harry would have had much more trouble getting his way had he been obliged to conduct the investigation in New York City.

Anyway, enough said about the plot, I don't want to give anything more away.  Snap this up if you're in the mood for a wild, unconventional, irresistible mystery.  And I'll be back in a few minutes with my review of The Sinner 2.1.

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