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The International Writers Magazine :Reviews

Kiss of Death
BBC 9pm Monday 26th May:
Linda Regan review

Louise Lombard of CSI fame starred alongside Danny Dyer and Leonara Chrichlow.

This was a prime-time television, police- procedural, harrowing tale, of a murder division seconded together to solve the mystery of the gruelling body parts that have been washed up on a beach, (made all the more poignant by the five human feet washing up on Vancouver Island beach in Canada recently). It was written by Barbara Machin, who took this one-off from a new slant, she has told it using the view-point of all the investigating officers, forensic officer, DI, DSI, DS, and Detective Superintendent.

In Creative writing one of the first things we are taught is to decide on whose viewpoint the story is best told and then stick with that. There are various police procedurals that do use multi view-points and work perfectly well, but this is the first I have seen in a television drama that used so many and told the same scene over and over from each.

So did it work? This different approach where we saw the same scene told by each of the police involved, in the hands of the multi-talented Barbara Machin who devised and wrote the award winning Waking the Dead series? The answer, in my opinion, is both yes and no.

Yes, if you are paying great attention and understand all the protocol of a police investigation plus the rules of forensic scientists, and then it was still complicated, but fascinating. It was advertised as a well written television drama, strong on violence and gore, and on that front yes, it delivered.

But no, it didn’t work if you were looking to solve a crime and be entertained. The camera shots didn’t help, they were jerky, busy, and unclear. The story was told, retold, and then told sideways. I would take this to be a flaw in direction and editing, as oppose to a hiccup in the writing. I believe a multi-view point can be a plus and can enlighten us enormously in this kind of genre. Sadly I think the Kiss of Death failed to do this, but not through the fault of Barbara Machin whose work I have total admiration for. Isn’t it a shame then that if you are successful enough to have your work produced for the screen, it is taken out of your hands, and the judgement of editors, directors and directors of photography can become responsible for changing the story you originally wrote.

© Linda Regan June 2008

The Linda Regan interview by Aby davis

Behind You! by Linda Regan
Daniel Alves review

Life long feuds, unsolved hatreds, and more than enough lies to twist the plot into a maze. This detective novel boasts all the themes that darken in the eye of betrayal; sex, money, and murder.

Mean Tide by Sam North
Linda Regan review
A beautifully written, unusual and a good story, one I was sad to finish.

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