Tuesday 13 January 2009

Fallen Angel

I’ve indulged in the DVD of Fallen Angel, the ITV adaptation by Peter Ransley of Andrew Taylor’s Roth Trilogy, and found the three episodes just as gripping as the books on which they were based. Which is saying something, because I really loved the novels, especially the first of them, The Four Last Things

It’s a truly ambitious story, an account in three parts of the development of a sociopathic killer. Rosie, aka Angel, is played in the first two episodes by Emilia Fox, who has surely never had to convey such a chilling character – yet she does so with real conviction. The first story involves the abduction of a young girl, and it turns out that the motive is revenge upon a police officer called Michael, father of the girl. When he was a boy, he revealed the truth about Angel, and a crime she committed, which is at the heart of the second episode, based on The Judgment of Strangers. Dance, a vicar who happens to be Angel’s father, blames himself, but a friend of his late wife reveals that she is, in a sense, responsible for the terrible sequence of tragedies, for reasons revealed in the third and final episode, The Office of the Dead.

Dance is a very good actor, who as David Byfield conveys a mixture of dangerous selfishness and good intentions with real conviction. But I was, if anything, even more impressed by Claire Holman, friend of the family, who plays a vital connecting link between the instalments of the story. Holman was previously known to me mainly from her supporting role as the pathologist in ‘Lewis’, but here I thought she excelled herself. Intensely watchable, very sinister stuff. Strongly recommended.


harriet said...

I have read this trilogy and liked it enormously. Have not seen the adaptation -- I must look out for it.

Dorte H said...

I enjoyed the trilogy so much! Hard to say if they are better than the Lydmouth series which I am also very fond of. Perhaps they are just great in different ways.

By the way, I tried to order one of your books through our online library service (which should be possible but alas, not this time) so now I have put you on my wish list for my birthday next month (if that does not work either, I may have to BUY one myself ;)).

Ali Karim said...

Perfect timing considering Andrew just got the CWA Diamond Dagger award!


Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for these comments - more about Andrew tomorrow.
Dorte - many thanks for your persistence; I hope that eventually you find the book was worth it!

Dorte H said...

Don´t worry! I´ll let you know! ;)