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Did He Have Any Enemies?

26-10-2016 No comments yet

Spoiler warning: The following text might spoil the fun of watching a detective series.

Did He Have Any Enemies?

Last weekend I was lightening up my living room with a new color of paint, which took me almost the full 48 hours with some breaks in between.

What I love to do while I am doing chores like that, is listen to detectives on television. Most people would turn on a radio,  but the world news at the moment irritates the life out of me at times,  not to mention the  debates and interviews touching on subjects that make me wonder if we understand how serious the situation really is.

But let’s stay on the light side and re-paint my living room, while listening to detectives.

Dutch television has this wonderful channel called BBC First, which broadcasts nothing but detectives around the clock. And good ones too! Father Brown, Midsomer Murders. Sherlock of course and good old George Simenon’s offspring “Maigret”, starring Rowan Atkinson in the lead role. Atkinson turns out to be an amazingly good serious actor, but maybe that should not come as a surprise. Great actors are often great comedians, which could lead to another philosophical discussion on what really matters in life and how putting things in the right perspective can lead to bigger insights.

But again lets stay with my habit to  listen to detectives, while I’m doing my chores around the house.

What I like about listening to crime series over watching them, is that I hear more clearly what words and sentences are chosen to build up the narrative. Call it professional research if you will.

What I noticed while doing that for two days in a row, is that in many of the storylines, the same sort expressions are used to unravel the murder and the suspect’s motive.

Did he have any enemies?

is by far the most heard sentence; or

‘Is there anyone who would have wanted him dead ?’

Second most used phrase is :

Where were you at the time of the murder.

In third place:

See if he has an alibi

Fourth: (to sergeants and other seconds in command)

Find out if…

I hope I have not ruined your appetite for watching detectives and that the next ‘see if he has an alibi’ you hear, will not spoil the pleasure of seeing the case unfold.

If you’re in for it on the other hand,  I’d be curious to hear about your most noticed phrase or expression in crime series, or crime novels for that matter.

Ingrid Schippers, October 26 2016


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