What I Watched: The Rig, an eco-thriller with a science-supernatural plot. It stars a few familiar actors; Martin Compston of DS Steve Arnott/Line of Duty and awesome Scottish accent fame and Mark Donnar, who played Duncan Hunter in Shetland (the bad-decision dad).
Overall, an engaging watch with an open ending to lead into a second season. I found Owen Teale’s role as the angry Welsh guy to be over-written, and Emily Hampshire’s role as Rose Mason to be under-written, but in general the show was just spooky enough to keep my attention. Here’s what The Guardian says:
It’s hard these days to isolate your characters enough for high drama to play out. You have to rely on uncharged mobile phones, social media refuseniks or go big like The Terror or The North Water did and put your people in ye olde times and a ship and/or polar wasteland. The Rig (Prime Video) does it by putting the protagonists on a North Sea oil rig and having all the comms knocked out by an unknown but rapidly encroaching and possibly supernatural force. As Alwyn, the sage of the crew (Mark Bonnar – so still and unsettling an actor that he amounts almost to a supernatural force himself) puts it: “If you keep punching the Earth, it’s going to punch back.”
What I Read: I acquired Hidden in Snow (The Åre Murders Book 1) by Viveca Sten back in November, as an Amazon free first read, and finally got around to reading it. It is the book version of all the moody Scandinavian television that many of us enjoy. Here’s the blurb:
On the day Stockholm police officer Hanna Ahlander’s personal and professional lives crash, she takes refuge at her sister’s lodge in the Swedish ski resort paradise of Åre. But it’s a brief comfort. The entire village is shaken by the sudden vanishing of a local teenage girl. Hanna can’t help but investigate, and while searching for the missing person, she lands a job with the local police department. There she joins forces with Detective Inspector Daniel Lindskog, who has been tasked with finding the girl. Their only lead: a scarf in the snow.
It turns out that Sten is quite well-known for her previous ten-book series, The Sandhamn Murders. Set on Sandhamm Island in the Stockholm archipelago, the location almost functions as a character. I’m on book two, and not yet bored with it, even though it is a slower, more plodding read than I am used to. Here is her biography:
Swedish writer Viveca Sten has sold over six million copies of her enormously popular Sandhamn Murders series. In 2019, her tenth novel, the hugely successful I hemlighet begravd (Buried in secret), was published in Sweden and cemented her place as one of the country’s most popular authors. Her Sandhamn Murders novels continue to top the bestseller charts and have been made into a successful Swedish-language TV miniseries, which has been broadcast around the world to almost ninety million viewers.
What I Listened To: Benjamin Amaru – Happy Eyes; The Kooks – Connection; Kyle McEvoy – Practical Magic; and King Hannah – All Being Fine.
Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, darling, dreamy DeadSplinterites? Dearest ones, are you slogging through the month with abandon?