The Truth Will Out is a cracking good and utterly absorbing Scandi noir mystery drama, and it premieres in the US next week.
Based on an idea by Swedish criminologist and novelist Leif G.W. Persson and inspired by true events, The Truth Will Out (Det som göms i snö) follows a murder investigation and the re-examination of cold cases that might be related to the crime.
Leading the cast is the award-winning Swedish actor Robert Gustafsson (The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared), who plays Detective Peter Wendel — a divorced dad of a teen-aged daughter and a man tortured by his memories, who has just returned to work at the Stockholm Police following an extended sick leave.
Now an outlier within the police force, Wendel is responsible for setting up and leading a cold case squad. Easier said than done, given that no one on the force wants to switch jobs and move to this team, not to mention Peter’s recent history and current reputation within the force. But he doesn’t have a choice.
There’s been a murder, and the note left at the scene of the crime by the culprit has a succinct and explosive statement.
“Klas Levén is a liar.”
The imprisoned Klas Levén is Sweden’s most notorious serial killer. But is he really a fraud? And what is the murder victim’s connection to Levén?
To find out, Wendel and his hastily-put-together team of reject detectives are tasked with going through old case files that involved Levén. Peter’s new colleagues are Jorma Virtanen (Christopher Wagelin, Real Humans), an investigator just thrown off the Violent Crime squad, and Kajsa Bergholm (Louise Peterhoff, Blue Eyes), Jorma’s alcoholic coworker in Violent Crime, currently under investigation by Internal Affairs. Completing the team is Barbro Svensson (Ia Langhammer, Arne Dahl), an admin with a dog but no investigative experience, who Peter discovers is actually quite good at detective work.
While they’re busy visiting old crime scenes and interviewing people with links to the Levén cases, Temo Björkman (Thomas W. Gabrielsson, The Protectors), a smug bully of a detective, is leading the homicide investigation. As it happens, he had also worked on the Levén murder cases. Temo and Peter get on like oil and water, so when news media wrongly attribute statements to Peter and Temo learns Peter’s new crew is re-examining his old cases, Temo becomes even more of a nasty, unbearable jerk than usual.
Meanwhile, over at the Ministry of Justice, Peter’s ex-wife, Ann-Marie (Maria Sundbom, The Bridge), has just gotten a new job working for Justice Minister Björn Stenius (Johan Ulveson, Bonus Family). But with the murder comes recriminations against Stenius and Public Prosecutor Stefan Kvarnholt (Anders Ahlbom Rosendahl, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) — both of whom had signed off on the convictions against Levén. And with her ex-husband being the person leading the new inquiries into those convictions, Ann-Marie becomes a victim of guilt by association at the MoJ, despite her best efforts to make Stenius’ new problem go away.
As Peter, Barbro, Jorma, and Kajsa start piecing together bits of evidence that they gather from various sources, a picture begins to emerge — an ugly one from so many perspectives.
And the closer they get to the truth, the more people in power work against them. Especially against Peter, whose past haunts him constantly.
Co-written by Leif G.W. Persson, The Truth Will Out is another of the novelist’s scripted drama series that is inspired by historical events. Others include Death of a Pilgrim and The Fourth Man, which are based on titles in his “Fall of the Welfare State” book trilogy and follow fictional contemporary investigations into the assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 and the occupation of the West German Embassy in Stockholm in 1975, respectively.
This series is based loosely on the story of Sture Ragnar Bergwall, aka Thomas Quick — a Swedish man who confessed to and was convicted of numerous murders, but was released after he recanted and the convictions were overturned for lack of evidence.
The Truth Will Out is not your typical whodunit. Rather, it is an intricate, low-key, slow-burn drama with multiple mysteries and a pervasive darkness, whose narrative is steeped in the foibles of men and women and the complexities of the human condition.
Robert Gustafsson, a huge star in his native Sweden for being a comedic genius, delivers a tour de force dramatic performance as Peter Wendel — a man obsessed with finding the truth while possessed by people and events in his past.
In sum total, The Truth Will Out is a rich, wholly-engaging, and binge-worthy series.
The eight-episode drama costars Ingela Olsson (Jordskott) as Ulla Ståhlnacke, Peter’s boss; Erik Johansson (Bonus Family) as Marcus Johansson, Ann-Marie’s colleague; Peter Carlberg (Spring Tide) as Mikael Ström; Tyra Olin (Crestfallen) as Vera Wendel, Peter and Ann-Marie’s daughter; Annika Hallin (Modus) as author Lena Wahlberg; and Ville Virtanen (Bordertown) as local cop Eddie Eriksson.
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