Surprising Detective | A good maritime thriller like in Scandinavia

Surprising Detective lives up to its name very well. That’s great. And it’s gripping.

That was my detailed review of the latest Club illico miniseries, thank you, goodbye.

Silly gag aside, it really must be added Surprising Detective: The Girl with the Stone Eyes, that’s its full name, to your list of shows to watch soon. Especially if you love Scandinavian thrillers, where sordid crimes shake isolated communities lashed by harsh weather.

Adapted from the first of seven novels written by Jean Lemieux, Surprising Detective teleports us to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in low season, when cold rain and violent winds sweep across the archipelago of 12,000 inhabitants.

Think about the visual style and the spirit of the camera Broadchurch with its steep cliffs, its enigmatic fog and its suspicions that target a different suspect from one episode to the next.

On the municipal beach, a lady discovers the body of Rosalie Richard (Mylia Corbeil Gauvreau), 19 years old, the daughter of the mayor of Cap-aux-Meules, Roméo Richard (Jean-François Pichette). The corpse lies on its stomach, its wrists tied behind its back. And a large shell was placed in the mouth of the victim, who was seen the day before at the local bar.

The assassin (or killer?) carefully orchestrated this macabre scene. But how and why?

This is where detective sergeant André Surprenant (terrific Patrick Hivon) shows up, who begins the investigation. Insomniac, father of two teenagers and tormented by his past (who isn’t in a thriller?), this atypical cop resembles, at first glance, the archetype of the gruff, stubborn and uprooted investigator, which populates the worlds of prolific writers like Jo Nesbø or Åke Edwardson.

But no. Our detective sergeant André Surprenant, halfway between Louise Penny’s Armand Gamache and Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander, is an upright and committed man, who has difficulty leaving his job. We quickly understand that he doesn’t work in the Magdalen Islands for his love of the postcard landscape and fresh seafood. Detective Surprise committed a serious crime while working for the Major Crimes Department of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) in Montreal. Ostracized by his police colleagues, he has lived in exile on the Islands with his family for three years.

At the SQ station in Cap-aux-Meules, André Surprenant will get closer to the young agent Geneviève Savoie (Catherine Brunet), who demonstrates more initiative and resourcefulness than his lazy, overwhelmed or just incompetent comrades, played by Mikhaïl Ahooja , Nicolas Fontaine and Patrick Goyette.

And as no murders ever occur in the Magdalen Islands, the big guys from the SQ arrive there, including chief inspector Sébastien Gingras (Patrice Godin), who knew André Surprenant before his purgatory in the Maritimes. This character, described as a diva and an asshole, will obviously clash with that of Surprenant, who still carries the label of traitor to the SQ. You will understand why from the third episode.


Patrick Hivon and Catherine Brunet

Quebec television is full of sleuth series, whether Reasonable doubtofAlerts or Classified secretin addition to all the others which rely heavily on police investigations, including Innocence Project, STAT, Indefensible, With a beating heart, 5e Rank and even Witches. Surprising Detective stands out first of all for its form: six episodes and presto, we resolve this complex matter.

Also, the entire miniseries was filmed in the Magdalen Islands, which is a change from the urban settings and police sirens that constantly scream in the background.

To compare, Surprising Detective surpasses Victor Lessard and navigates the same turbulent waters as the first season of The faultthe best, another production from Videotron’s Club illico.

Back in Cap-aux-Meules, the SQ keeps the trafficker Julien Cormier (Maxime Genois, the shady postman-concierge in Witches). Cormier supplies the village with gunpowder and has already frequented the rebellious Rosalie, who owed him a lot, a lot of money.

Several other secondary characters enrich the dense plot, including the doctor and coroner Bernard Samoisette (Hubert Proulx), his psychiatrist wife (Nathalie Doummar), the lieutenant of the Cap-aux-Meules detachment (Marie-France Marcotte) as well as Longupée ( Sylvain Vigneault), the owner of the bar where all the residents of the place celebrate.

A few little things come up in Surprising Detective, but nothing shocking. The level of play between the Montreal actors and the so-called local actors causes some phase shifts in important scenes. Several mumbled or poorly pronounced lines are also lost in the ambient noise. But nothing that makes us tune out or crave TV.

Yes, Surprising Detective, whose second season has not yet been confirmed, serves us a known recipe. On the other hand, the way of preparing the ingredients and their presentation would delight the two judges of MasterChef Quebec. It’s beautiful, it’s good, it’s swallowed up in a weekend and you finish your plate too quickly, hoping that there will be a portion left on the stove.


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